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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cejnys, Sep 26, 2014.
Merry Christmas Rad!!
Merry Xmas mate!
Couple of days late, been away.
Hope you and Matt have had a good one and are having a bit of a rest... you both deserve it.
Thanks for the photos, got be happy with the reinforcement welding on the sub frame.
Thank you guys for all your xmas and new year wishes. I really enjoyed spending this part of the year in Australia.
Just before xmas I did not have a good access to the internet so it was hard to make updates here; for that reason the rr slipped quite a bit. Let me try to catch up.
After I fitted repaired subframe back on my bike we started heading from Ceduna north towards Coober Pedy. After few hundreds of asphalt kilometers we were ready to jump on a track again. Most of the dirt roads going north were nice and we enjoyed the landscape as it changed quite a bit. There were many small hills and many dry salt lakes.
Finding a nice place for camping was very easy. basically as long as you can ride off the road you are good.
The next day we made it to Coober Pedy; I heard many stories about this place and I was really curious to se it.
We were lucky to meet a local guy called Garry who has been living in this town for long time. He was running a camp site on his garden and he charged only 5AUD for a night. Thats very good price for a town where everybody charges 20 or more for camping.
His philosophy was very simple; he liked to be surrounded by interesting travelers and 5 aud for a person/night covered minimum expenses he had with running his place. Unfortunately local officials did not like that approach and for some reason made Garry to close his camp 3 days before we arrived. For that reason we could not stay in his camp but he offered a hot shower and wifi. He also suggested were we could camp for free which was about 1km from his house.
Garry was a great character and he showed us his special buss and told us many stories from old good Coober Pedy.
He also explained all about opal and how the whole town is being changed by authorities. Apparently few years back he would take us for a day into a opal mine and we would be able to dig and try to find some of these beautiful stones. Unfortunately these days its not possible because everybody who wants to be doing anything in a mine has to have certain mining license. I asked whether we could sneak us in one of these mines; apparently all is very strict these days and everybody is worried to lose their license if people without permits are found in their mine.
We camped not far away from the mines; the weather was great so I did not even bothered to put up my tent
The next day we had to check a local museum which was made from an old opal mine. Apparently authorities stopped mining in the town itself so these old mines which are still full of opals are converted into houses. Then people ask for extending their living space by digging another room; based on this approval they can start removing ground and most of the time they find valuable opals
This is the form how opal is found; this one doesn't have any value as it is only white without any shining colors in it
Garry recommended to take a flash light and explore all the dark corners of the museum. Because it was a successful mine in the past he said that the opals are still found there.
We gave it a shot and spent about 3 hours just digging the walls. Unfortunately we found nothing. When we returned back to the shop the lady which was selling us tickets could not believe what she saw, yeah both of us were really dirty from all the digging and going though pails of dirt. She just shook with her head and let us go
Good stuff mate!
That's a bummer - it's good fun hunting for precious stuff. The licence I bought for gold panning in Finland lasted 1 hour - I got so addicted I bought another hour.
Everyone in charge wants their 'cut'...
Glad you had a great CHRISTmas, Rad! Great to see you catching up. You're in a good place right now; it's so cold here. News reported some Texas towns cancelling their new year's celebrations due to cold and wind chill. Austin, I believe; maybe Houston wasn't as bad. Enjoy the warmth and may your new year be as good as your last.
Yeah its really nice weather down here; nights can be a bit chili but inside a sleeping bag very comfy and days are very pleasant for riding.
The weather in Texas looks crazy, yesterday -1 celsius in Austin; I think that the continental europe has more
Sounds very similar to my story, except that I did 20 years of corpo and I am starting in Chile and will be going from Ushuaia north to Quebec. Safe travels, you guys, and maybe we meet somewhere along the way! Once you cross the Darien Gap please share the details. So far I have no winning idea how to do it from Colombia to Panama...
Be safe and may you meet many good folks on your way!
We did not stay for long in Coober Pedy even tough I really liked that place; I could imagine myself going there, get all the licenses and try my luck. I had this strong feeling which pulling me in. From what Garry told me it was much bigger fun to be there few years back, but still even now it would be loads of fun and amazing adventure. There were many great characters everywhere around the town.
After one day we started heading east towards William Creek. The road was a dirt highway and we could go easily 90km/h. About 50 km from Coober Pedy we saw a young guy with his “ute” on a side of the road. We asked him whether he needed some help. It turned out that he did. He was working on one of these cattle farms around and he was going back home for Christmas; he had his second puncture in the last 300km. Fortunately he had one more spare wheel available but his jack did not work. For a second I was scratching my head and then I told him to drive the opposite wheel of the punctured one on a reserve wheel and then me and him lift the bad wheel up while Matthi put another reserve wheel under an axle. This was enough to keep the punctured wheel up so he could change it.
