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Old 07-07-2014, 09:58 PM   #1
jtb OP
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Location: Hawkesbury NSW Australia
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Laugh Soft to the core! And proud of it...

About NINE MONTHS ago a general plan was hatched to do an outback adventure for a week in western NSW (New South Wales) and eastern SA (South Australia). Winter is cold, but there is no way I’d be riding out west in summer. Winter is also the time when most of us were available due to our own and our kids sporting and other commitments.

After some changes to dates because the original clashed for someone who can only have holidays during school holidays (do I feel envious or sorry for him??).

Expressions of interest were sent out to like minded riders who I thought would be able to put up with a week of me in the bush. There were lots of “yeah maybe” “if the stars and planets align” and “I wish” bandied about. But at the end of the day only four rock solid “bloody oath I’ll be in that” answers came in.

The three musketeers were off again on another ride!

Shane – owning a VOR changes a man.

Bucky – owning a Tenere changed this man

Me – I’ve always been different

We have been riding together for about 20 years. Though these days one of us pilots a 4wd, not that there’s anything wrong with that. But that helps us out too as we can live better on the road than we might otherwise do.

The other two on our trip are

Tractor – Hard KORE Guru of the interwebs and carrier of what ever tool you need.

Fred (son of Shane) – apprentice human, official trip photographer and all round good young bloke! When he gets on two wheels I see him becoming and even better bloke. Fred likes the Googles, he uses them to verify the information given to him by the old blokes on the trip.

Fred loves the Rock Star glasses, but not as much as the girlies at his school! Shane tells me that Fred has a six pack… and the girlies love a six pack on a 15yo boy!

There was lots of to’ing and fro’ing. In the end there were THREE distinct groups who would all meet at Cameron Corner on Sunday the 29 June, 2014 for a beer and a meal before heading off to Arkaroola, Yunta, Broken Hill, Silverton, White Cliffs, Tilpa, Louth and finally finishing up in Bourke.

GROUP ONE – Tractor
HARD to the core. He was riding from the Newcastle area to Bourke to meet group three. Tractor left home on Thursday morning. Tractor was carrying a SPOT tracker so we could watch him as he made his way from coffee house to pub across the country.

Mr Hard Kore (that’s how all the popular kids spell it these days apparently) ran into some of his own problems along the way. Including issues with his side stand and some MAJOR frost on his first night hard coring it.


Mr Fix its shop.

Hard Core camp 1

Hard Kore assures me that the white stuff on his seat is not talcum powder for his cheeks but frost!

On his second night he went all limp and holed up in a pub at Coonamble or Coonabloodybarrabran or some town whose name started with a C and had two O’s in it. My spy pics showed he was manly drying out his tent in his room while he sat by the fire in the Ladies Lounge warming his tootsies.

My wife was rather concerned with this lack of progress when we last spoke on Friday night. She claimed he’d never catch us or we wouldn’t be leaving on time on Saturday. From the comfort of the soft core time and continuum traveller Bucky and I decided that the dead line would be 1pm in Bourke. If Mr Hard as nails wasn’t in town by then he cold chase our dust until he caught up… I mean who rides 1000km to get to the start of a ride? That’s just nonsense!

GROUP TWO – Shane and Fred
If it’ll fit in we’ll take it. Shane left home on Thursday morning with his six month old Hilux with more batteries and gadgets than the Apollo moon landing. He was good enough to carry the beer, food and extra baggage for the bike boys.

Note the VOR sticker on the top of the esky!

We nicknamed his truck the Kamaz after those Paris Dakar trucks that chase motorbikes down…

Shane also had some type of tracker set up in his truck. This meant that Bucky and I could sit back and watch these blokes as they ventured off on their holiday while we remained going about our daily business and itching to get going ourselves.

Shane and Freddo did a lap into south western QLD and down into SA before meeting us at the corner on Sunday afternoon.

Nocundra pub

Moomba gas fields

There's no flies on our Fred!

Shane also went to Inamincka, but we don't talk about that. He's going to take FOREVER to get over it, he's so scarred he's openly stated he'll never go back... and that's a long time!

Soft to the core and proud of it! Due to other commitments we couldn’t leave until lunchtime Friday. I was leaving from the western suburbs of Sydney and Bucky from Newcastle. We trailered our bikes to Dubbo where we met and transferred Bucky’s gear to my car and trailer.

Marc COMA doesn’t ride to the start line, neither should we!

A mate of mine (Gonz) kindly allowed us to leave Bucky’s vehicle at his place while we trundled on to Bourke and spent a week riding around the country side. Thanks Gonz! It was cool in Dubbo. What else would a soft core adventurer do but turn up the heater and pull into a fast food joint for a fast meal!

We left Dubbo and headed north west, through Glen McGRATH country and on to Nyngan. Not much happening in Nyngan so we set sail along the 200km of straight bitumen that is the Mitchell Highway to Bourke. The closer we got to Bourke the more roo’s we saw. I knocked it back to 60kph and we cruised into Bourke and my mate Chinner’s place. My mate Chinner had a huge shed that we unloaded the bikes in and then stored my trailer and Prado in while we were gallivanting about the country side. Thanks Chinner!

Chinner was also kind enough to put us up for the night. Bucky was given the Chinner King bed visitors room and I was given the double bed visitors room. To top that off Chinner handed out some free beer and we watched a bit of the tele with those blokes who ride around in circles on the tar at stupid speeds. After turning down the air con a tad we went to bed.

