Photo Gallery https://sitdownman.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/OCR-2016-Mungerannie Slide show https://sitdownman.smugmug.com/photos/swfpopup.mg?AlbumKey=CDTQmQ Tuesday 9/8/16 Day 1 Longreach - Winton - Mayne River Opening odometer 59008kms This year the Off Centre Rally would be held in Mungerannie South Australia. As Mungerannie is only 315 kms south of Birdsville this would be too close to miss. I had been following fellow adventure riders from North Qld on the ADVrider forum so a tentative plan was hatched to meet up with a group of 7 at Winton and continue our way south to the OCR. Graeme KTM 625 (Townsville) Kerry DR650, Phil BMW GS1200, Eamonn DR650, and Rex Husky Terra 650 (Cairns) Tony Triumph Tiger (Weipa) and Paul KTM 1190 (Mt Isa) all met in Hughenden on Monday 8/8/16 before travelling the dirt to Muttaburra then across to Morella and on to Winton where I caught up with them. From there we took the Jundah road as far as Mayne River where we camped for the night. Wednesday 10/8/16 Day 2 Mayne River - Jundah - Windorah - Betoota This morning we headed off for Jundah where a friendly policeman made small talk with me about the finer points of the law and the group split up with three taking the tar to Birdsville whilst the rest of us took in a bit more dirt past Retreat before crossing the Cooper where we ran into another, rider Tony from Nowra, also on his way to the OCR. Refuelling in Windorah we continued on to Deon’s Lookout before pulling up at Browns Creek just off the Betoota bypass Rd for the night. That night the lightning show and thunder was amazing and the dreaded pitter patter of rain had us worried we were going to be drenched but fortunately the storm rolled past with just a few spots to wet the dust. Thursday 11/8/16 Day 3 Betoota – Birdsville A relatively easy day to Birsdville with some of us stopping to view the snake drawing on the hill which according to Graeme “you can’t miss it”. Unfortunately none of us stopped to pick up the shoe that we saw on the road much to Kerrys dismay as he found that it was his that had fallen off on the way . After shelling out $25 Kerry was the proud owner of a new pair of Big Red thongs. A trip to Birdsville would not be complete without partaking a pie or pastry from the Birdsville Bakery and a drink or two at the Birdsville Hotel . Phil took the opportunity to ride out to Big Red and found the climb easy after the rain had made the sand a lot firmer under foot. We all enjoyed our first shower for a couple of days and feeling refreshed and smelling better enjoyed a good meal at the Birdsville Hotel. It was apparent that there were a number of other riding groups in the area most notably the 2016 Scrapheap Riders and those participating in the 2016 GAR - Great Adventure Ride. Friday 12/8/16 Day 4 Birdsville – Mungerannie It was onwards and southward today with a direct run along the Birdsville track and into South Australia before arriving at Mungerannie. When we arrived we found that a lot of riders already there and all of the better camping spots had been nabbed. With nothing more for it we pitched our camp in the prickles and relatively open area adjacent to a small grove of trees and in between the ring road. Saturday 13/8/16 Day 5 Mungerannie More and more rider rolled in today whilst we had an easy day collecting some firewood for our campfire that night and enjoying a swim in the hot pool fed form an underground bore. It was great to see the number of riders here and estimated numbers were around the 250. I also caught up with Marty, Alex and Rod all of whom I travelled with for OCR 2012 to Bramwell. That night was the traditional auctioning of the pudding with all proceeds to the RFDS and announcement of the next OCR which would be in Forrest WA in 2018. It was also a night for much drinking a bullsh..ing/talking and when the pub finally closed many continued to party on in small groups all over the camp ground. Sunday 14/8/16 Day 6 Mungarennie – Maree – Lyndhurst – Parachilna – Angorichna Village – Blinman We packed our gear and headed further south stopping briefly at the site of the barge MV Tom Brennan which in 1949 was used to transport people and supplies across the cooper during flooding. Refuelling bikes and bodies at Maree we continued on to the Farina Ruins past Leigh Creek and through the Flinders Ranges to Angorichna Village where we refuelled once again before heading for our overnight stop – Blinman. Upon arriving Paul managed to grab the only room available at the Hotel and the whilst not having anything available for us the lady at the store who stayed open to provide us with a hot drink and a snack rang Alpana Station http://alpanastation.com/ who had camp sites available and were only 5 kms from town. At Alpana we quickly set up our tents and scrubbed off the days dirt in the ensuite before heading back into Blinman for a great meal at the Blinman Hotel. Prior to heading to town we gathered the firewood from the pile provided by the owners in anticipation of a warm fire later in the night. Monday 15/8/16 Day 7 Blinman – Arkaroola – Cameron Corner Overnight the mercury plummeted and we woke in the morning to chattering teeth and ice on the bikes and tents. It was today we said good bye to Phil as he took the direct route to Adelaide whilst the remainder (now 7) headed off to the Strzelecki Track and on to Cameron Corner. It was on the Strzelecki that Tony put the big Tiger down in a deep sandy corner fortunately with minimal damage to both bike and rider. Stopping briefly at the ?? Bore I managed to snap a photo or two of a Dingo. By the time we made it to the Cameron Corner turn off the day was getting on which made the roller coaster ride over the dunes all the more interesting as shadows blanketed the downhill side opposite the setting sun. The meal that night and breakkie the next morning was excellent and the accommodation whilst donga style was clean and comfortable. Tuesday 16/8/16 Day 8 Cameron Corner – Noccundra – Thargomindah – Toompine After breakfast and refuelling the bikes we posed for the obligatory photos at the “corner” before hitting the road for Thargomindah stopping in Noccunndra for lunch and to top up fuel. Upon reaching Thargomindah the group once again split up with Rex and Tony heading east towards with the remaining 5 of us travelling north to Toompine where we stopped for the night. Whilst not big on the map Toompine is certainly big on hospitality and our hosts Dogga and Robyn Dare provided great service and meals at the Toompine Pub http://www.toompinepub.com.au/ where we once again stayed in donga style accommodation – “Toompine Terraces”. Prices were reasonable and whilst amenities were basic the rooms and beds were clean and comfortable and the service and food excellent. Wednesday 17/8/16 Day 9 Toompine – Quilpie –Adavale –Blackall – Longreach closing odometer 62524 The sunrise provided a great start to the morning as did the big breakfast and a cappuccino. Overnight showers had done little more than lay a bit of dust so it was onwards to Quilpie where we refuelled before continuing on to Blackall via Adavale. The ranges before Blackall provided us with an opportunity to stop for a few scenic pictures before regrouping at Blackall where once again our little group split up. The FNQ boys would continue on towards Jericho whilst Paul and I would slab it to Longreach where Paul would overnight before continuing homewards to the Isa. I had travelled 3516 over the last 9 days 80% of which was dirt, saw some new country, revisited some places I had been before, met a new group of fellow adventure riders, caught up with others who I had travelled with previously, travelled along the famous Birdsville and Strzlecki Tracks, saw the outback green from the recent rain, experienced some great outback hospitality and most of all had a great time.