10 min later he was ready to roll; it was a great feeling to help someone on the road. Lately it was me who was receiving help from others and I know how it feels when you struggle and suddenly somebody is there to help. He was offering money but we just laughed and wished him safe journey home a great time with his family.
Because it was getting a bit late we found a nice camping spot not far from where we were helping him
I just crashed next to my bike
Because there is nothing around, watching stars in Australia is very special. Thats one of the reasons why I love sleeping without a tent
The next day we made it to William Creek; little town in the middle of nowhere. There is one interesting thing out there; its the first stage of the Black Arrow rocket developed by British and used for commercial purposes. It dropped down many many years back and locals recovery it and displayed in the middle of their community
This wreck is over 40 years old; it was really interesting to see that there is not any rust on the parts. Every bolt and nut has a serial No stamped on it. It looked like everything was made from very expensive materials. I bet that taking this to a scrap yard would get me enough money for another year of riding
Hey Greg, thanks for your message. Yeah we started riding from Houston towards Tiera Del Fuego about 3 and 1/2 years ago. After more than 140 000 km I am currently in Australia which is the sixth and final continent I am visiting on this trip.
We were very lucky with the Darien Gap crossing. About a week before we arrived to Panama a ferry service between Colon and Cartagena started. We managed to cross from Panama to Colombia for only 300 USD (two people and one bike). From what I understand the ferry is no longer in service. I believe there are still small boats that will take you for about 500usd per person and 500usd per bike.
Good luck mate with your journey. South America is totally amazing place for riding! Have fun and stay out of trouble.
The next very interesting town we visited was Marree. I knew there is a nice pub and a little museum devoted to a local postman Tom Kruse. Before we visited the place we found benches and a table and we cooked our lunch.
It did not take long and we had a very interesting visitor. An older lady was walking around and her dog came to us to say hi. Then she came closer and we started talking. Shortly we learned that she was Afghan descent. Not many people know that Afghan people were brought to Australia together with their camels. They knew how to look after the animals and they were expert in this type of environment.
The lady was extremely smart and told us many good stories; on the other side she sounded very bitterly. The main reason was that she felt like the Australian society does nothing to recognize very hard work of her people. It was Afghan people with their camels who could reach very far areas and bring all needed for humans to survive. They definitely played a crucial role for Australian development.
When I asked her to take a photo with us she refused; for some reason she did not feel comfortable to be in front of a camera.
After out lunch we made it to the local pub and the museum.
After seeing the Tom Kruse museum it became more obvious why the lady was very sad. Then I realized that everywhere you look in Australia there are only “westerners" who are remembered and celebrated. Fro the last 3 months in Australia I have not seen anything about Afghan people and their camels. Few times local people (not aboriginals) even told me that camels were originally from Australia and then imported to middle east countries
While we were in Marree we had to have one cheeky pint; lady behind a bar was really nice and gave us special local price......5 aud/pint; I really wished I could stay longer, it tasted sooooo gooood
From Marree we started heading south. It did not take long and we made it to Blinman, which was a little town in the middle of Flinders Ranges. The scenery changed dramatically and I really enjoyed looking at hills and mainly riding roads going through them. It felt like ages since I was in such an environment. We picked a small track and had about two hours of a great fun
Just simple smell of trees was incredible
The whole mountain range is not that big so it took us about a day to ride around. The next day was 24 Dec and we decided to head to Adelaide.
We found a nice hostel and finally had a shower; we both agreed that we needed a bit of comfort for this day and mainly some beers
For a Christmass dinner we went to local Chinese restaurant; it was cheap, it was loads of it and it was quite tasty.....so we were happy
Yeah the arctic air here is brutal. We're seeing nights in the -20 C range and daytime highs still in the negative C's for the spell. I think the US should invest in building a great big fan to blow the arctic air back up north when it heads this way! That shot of the stars came out pretty good.
very creative suggestion with the “great big fan”, i bet you, you would get many supporters for this idea
Our plan was very clear for the Xmas evening; our families in Europe were having Xmas dinner around 6pm, that meant we would have to call them around 3:30 am. We just did not want to wait in the hostel so we put our flip-flops and swimming shorts on (rest of our clothes were filthy dirty and smelly) and went in town to see whether we can sneak into a bar. After few attempts to enter a bar where bouncers just looked us and nodded “no mate, this is not going to work” we found a bar where they did not care and let us in without paying entrance fee. It turned out that it was the busiest bar in town. By 3 am we drunk about the same amount of beers we had for the last two months.......we really needed to flash our heads
On my way back to hostel I called into a dinner where all my family was and it did not go well. After about 5 minutes they realized that I was not in a good shape and finished the call. That really pissed me off and I tried to call them again and again, luckily for everybody my battery fas flat so I had to wait until the next morning. Matthias did not even manage to call his family and ended up sleeping on a chair in a hostel corridor with a phone in his hand.