"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group


jtb screwed with this post 07-11-2014 at 10:48 PM
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:08 PM   #2
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We got up at the civil hour of 9am or so, had a hot shower and took the grand tour of Bourke. We had a lovely pie for breakfast while sipping a latte at the Bourke Bakery. We did the tourist thing and had a look around before ambling back to Chinner’s house to get ready.

North Bourke Bridge

Port of Bourke Wharf on the Darling

Trucks are bigger out west

Chinner suggest that as we were taking a big ride that arvo we shouldn’t do so on an empty stomach. While I was doing something inane in the shed with my bike I hear the “loud pipes save lives” exhaust note from a KTM640ADV out the front. He made it on time! Groups one and three are now united. Off to what used to be the Bourke Rissole but is now some type of lunch venue. I saw the crumbed lamb cutlets on the menu and chose them as did Bucky. Every day of the trip I must have heard Bucky mention how good the crumbed lamb cutlets were in Bourke! He loved them.

Lunch over it was time to get back to Chinner’s, gear up and mount up.

Finally I throw my leg over the bike, GPS on? Check. UHF on? Check. Bag and pannier lids secure? Check. I fire the Ten up and soon enough we’re away on the trip I always dreamed of doing. Thirty seconds down the road and Mr Hard KORE tells us he needs fuel… ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh kayyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

Hard KORE pulls into the BP. I spot a few local lads hanging around outside the servo. I’ve spent enough time in the bush to know that I shouldn’t pull up where they are. I go down the road 50m and pull over. I look in my mirrors and there’s city boy Bucky surrounded by traditional owners. I laugh to self and fish around for the camera. While I’m doing that one appears from no where, across the street and asks if my black Tenere is a “Katie Emmmmm”. I know that if you engage your gone so I replied “Yep” and he’s off to talk to Bucky. By the time I get to Bucky he’s convinced that Bucky’s white Tenere is a DRZ! The group then proceeds to push, pull, touch, tilt and tamper with anything they can. Lesson learned Bucky.

Now that KORE has filled up we’re off! 50km of bitumen starts our ride… I HATE bitumen. The only thing it’s good for is driving cars down it to take your trailer to the good riding spots. While I’m getting along I notice two things. Firstly there is a strong westerly wind blowing and secondly I haven’t put my ear plugs in. So I stopped and rectified the ear plug issue and got going.

Soon enough we hit the dirt. It’s poo, sandy and corrugated. I found the best line on the other side of the road right at the edge of the formed road. We struggled along on 100kph where we could.

Big sky country out here!

Eventually I came up behind what, from the dust, I thought was a truck. As I suit there wondering how long we’d have to wait to be able to get around it… BOOM! A two trailer road train blasts out of the first trucks dust heading towards Bourke. I had just enough time to yell to the boys over the UHF to get off the road as there was a road train coming at them at pace. I ducked off the road and waited for the dust to settle.

Then I hear Bucky in a distressed state saying he’s stuck under the bike. We’ve been riding together for a long time and I’ve never heard him sound so panicked. I raced back to find him pinned awkwardly under the bike, leg and knee twisted and head lower than his body over the edge. It took KORE and I to both lift the bike enough for Bucky to get his leg out. As Bucky sat in the dirt next to his bike he spied me taking the camera out and made the most miraculous recovery since Jesus himself roamed the earth two thousand years ago.

Bucky limps about for bit, then he gets back on the bike and we endure the rest of the road into Wanaaring. As we hit the tar in Wanaaring we come up behind the truck we were behind earlier as he stopped to drop his dust, we blasted past him.

One of the boys used to work for the government. When you do that, people know people who know people. This ends up with us staying here…

The vacancy sign is always lit.

And on this occasion the shop was shut.

So we unpacked in the secure parking area

Bucky felt the serenity... or was that the security?

The man who works for the government, let’s call him “B.” was most hospitable! He had bought a heap of meat and salad, stocked the fridge with a selection of beer and best still, had pre purchased us some fuel so we didn’t have to wait for the local servo to open before we left town!

Some of B’s golden ale… Bucky looks worn out from the excitement!

Bucky cooked up a storm on B.’s BBQ and we sat around telling tall tales until at least 9pm (told you we were soft core). Then I was shown to my suite…

I really don’t know why they say this adventure riding stuff has to be hard. Cold beer, warm and comfortable beds and BBQ’s… what’s wrong with that picture in between rides?

Bucky tells me a woman’s work is never done…

Bucky even slept in the old cells out the back. He probably took a few pics, but they're somewhere out on the Strez track, but we'll get to that in good time.

Thanks to B! I'm wondering why it took so long to get into this adventure riding stuff? When we do our trail/enduro get togethers we sleep in shearing sheds! How good is this adventure riding stuff?

The end of DAY ONE.

More coming after I download some photo's and write some more wordage.
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group


jtb screwed with this post 07-10-2014 at 03:43 AM
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:33 AM   #3
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So we’re up bright and early and leave Wanaaring just as the sun is breaching the horizon.

The main drag, Wanaaring during peak hour.

