1. eNewsletter Sign Up

Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BcDano, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Now it is just another 185 km to Warumungu or 3 ways and it is 34 degrees. It is more flat and desolate here and the number of dead Kangaroos does not help.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    We are late in the day and riding west directly into the sun, which is never fun. It was sort of cool to arrive at the Stewart highway at 3 ways where the roads meet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is just another 300 m to the roadhouse. It is staffed like most of the places we have been in the last 4 days by non Australians. Here there are a bunch of rude German students, who laughed when we asked if there was a fridge for the use of the campers. The camp ground is the worst we have seen in OZ. The pool is green and not in a goon way, but cold so we could put our left over [​IMG]s in there to cool. The camp kitchen is tragic and so the guys ate in the cafe. We were woken up by the yelling from the next tent. There was a family there with young kids and the mom had had 6-7 Jim beam and cokes last night. To top it off the camp was littered with spines from some tree and 2 of the expeds now have tiny impossible to see holes in them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  2. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The birds are what usually wakes us at dawn, but they were quiet today. We made up some breakfast and tolerated the few flies not very well and so packed up quickly and fueled up and left going north!

    We have about 990 km to go to Darwin and will try to get over half way today. The roads today are STRAIGHT! it is hot and mind numbing riding. We had a stop at Elliott for lunch of some not too bad steak sandwiches.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We had to rest again at Larrimah at the lazy lizard for a cold drink.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Saso and SmilinJoe like this.
  3. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We arrived to the Mataranka Homestead/thermal spring at 4. This is a nicer camp ground with good showers. They have no kitchens, but have a fun restaurant and live music tonight as well. We set up camp with the occasional kangaroo running past. Then we walked 300 m to the thermal pools for a therapeutic dip. There are quite a few pea hens wandering about, which is a bit weird. In the night it was quiet except for the thundering whomp whomp whomp when the kangaroos stormed thru the tents.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    MaNDan, Saso, phoenixGSA and 4 others like this.
  4. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    It is the final stretch today as we ride up the 412 km to Darwin on another very straight stretch of road.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is also getting hotter and more humid by the km. We fueled up in Mataranka and then rode the 206 km to Pine creek where we stopped for lunch.

    [​IMG]

    We had to get a drink and a snack in Adelaide River and both us and the bikes were on our last legs. We are getting terrible fuel economy with the wind and the 110-115 speed to try to kill the miles ASAP.

    This just left 71 km to get to Noonamah where we planned to meet our host David. He led us home to his amazing place in Palmerston, where Johan from Norway and German from Argentina were also staying. They have been here a week, but their bikes arrived from Dili 1 month ago. They are still waiting for an inspection from Quarantine!!!

    We had a great evening hearing about everyones past adventures. We really appreciated getting first had knowledge of the route and ferries in Indonesia from these guys. Johan has been several times to Indonesia and had great advice on where to go.

    [​IMG]
    MaNDan, Saso, SmilinJoe and 2 others like this.
  5. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We appreciated staying with Dave, but we decided to head into the city center where we could get a 2 bedroom place for a reasonable price, we could cool off from the heat and get caught up on all sorts of “office” work.


    Next update from the freight forwarder is that the boat is delayed!!! We were to drop the bikes in 2 days time for the departure next week. The boat will leave Darwin on time, but because of a mechanical issue it will go direct to Singapore and not stop in Timor.



    The next estimated sailing to Timor is now May 18! AGHHH. We spent 2 days mulling over all the options. There is no way to get a small plane to Timor as none can fit even one of them at a time, we ride to Perth or Adelaide and ship the bikes to Bali and back track, we leave the bikes here and rent a car/van and tour, or what we settled on is take a repositioning free camper “rental” to Perth and then fly Perth to Timor. Making Lemonade!!!