In the morning we didn't look good; we did not remember whether we connected our loved in Europe the previous night or not. We both felt the beers quite a bit. Everything needs training and drinking is not different.
We had to stay one more night; I used this time to change oil in my bike. After 11 000 km it was about the time to do it
The next day after we recovered we packed our stuff and started heading towards the coast.
From Adelaide we headed towards the coast. Finding good camping spots was a bit more challenging but still possible. We just wanted to take it easy and enjoy a nice weather and green landscape.
We wanted to be in Melbourne for NYE so we had plenty of time to cover over 1000km.
For the last two weeks I had a serous problem to start my bike in the morning. Sometimes it was ok but most of the time Matthias had to take is battery out and help me. I was sick of it and needed to find out the real reason for this. As soon as the battery got little bit of charge it performed well during the whole day.
While going through a small town south of Adelaide I stopped at a Holden dealership and asked them whether I could borrow voltmeter. Guys working there were really nice and let me use one. First I wanted to measure whether the battery is draining electricity out while the bike is not used. I disconnected the plus cable and measured about 0.1 A current which is absolutely normal. I was pleased with that as I did not want to search for excessive current usage on the bike. Then I measured battery voltage without charging and after the bike was running. With running bike I measured 13.7v which is also normal and therefore charging should be ok. All this was pointing towards the battery.
This was pissing me off because the battery I was using was only 3 months old. It was made by MotoBatt, as per their recommendation my bike needs their battery with less amps than KTM recommends. I was pretty stupid to believe it; the bike obviously needs bigger one because it just did not work on my bike.
Guys dot fall into the same trap as I did!!!
Not far away from the dealership I found a small shop selling only batteries and got a correct one which is specified by KTM. It was some kind of asian brand but I could see immediate difference as soon as I pressed the start button. Since that moment I did not have any problem with starting the bike in the morning, even after a very cold nigh.
That night we made it to the coast and started to follow the Princess Highway which turned to be very boring. Also the weather got much worse ; in the morning when we were measuring the battery there was 43 ceslius, when we made it to the coast the temperature dropped to 18 C’s and started raining (all in about 4 hours).
Eventually we found an okish camp spot full of sand flies and experienced the best sunset sky I saw in Australia
The next morning we made it to a small but very beautiful town Beach Port. As soon as we stopped a couple came to us and asked whether they could take photos of our bikes. We started talking and it turned out that Clive who was traveling with his wife along the coast is an expert in programing vehicles ECU’s for one of the biggest car manufacturers. He is also a keen biker and we had very good conversation.
After leaving Beach Port it was another quite boring ride along the coast until we made it to Portland where we found a municipal campground for FREE. It has been a while since I was staying in a municipal campground for free; in south america it was very common that towns had municipal campgrounds. Unfortunately thats not the case in the first world countries.
The next day we finally made it to the Great Ocean Road; first half of the road was very very good. Not many cars with Chinese tourists and and many chances to stop and see variety of the coast. Also the road itself was really good. I was enjoying tight corners and mostly small hills.
One of the famous stop on the GOR is 12 apostles; as soon as we turned into a car park we saw what is the real face of this place. It was hard to find a free spot for parking because there was loads of people, mainly foreigners. It did not take long and a bunch of Indian tourists were asking for a photo.
Photos from the coast turned up quite well
the real picture of the place was like this; it actually looks much better than it was
We did not stay for long and headed towards Aire Crossing campsite which was deep in a rainforest. When we got here it was hard to find a spot because everything was full. I was really impressed by that place. I had no idea that eucalyptus trees could grow that high. With an ease most of the trees were around 80 meters high.
We arrived late but i tried to take some night photos which turned out quite well
The next morning we were welcomed by cold rain; it always sucks to pack your camping gear when it rains, I was not happy
The next day we returned back to the GOR and continued towards Torquay. From that point it was a nightmare traveling on the GOR. Traffic was very heavy and it was hard to overtake. Every corner of the land was filled with a tourist from everywhere around the world.
We made it to Torquay for a lunch and we had a great accompany. It has been a while since I saw Graeme and Katrina last time. Well we met once before and it was in Kathmandu. I was going west to east and their were going the opposite direction. It was great to catch up with them. We exchanged many stories and few hours later we said good bye again. They are returning back to Europe the next month and continue with their RTW ride. Good luck Graeme and Katrina with your travel!!
Looks beautiful, and beautiful places attract people.
100 mA draw with the bike turned off??!?
Not normal. Something is using a watt (~1.2 W) of power. A new 12 Ah battery would be completely exhausted (and in danger of being damaged) in fifteen days of sitting! In just a few days it would be weak to start the bike.
I must have used the wrong units. When I connected my phone and gps to the bike while measuring the current the usage increased about 7 times.
Im not expert in an electric stuff so I checked with guys from the garage and they confirmed it was normal
Ah, whew! He maybe told you 0.1mA, about the limit of his meter.
Glad it's all good!