The sun chased us west

Mmmmmmmmmm… red dirt

It was cold, down around 1 or 2 deg Celsius I guess. But that didn’t take into account the wind chill. I hadn’t got hold of a pair of winter weight gloves and was riding in my Fox motocross gloves and pants. I had thermals on underneath, but was still cold. I had a fluro green rainsuit in my panniers and cracked that out. For the rest of the trip I ran three layers on my bottom half every day. Each morning I’d put the rain jacket on but usually take it off by lunch time and have my enduro jacket as the outer layer on my top half.

Somewhere in the middle of no where in particular

More middle of no where

Finally Tibooburra turned up… straight to the servo.

Tibooburra while still very remote has a few more amenities than Wanaaring

B. even showed up for a coffee! When he asked how the ride was I told him I was bloody cold… he made a point of telling me how comfortable it was in the Pajero cab with the air con set to 21 deg c! Bastard.

Had the WORST meal of the trip in Tibooburra. If you are in town do NOT go for the lamb and gravy roll from the store across the road from the single storey pub. It sounded great, mentally I was comparing it to one I have here in Sydney… It was a hot dog bun with something they claimed was lamb and meat, and who puts cheese on a lamb roll (for any US cousins reading this, we don’t use cheese as a condiment over here).

Soon enough it was time to get going so we could hit Cameron Corner with time to set up camp in the daylight and hopefully meet Shane and Freddo before the sun went down. Mentally I had Tibooburra to Cameron Corner as a 240km trip. In actual fact it’s about 140km, bad blue, but a positive one. We ended up with more fuel and time at the end of the day.

We headed north on the Silver City Highway (dirt road) before hanging a left and entering the Surt National Park and generally heading west to Cameron Corner where NSW, SA and QLD state borders meet in the red sand.

My fluro rainsuit in action!

Hard KORE was still having drama’s with his side stand and was having to put the stand down on the left and then get off the bike on the right hand side…

Stones every where, slippery bastards to ride on.

Close up of the same stones

Toona Gate Road turnoff

The landscape changed continually from black soil, to red sand to clay, to small stones, white sand… an amazing part of the world.
About 30km from the corner we came across this dry lake. It was home to millions of flys.

Lake is up behind those trees

That clown in the green suit is everywhere! I used all the safety colours, my neck warmer was fluro orange from the $2 run out bin at one of the bigger camping chains… BARGAIN and safe!

My ignorance showed at the gate which is the border between South Australia and New South Wales. The other two blokes who hadn’t been there before were chasing their camera’s for pics. I’d been there four or five times before and it was just an obstacle between me and our destination. In fact I didn’t even walk up to the post at the corner this time. Sad case of been there done that. But I don’t begrudge them their want to take pics… it was EXACTLY what I did when I first layed eyes on the place.

I’ll get the gate boys…

Anytime you’re ready…

Bucky was loving it… I was impressed. This was the same bloke who told me less than 12 months ago he wasn’t really interested in exploring outback NSW as there was just lots of nothing to look at. I think I can safely say he’s changed his views.

On clearing the gate we reach our destination… photo taken by Hard KORE from South Australia of the Corner Store/pub in Queensland having literally just crossed the SA/NSW border.

Hard KORE at the corner!

I rode up to the pub while the boys got their photo’s to look for Shane. He found me… walked out of the pub with a freshly cracked and cold beer. CHEERS! Finally here again, fifteen years after we last did it together. Both having been back since.

We decided to set up camp before it got dark. This’ll do nicely! No fire needed as we were eating at the pub. We’d just walk from Queensland to South Australia and jump in our swags!

That’d be me in the fluro work top! Can't beat the swag, three buckles roll it out get in. I had sheets and blankets and even a real pillow from home. Couldn't carry it on the bike. Just as well I'm soft core and have a great mate who is happy to drag it around for me.

Why the place exists.

Shane or Freddo got very artistic

The tuning fork machine that got me here and around our whole loop with zero problems, all I did was put fuel in, check air, oil and water and tension the chain every second day as the chain was new for the ride and was stretching a little.

We are the little group on the right. When we set up there was NO ONE to the left of the pic. Within ten minutes of us setting up they came from everywhere with caravans and roof tents and more lights than a major city. You come all the way out here and have to camp on top of everyone else????

Just on dark we wander back over to the pub…

Freddo wishing he had Googles around to help him verify what the old blokes were saying around the table

Couple of these while we waited for dinner time

Then I ordered the Scotch Filet for just $30… you’d pay more in Sydney for less of a feed than this. THIS WAS THE BEST PURCHASED MEAL OF THE TRIP!!! We didn’t purchase many due to our on tour chef Shane’s abilities in the kitchen.

While eating this shirt was highlighted to me. I have spoken with most of them on the interwebs and even ridden with one or two of them. Small world.

And that was our night before we walked to South Australia and went to bed. Luckily the “campers” had a street light set up and we didn’t need any torches to get back to where we belonged. Watched the gazillion stars for a bit before tucking my head down into the swag due to the cold.

Another day on the road tomorrow!
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group


jtb screwed with this post 07-10-2014 at 03:43 AM
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:04 AM   #4
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That scotch filet is the perfect example of dollar differences in our countries.... $30 for a plate is considered on the higher end for average folks and wont have chips....

Nice ride BTW
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:13 PM   #5
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2 Spot, you're right. Personally I wouldn't normally pay that, but the meal with four sausages instead of the steak was $22, $8 very well spent! Fuel at Cameron Corner was $2 a litre or $7.57 for a US Gallon... about 25% more than we pay most days in Sydney.