    [​IMG]

    We managed to get a 2 week van return from Darwin to Perth leaving May 4. We will fly to Dili May 20 and hope to get the bikes before the 25th. This has kiboshed our plans for this fall. We will now arrive to North America a month behind schedule and will miss the HU meeting in Nakusp and also Wolfgang who will be in Canada to make his ride to Alaska this summer!
    SmilinJoe likes this.
  6. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We did hook up on HUBB with riders Chantelle and Todd = HU/ADV The slow ride home - Canada to Australia on a pair of CT110 Honda Postie Bikes. We met with them for drinks.

    They are temporarily working and giving in Darwin, but after 5 months they are counting the days until their 1 year contract is up. It is hot and humid here and the Darwin culture is a serious challenge for those with even a slightly open mind.

    The Racial tension is palpable. Here like most of the NT the police obviously target Aboriginal people. They are posted at the drive thru liquor store and clearly only are checking ID of non white patrons. Here you must register your ID to buy liquor and in many places there is a daily limit. At our rental apartment we were not asked to leave a damage deposit, but the Aboriginal couple after us were. We all had paid with credit cards. When I was waiting in the lobby for the guys the Chinese owner asked me if I would like some teas as she had put the kettle on, but the other lady waiting was not offered the same courtesy. It goes on and on. I will say there are a huge number of obviously drunk people laying about all over town, and I can see how one could become jaded.


    What to do in Darwin… Very hot and humid so we decided to walk 2 km in the heat of the day to the museum. (morons). There is lots of evidence of the recent cyclone.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    MaNDan, SmilinJoe and SavannahCapt like this.
  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today we will drop the bikes off at the SDV freight forwarders, which is 18 km from the city at the cargo port. They have agreed to store the bikes for the 2 weeks no charge. We rode out there and parked in the warehouse only to be told we had to go to customs first (in the city) and get the carnet cancelled. (They failed to add this in the email to us of course!)

    This is a crazy system, because once we get the stamp we could technically sell the bike here is Oz and fly out and still collect on the carnet?!?

    Whatever, we did just go to customs, get and stamp, and then rode away without them even asking for proof that we had booked export!

    Then it was back to the SDV to pass away the riding gear, disconnect the batteries, and lock up the luggage.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    MaNDan, Saso, SmilinJoe and 1 other person like this.
  8. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Not sure when we will have internet capable of updating and uploading photos of the road trip in OZ, but here is some good news!


    We arrived to Timor last night and the bikes are arriving on the ship tonight!!




    [​IMG]
    MaNDan, Saso, roadcapDen and 4 others like this.
  9. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,756
    Location:
    NSW, far south coast.
    I remember fondly walking through that gate. How long did you get on your Timor visa? Katrina and I got 30 days, but other overlanders we shared the container
    with got 15. It's totally random. I bet your lasting memory of Timor will be the smiling kids, it is mine. Enjoy you guys.
    Saralou likes this.
  10. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,293
    Location:
    GTA, ON, CDA
    Yaaaa, y'all met up with Posties Chantelle and Todd:photog
    Saralou likes this.
  11. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We got 15 days, but since we got the bikes less than 8 hours after the container left the ship we have lots of time!
  12. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Yes we met them in Darwin, but we also met another Postie Jax (www.postienotes.com.au) at a gas stop on the Nullibor.
    roadcapDen likes this.
  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Finally my WAY TOO LONG video on the ride from Charter Towers to Darwin. :y0!


    TOTim likes this.
  14. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    [​IMG]

    Today we pick up our free “rental” van for repositioning. It will cost us about the same as 3 bikes would on gas for the same distance. We were told to come to the agency at 10 am, but we could not get it until 1230 as there were putting on new tires.


    [​IMG]

    They loaned us a station wagon to do some running around and to get groceries. We finally set out at 130 and headed back down the Stuart Highway to Mataranka Homestead. We managed to miss happy hour by 7 minutes, but at least they had some good live music again.