I'll get the story finished later today I hope.
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group

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Old 07-09-2014, 03:31 PM   #6
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Great so far !

Chasing the horizon, one road at a time.
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Alvord or Bust
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:38 PM   #7
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Thanks BB.

It's school holidays down here and the wife has flown to QLD to visit her sister so I've been looking after the kidlets. Hope to get another day up, at least, today.
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group

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Old 07-10-2014, 03:28 AM   #8
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Laugh DAY 3 - Cameron Corner to Arkaroola


Finally we were altogether and the excitement showed, we were up at very dark o’clock. Not so sure of caravanning neighbours would have been all that happy with our early departure. Mind you we weren’t the first vehicles to leave that morning. We watched as a group of about four or five four wheel drives left. When they got to the main track two turned left to head east into NSW, the other two turned right and stopped. Maybe they weren’t together after all? Thirty seconds or so the two left turners must have changed their mind… ‘cause they came back and joined their mates and headed west towards the Strzelecki Track! We had a bit of a chuckle about that one.

View to the east from our camp

There was a little ice on my rear bag this morning… but it’d be worse in a day or two.

About to move out

We headed west with me up front… Fred, the teams official photographer, was in the passenger seat and in the better bits was able to snap a few shots of me mobile, towards the Strzelecki.

There were a few (four to be exact) bad bull dust holes that were identified by red flags in them. I saw them, called them on the UHF for the blokes following on two and four wheels. Some of the dunes had really steep faces on them, I stayed left when cresting and generally didn’t have too many drama’s. Excepting for one dune where I crested at about 80kph, I was standing. All good front went into a bull dust hole and banged hard when it hit the far end… next thing I know is that I performing a “stoppie” without the use of the brake going down the road at 80kph! It was the only “scare self” moment I had during the whole 2200km of the trip. Next I hear Shane on the UHF, he was behind me and saw the whole event unfold “You blokes better watch that next dune, John’s just had a moment!” it didn’t help that he was pissing himself laughing… no photo’s or anything! I’d just like to thank who ever invented gyroscopic force, because it wasn’t my skill that kept me upright.

So I continue west and come around this corner…

… suddenly the pink line on the GPS turns left. Bugger! I didn’t see that turn? I go back and find this…

Bugger me! That wasn’t in the plan. It was a very new sign. I know blokes that have been that way to get to the Strzelecki and then south.

We have a discussion. You can’t go on private property. When we get to where the track intersects with the Strzelecki Track we find a copy of the sign at that end too.

While we waited for Shane to catch up we had a blow and a look at the Strz Track

The track coming out of Lindon station onto the Strz… look ed really interesting too!

Something was growing where it had no right to

Bucky and I discuss the meaning of life in the middle of the track

Shane caught up and we helped ourselves to lunch from the tailgate selection

Fred whacked up the HF aerial

And Shane did a bit of CQ’ing on the travellers net

Fred did some maintenance on the canopy retaining bolts which had loosened off a bit with the corrugations

Bucky’s pony waiting to be given it’s head…

I have to say I was very impressed with the low speeds the road trains travelled at on the dirt, mind you the Strzelecki was, without doubt, THE WORST road we travelled on during the trip.

Soon enough we had the aerial down and the luncheon stuff packed away and we were off southbound. The Strzelecki is one of those iconic roads in outback Australia that I had heard about as a kid, far too many decades ago. It would appear that I wasn’t the only one who heard about it because it looked like many others had been this way

As “tracks” go this was freeway wide.
There was one section of tar in the 150km section we travelled with this sign at the end

No shit Sherlock! Maybe it was for those who camped there the previous night and forgot about the crappy road they travelled?

My view of the view

That bloody white Hilux that was stalking us

Not long after this photo I follow the pink line to the Mt Hopeless turnoff. I see Bucky and Hard KORE parked up where the red arrow is.

There were two bikes just moving off from them as I approached, one fellow on a black Tenere like mine and another on a DR650?? I think…

Anywho, doesn’t matter as I decided I’d just keep moving. Shane stopped with Bucky and I moved to the gate (bottom centre of the above pic), I got on the radio and told Shane I’d keep moving and leave the gate open. Could he ask HK or Bucky to make sure they shut the gate? I zoom off. This is where things started to change on this trip…
Around every corner and over every crest the view just got better and better until we set up camp that night! Not only was the view good the track and it’s condition made it one to be ridden, not just droned down like the Strz Track we had just left. No words I could utter about trhis track and afternoon would go anywhere near describing it. I know I wasn’t dreaming it because we were all experiencing the same thing in our respective helmets/cabin.
They coming? There were some comms issues with Bucky and Hard KORE, so we had to revert to old school… count the bikes and keep going.

Hard KORE being Hard KORE

Bucky loving it… yet to be hit with the bad news.

Why do they tell you how bad it can be AFTER you’ve finished?

Finally we pull up at this intersection which is the turn off to Arkaroola. I’m told Bucky’s bad news… “You what?”… “You lost your mobile phone back at the intersection of the Strzelecki Track?”… “Fark!”…

Bucky looking for his phone… Fred finds it humorous that it’s over 150km to where it was last seen.

Turns out Bucky had it out (using it as his camera, just like I was). When the other bikes turned up he thinks he may have put it on his rear bag to chat. Then as they pulled away Shane and I turned up and basically just kept moving. In his haste to put his helmet back on and catch up with us and Hard KORE he just plain forgot.

So if you’re around the intersection of the Strzelecki Track and the Mt Hopeless turn off to Arkaroola please have a look around for Bucky’s HTC One XL that looks just like this:

He’d be very appreciative if it was returned to him… apparently his computer nerdness rating is zero out of ten. He had EVERY photo he had ever taken still on the phone and they hadn’t been backed up elsewhere, even I can do that Bucky!

But he took it all rather well and we proceeded into Arkaroola. My earlier comment “Around every corner and over every crest the view just got better and better until we set up camp that night! Not only was the view good the track and it’s condition made it one to be ridden, not just droned down like the Strz Track…” still held!

Up this way

Hard KORE on the juice

The views from the servo at Arkaroola…

The following are taken in the camp ground

The moment Fred realised the snorer had placed his tent closer to the neighbouring camp than ours!

I remember the whole mountain being this colour…

The colour doesn’t look as spectacular in this one.

Everybody was feeling the serenity

That night Shane knocked up some steak, train smash and a pasta concoction. It was washed down with a few beers. Arkaroola campsite also had a shower block that we utilised. If you only used the hot tap and could survive on a trickle you had a shower. But I have to say it made me feel like a million dollars, especially after a change of clobber.

A great day on the bike, which ended up in a spectacular camp site. There was no timber around so we for went the fire tonight, but a bush camp was to be had tomorrow night and that meant a fire!

More soonish.
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group


jtb screwed with this post 07-10-2014 at 03:44 AM
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:54 PM   #9
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"The Snorer"

A point of clarification. There were two snorers in the team.

I was just the best of the two
Some say it is the journey not the destination.
I say as long as the destination is a Pub, both count.
(KTM 640 Adv)
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by OzDirtRider View Post
A point of clarification. There were two snorers in the team.

I was just the best of the two
Hard KORE,

I mentioned no names... wasn't going to either.
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group

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Old 07-11-2014, 04:25 AM   #11
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Thumb Day 4 arkaroola to yunta

Day 4

Overnight it was really cool! Probably the coolest night of all those while we were away.

Hard KORE had been throwing the talcum powder around… not really. I can confirm that this was in fact frost.

My swag had ice on it to…

Freddo didn’t really want to come out of the bat swag (he likes sleeping upside down i.e. head lower than his feet)

The prior evening I had seen the phone box up near the shower block. I grabbed some coinage and up to ring the cook as I hadn’t spoken to her since we left Tibooburra. Go in and no coin slot! WTF??? A pay phone that doesn’t accept coins! Telstra (maybe Telecom???) cards only. I last had one of those about 12 or 14 years ago… so here’s some living history:

We had spoken the night before about making today a “get up and go when we are ready day” as we only planned to ride down to be within 50km of Yunta. So we did exactly that… I think we left about 11am, after we refuelled and re-aired (thanks Fred!).

We stopped on the way out for the traditional owners to admire Bucky’s Tenere

Even though we rode in on these very same roads less than 24hours earlier they looked very different in the midday light as opposed to the sunset light yesterday. I’ll repeat myself “Around every corner and over every crest the view just got better and better until we set up camp that night!”

Great pic this one Hard KORE!

And that was Arkaroola! I’ll be going back for sure. Still haven’t seen the Flinders Ranges but the Gammon Ranges go off!

So we get to the road where we turned off yesterday afternoon, instead of turning left and heading back to Bucky’s phone we turn right go 200m before turning left to head south to Yunta and our overnight camp. Only problem was one of our number didn’t turn left and continued west towards Copley on the Copley Road. There was some chatter on the UHF about a car coming toward us by Hard KORE or Bucky… at some stage the vehicle that had two pairs of eyes realised that they weren’t on the same track as the rest of us. The navigator in the Kamaz had fallen asleep on the job! It took a good 15-20mins to have them tag onto the back of the bunch… don’t know where they would have ended up if we didn’t have the UHF’s!

This is where I waited for the Kamaz

Still can’t see Shane’s dust

Shane’s over there in those hills somewhere

Given our late start this morning we agreed to stop for fruit and anything else that was easily obtainable over the tailgate. Nothing like apples and oranges in the middle of the serenity! This was our lunch stop location

The rest of the day was spent racing the sun, while we were heading south towards Yunta. About 60km north of Yunta I came across a very well timbered area, close to the road. Knowing that we would be trying to get an early start in the morning I wanted to minimise the number of kay’s we’d do before we pulled up at Yunta to refuel before the drag across the 200km of bitumen from Yunta to Broken Hill. Surely there’d be more timbered areas further south? This couldn’t be the only one?

Soon enough it thinned out and it was back to the open country. Just as I made the decision to take up the next good spot I found we came across these ruins.

Apparently remnants of a mine and its facilities from days gone by. I didn’t stop, I was on a mission. KORE and Bucky had a bit of a brief look. I rolled on a bit further and found what appeared to be a promising creek line. Rode off the road for a closer look, no timber and very visible from the road. Went about 500m up the road and did the same thing along the same creek. This time I found it! I don’t mind saying I have a bit of a knack for finding good bush camps…

KORE, Bucky and I started collecting firewood. One of them suggested that we shouldn’t do too much in case Shane didn’t like the camping spot! What? Fark Shane! He’ll be camping here. To reinforce that we lit the fire in a good spot and continued getting the wood in.

Nice photo of camp KORE! The road was up the hill behind KORE when he took this pic, about 200m.

Soon enough Shane turned up wondering if I’d just gone onto Yunta to camp beside the highway? No way Jose’! Turns out though he was happy enough to camp here!

The road wound its way left to right from the trees above Shane’s windscreen all the way to the right, the other side of the crest of the hill. Nobody knew we were there. Just how I like it.

Good times!

It really doesn’t get any better than this!

Bucky feeling the serenity

These tenting blokes don’t know what they’re missing having something between them and the sky out here at night!

Fred! Fred! Put down the Coca! You’ve obviously had far too much, especially as it’s nearly your bedtime…

Then the sunset started (OBVIOUSLY NOT IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER... but you get the drift.)

You can never have too much reflective tape around the fire!

We had some really hard S.A. timber we burnt tonight. It burnt slow and hot! It was so good Shane dragged it around for the next two days in readiness for our next bush camp up near White Cliffs somewhere. But we also left a nice pile of it there because it was so slow burning, so if you’re in the area make sure you camp there!
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group


jtb screwed with this post 07-11-2014 at 03:39 PM
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:10 PM   #12
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Day five

Woke up to a cracking morning! It was VERY brisk…

Ice on the rear bag again

And the swag, though I have to say it looked more like the rear bag ice in real life…

We were just over 1000km from the east coast and our homes but we did notice that the sun took until about 8am to come up over the flat horizon each day.

Note the frost in the gully over Hard KORE’s tent!

So we had a snappy breakfast, decamped and were soon on our way. We all got back onto the road and got going. Shane was about 30 seconds too late or too early and was fronted by a woman in a Hilux about what he had been doing... turns out the property is owned by some huge company and she was somebody or others wife. He told her there was no badness happening, that it was getting dark and they needed to camp up. Eventually she was happy enough with the explanation and let him go about his business.

Waiting for Shane after his “talking to”…

We came around a bend to be confronted by a line of fog in front of a small range, it was awesome in the soft morning light. But it was freezing to ride through!

Hard KORE dives in at the deep end, he shows no fear!

Fred got me going in at the deep end too!

And before too long we hit Yunta. It has a brand new BP servo/roadhouse that wasn’t there when I was last here about ten years or so ago. Fuel prices were around what we paid in Sydney! So was the nationality of the bloke behind the counter.

My phone was going off the dial receiving and sending texts that I had created an sent to mates as I went along boasting about where I was and what we were doing. We made the required phone calls to home and got moving on the WORST type of road there is on an adventure ride. BITUMEN. It was a 200km two hour drone east from Yunta to Broken Hill. I hate riding on tar! Tar is for vehicles towing trailers full of dirt bikes to the dirt. I had looked at other options but in the interest of covering more dirt elsewhere it was the best option.

Stopped at Manna Hill for a few pics of the old railway station… my old man used to work on the railways as a station master, so I’ve seen a few railway stations in my time. But in NSW I have never seen one where the platform is at ground level.

As we went through Cockburn (pronounced Coburn thankyou very much… the C & K are silent) I see Shane has pulled up? Bugger. Wonder what’s wrong?

NOTHING! He had a bit of aerial envy…

I saw he had the camera out as I rolled in… so I stood up. Don’t all adventure riders ride while standing? It was about now I wished I had a spare tyre to hang off the bike as well… that would be really hard core!

Fred was really loving it… well he was on the inside! He doesn’t like to give too much away.

What little there is of Cockburn and we are back in NSW with 50km of black stuff until Broken Hill!

Passed a heap of goats on the highway at Thackaringa, they couldn’t have cared less about the passing traffic.

As soon as I go into town I pulled over to have a stretch. As I’m taking off my helmet, the very next vehicle that approaches pulls over and yells something out to me??? I pull my ear plugs out and he wants to know if I’m OK and can he do anything for me? I thanked him and he went about his business… what a nice bloke! We’d covered heaps of dirt roads and when stopped we’d barely get a wave out of some passers by, let alone anyone even remotely looking like stopping to ask after our welfare. But in the city of Broken Hill the first car stops???? Thanks mate, I hope karma is good to you and someone looks after you in the future!

First stop in Broken Hill is Bells Milk Bar! For the last 200km I’d been thinking about that strawberry milkshake! When I was living out here over ten years ago I’d brought a relative into town and took him to Bells for a milkshake. He still talks about that milk shake today!

Hard KORE going hard at the selection

Bucky trying to be Hard KORE and Fred loving it as usual!

Other fluro wearers love a milkshake too!

The old school flooring

The local paper, the Barrier Daily Truth hasn’t changed.

And there we have, ladies and gentlemen, the best milkshake I have ever had in NSW!

I even bought a bottle of their syrup to take home for that relative of mine, he was very impressed!

Parking opposite Bells

For those who may be going there in future you can find Bells Milk Bar at 160 Patton St, Broken Hill. It’s over in the south on the way to the RFDS museum/shop so make sure you call in. I have NOTHING to do with the business, I just love their product! But not as much as Shane who had the milkshake AND the spider!

After that Shane took us over to the bakery that used to be called “Macs oven foods” you can find that at 191 Zebina Street, Broken Hill for his standard Cornish pastie! No pics, I was too slow.

Old mine site on Menindee Road, Broken Hill.

Took the boys out to the RFDS museum as well, can’t come to Broken Hill and not see that!

On the way back from the RFDS museum Fred was delighted to spot a real life postie also wearing fluro!

We then made our way over to the Westside plaza to restock the liquid refreshments. And then it was out to Penrose Park at Silverton to grab a camp site.
Hard KORE hydrates in preparation for his trip to the Silverton pub.

The boys whacked up their tents in no time flat and headed over to the pub… I’d been there before and we had no phone coverage with Shane or Fitzy, who was due from Dubbo at any time.

They had to walk across Umberumberka Creek

They found the pub

And do what you do at pubs…

As well as checking out the local talent!

Hard KORE was heard to exclaim “That’s why they have donkey food for sale at the bar!”

They also got some snaps of Silverton

Meanwhile I wandered around the park having a gander at the facilities…
Old artillery piece in the park.

The cricket oval

The AWESOME camp kitchen

Jug, toaster, microwave, fridge, BBQ and gas stove/cooktop AND hot water from the tap to wash up! So civilised!

And a train…

Built in 1893!

Shane turned up just before dark and we set up camp… throw swags on ground. Shane proceeded to cook up spaghetti bolognaise that he’d cooked from scratch. I went for a shower and got stuck waiting behind two families worth of kidlets. But I can say the wait was worth it. This was the shower of the trip. Scalding hot, hot water and water pressure that would take skin off. Feeling like a gazillion dollars I walked back to camp to find Fitzy setting up his camp trailer! We knocked that over and went over to the camp kitchen for an awesome feed (again).

We talked some poo around the LED lights on Shane’s truck awning and went to bed. Another heavy day in front of us.
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group


jtb screwed with this post 07-11-2014 at 10:17 PM
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:28 PM   #13
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Day 6

We were up reasonably early, but again not in too much of a rush as we wanted to get somewhere just the other side of White Cliffs.
The start of another fine day in the saddle

Fitzy’s Taj Ma Hal on wheels

Note the snorers camp over the back there?

Shane gave Fitzy the breaking dawn tour of Silverton, by all accounts he loved it. But what’s not to love about the place?

With a quick run out to the Mundi Mundi plain lookout.

This is the hill mad Max drove down an killed the bloke on the bike’s boyfriend (or something like that, it’ been a while since I’ve seen it)

The night before we had told Fitzy of the great milk shakes we had the day earlier at Bells. Guess what? He easily convinced us to visit again. But first I needed air, panniers don’t help to make this an easy task! Checkout old mates set up on the truck behind Bucky!

It was shut until 10am (CST) so that meant our departure would be delayed 30mins or so as we had 10am (EST on our watches). But how could you leave and ride all day knowing you’d missed a Bells Milk Shake for 30 minutes of your time? We’ll wait while Hard CORE makes up his mind between the Malteser and the Jaffa!

Fitzy needed fuel, Shane would go with him and the bikes would head off for the White Cliffs turn off on the Silver City Highway heading towards Tibooburra.

We made it here in reasonable time, the four wheelers were no where to be seen.

Some wag had placed this near the corner

After taking the pic’s I looked closely at my phone and saw that I still had service. Shane’s UHF antenna had given up the ghost and he couldn’t fix it. So the phone would be the only comm’s we’d have… and he even answered!
Somehow the four wheelers had time travelled from the servo and were now AHEAD OF US! Shane had got to the intersection and assumed, wrongly, that we had not stuck to the plan (of waiting for them). So he threw the plan out the window and proceeded. Turned out they had literally just got off the tar onto the dirt about 10km down the road… they’d wait and throw the sausages on for a sausage sanga lunch stop.

There was a line up for lunch

Black is the new black!

Fitzy wields the tongs!

It’s the simple things in life, like a sausage sambo on the side of the track, that make a man really happy!

The postie is back!

Fitzy on the move, too fast for the camera man!

How can you not love riding out here?

Pulled up here to search for some wood for tonight…

Tons of wood up the creek!

The landscape continued to change as he rode further north east.

By the way there was only tar around some of the cattle grids, certainly no long sections of tar today! Great news!

Postie on the prowl

Bucky and KORE got into White Cliffs a fair way ahead of the four wheelers and I, as we had stopped and searched for tonights fire wood earlier.

The last 40 or 50km into White Cliffs was awesome and I managed to put some distance between myself and the four wheelers in this section.

Soon enough White Cliffs came into view on the horizon.

Mmmmmmmmmm… red dirt to the horizon!

White Cliffs!

White Cliffs up close

Bucky and Hard KORE had found themselves a nice position on the veranda of the pub. Bad thing was they hadn’t watered the iron horses before they watered themselves!

It was chaos that day it White Cliffs. The delivery truck was in town and every man and his dog was in the store/servo wanting their order. Delivery truck on the left

Not much in White Cliffs above the ground. But there is a fair bit under ground, including a motel!

Bucky has been trying to become more like Hard KORE… he
re he lives on the edge by riding from the pub to the servo without a helmet!

The Kamaz was showing some dirt

It was time to get the hell out of town before we lost daylight. I headed out and came across to clumps of trees 2-300m off the road. Perfect as we’d get at this time of day.

Circling the wagons

Swag set up and ready to go

Bucky moved in just over the way

Hard KORE didn’t like the hard ground… by the way KORE, don’t need no pegs on a swag!

Fred gets snapping

Why would you stay in pubs or motels?

Hard KORE and his apprentice rehydrated on beer, made from beer.

The sun finally settled down behind the horizon.

Rest of the evening we spent around the fire. For dinner tonight the chef (Shane) knocked up curried chicken and rice… you hard core baked beans from a can mob don’t know what you’re missing out on.
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group


jtb screwed with this post 07-11-2014 at 10:19 PM
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:41 PM   #14
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Day 7

The view from my swag to the east.

Once again there was ice on the swag

Bucky’s machine facing the day ahead


Decamping… sadly Fitzy had received a direction from the Minsiter to return home TODAY, come hell or high water.

Fitzy and Shane heading for the road. Fitzy turned left and went back into White Cliffs to follow the black snake home. It was a short time Fitzy, I think you enjoyed it and got a taste for it. I’m certain you’ll be back for the next one!

Once again the terrain was constantly changing as we made our way to Tilpa.

Bucky back on the black soil

Hard KORE on the black soil

Shane on black soil

Back to red sandy soil

TILPA pub! To be honest, was a little let down by this.

Certainly not much here!

The Darling River was way down

Bucky knocked over a pie for breakfast, he liked the look of the Irish bar staff too

Some history

Bridge over the river Darling. Tilpa.

Beware of kids on the road!

Bucky back on the west Louth Road

And gone in a flash of black soil dust!

Hard KORE goes off the grid!

So many signs for one cattle grid…

Don’t see too many fences out here

This is where I noticed my wire whip aerial had gone walkabout. Well it had broken off right at the base. Despite it being spring mounted it could take no more.

Have to say that the run on the west Tilpa Louth Road was very smooth and fast! Loved that bit of road, and it was only just over an hour run between the two. Shane went the east road and reported it to also be a good smooth run.

Bridge over the Darling at Louth!

Downstream from the bridge

Upstream from the bridge

Outside “Shindy’s Inn” (Louth pub), very clean, neat and tidy with helpful and happy staff behind the bar!

An hours run tomorrow back to the car in Bourke

The old Post Office

Looking towards the pub from outside the old Post Office.

View across the bridge towards the west road

War memorial in park across from the pub

Found this shower block across the road from the pub, very clean and tidy, scalding hot hot water

Available for use for the princely sum of a donation to the RFDS at the pub. The pub also had showers for use at $5 a pop. I gave my $5 to the RFDS. The other lads report that the shower at the pub was also very good.

Louth Public School

I had a rather spirited run from Tilpa to Louth and fuel consumption wasn’t anywhere within my mind. It was though when I rolled up to the pub at Louth and saw this…

Nice bar lady let me spit chips for a bit, before telling me that a further 20m down the road was a new pump! Ooops.
Soon enough Shane and Freddo turned up. We relaxed a bit before moving down to the free river camping area and claiming a spot.

This’ll do me.

The sky always impressed me with how blue it was! I was actually trying to photograph the bird but that didn’t work out for me.

Fred enjoys the view

The view

This is why we ride all the way out here

Cocky’s in a paddock

Many moons ago the founding father of Louth lost his first wife. While married to his second wife he built a super expensive monument to his first wife. Apparently it was designed so that on the date of her death the setting sun shines off the monument straight onto the front door of the homestead (no longer there). We got a bit of sun, but the only clouds in the sky were in front of the setting sun. But you get the idea

Cocky’s on the communication tower

Walking back to camp

Tonight for dinner Shane knocked up some Chile Con Carne! It was awesome! Bucky ruined his by putting hot sauce on it. On the bottle the hotness rating was shown as 15/10! He was warned…

After dinner it got even better! He had been dragging a camp oven around for a week, we hadn’t used it. Shane said it was for cooking scones. Cooking scones? Have you got jam and cream? Yep. Real cream? Yep. What are we waiting for? So he just knocked together a batch of scones. His first use of the camp oven was pretty bloody good.

Camping in the bush doesn’t get any better…

Bucky and Hard KORE went up to the pub. Shane, Fred and I talked poo around the fire before jumping into the swags. The last day was in front of us.
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group


jtb screwed with this post 07-11-2014 at 10:20 PM
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:58 PM   #15
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Day 8

Up before the sun one last time. We didn’t have breakfast as it was only a short sprint of 99km up to Bourke and Chinners place where we left the truck. The plan was to cook our bacon and eggs on Chinners BBQ.

With a bit of light on the subject

The view as we headed north east into the rising sun and into Bourke

Bucky gives the final thumbs up for the trip

Where we came from

Where we are going

Kamaz pulling up

From here it was a short run into Chinners. Bucky and I loaded our bikes on the trailer and managed to have a shower and change while Shane and Fred knocked up an awesome feed. Chinner who treats his body as a temple didn’t partake. I to treat my body like a temple. The temple of doom!

Soon enough it was time to leave and we endured the four hour drive back to Dubbo where Bucky and I unloaded his bike from my trailer and onto his. We thanked Gonz for looking after Bucky’s trailer and car. I think Gonz is thinking about getting back into the Adventure Riding game… if you do Gonz, you can ride with us anytime.

Thanks to Gonz and Chinner for looking after our gear/vehicles while we were away!

Thanks also to Shane, Freddo, Bucky, Hard KORE, Fitzy and his daughter Tara for a great trip! Bucky has updated his phone to a new SONY experia that he tells me is water and dust proof! He didn’t mention anything about being loss proof though!

Already mentally planning the next one. Hope that all the same crew is available! Thanks men and Tara.
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group


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