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    CourtRand, SmilinJoe and Saso like this.
  15. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    3,341
    Location:
    Macedonia, Ohio
    That's an awesome van. I'd love to own something like that!
    Saralou likes this.
  16. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today we have a big day as we hope to get past 3 Ways and hopefully to the Devils’ Marble’s in 668 km. We finally set out at 930 south again.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    SmilinJoe and MadRider777 like this.
  17. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Most of the day we were retracing our steps 547 km to the Three Ways Roadhouse and past millions of termite mounds (oddly dressed up in clothes every so often). From here we had another 121 km south to Devil’s Marbles Conservation area.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    We arrived here just after 430 and there flies were horrific. We got a “site” for $3.30 pp and donned our bug nets. The “marbles” are pretty cool and the light at sunset was stunning. The best part of sunset is the flies disappear.



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We also went back after dinner to get some milky way photos. It is so dark here even right after sunset you can see the Milky way. Usually we have to get up in the middle of the night, but it was clear as day at 830 pm. It is a bit chilly tonight and I think it was around 10 in the night.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Dan got up at 615 for sun rise.


    [​IMG]
  18. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We set out south again 412 km for Alice Springs. We were expecting some Outback back eddy out in the middle of nothingness.

    [​IMG]
    The road is almost straight and the landscape flat, but surprisingly pretty green with small trees and brush. We stopped in at Whycliffe Wells Road house for gas."But Wycliffe Well is not just another roadhouse — it is the self-proclaimed UFO Capital of Australia. According its own brochure, "UFO sightings are so common, that if you stayed up all night looking, you would be considered unlucky not to see anything, rather than lucky to see something”.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    About 30 km north of Alice we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn. You can not stop for long as the flies are terrible . We had to make and eat our lunch inside the van. To go out you have to wear your bug hat or the drive you mad.


    [​IMG]


    Alice is quite a big modernish town and not quite what we expected. They did have a large Coles to stock up and a BWS. The police are stationed here at the liquor store to monitor purchases, but they seem only interested in those who people who are aboriginal!


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For a treat we booked onto a powered site at the G’day mate park. They have huge grass sites and great showers. The flies are not too bad here even in the daytime. In the desert here is 35 in the day time, but often as low as 5 degrees at night. In fact last night they said it was 2 degrees.

    [​IMG]
  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Now for the big rock at the “red center”! South from here it is 204 km to the turn of at Erldunda to see “The Rock” and it really is getting redder in colour. There are also no more acres of termite mounds as it must be to hot and dry here.

    [​IMG]

    On the road to the centre there is views of mount Connor (the rock everyone mistakes for Ayers rock), low bush, and NO wildlife. In 56 km at Mount Ebenezer Roadhouse there is a free camp, free showers, and gas (199/l up from the usual 155). We have 212 km still to go!



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    You can see the Ayers rock from a long distance and we arrived to the view point nearest, but outside the paid area. We decided that 75$ for 3 of us was just too much to get closer to a rock. We checked out the “town”, which is basically a gas station (202/l), some hotels, and a camp ground. It has 220 unpowered sites, and there was not one left when we arrived at 430 pm. We had planned to use the free camp 10 km back down the road, but thought we would check here.

    [​IMG]

    We headed back to the view point for sunset and the relief from the flies!


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The free camp is just off the road 10 km back down the road and we got here just as it was getting dark. In this van we can only go 500 m “off road” in a camp site and plus the road any farther was pretty steep and sandy so we set up camp in the last spot before the sandy hill. From here we walked about 1 km on the road over the next 2 ridges. In the dark we could not see the rock, but we managed to catch it in the Austral photos. We had a good night as it was totally quiet. There was only 2 other vehicles here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Only Dan got up for the sunrise!


    [​IMG]
    SmilinJoe, MaNDan, roadcapDen and 2 others like this.
  20. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We retraced our route to Mount Ebenezer for gas and a free shower! It is another 56 km to the turn off at Erldunda. From here it is 487 km and 5 hours to the next town of Coober Pedy and we will not reach there by dark.


    [​IMG]

    We drove on an almost straight road thru pretty much nothing for 380 km and then pulled off into a free camp 100 km north of Coober Pedy. The ground is red red dirt and it gets EVERYWHERE. There is no one else here and we had tons of dead fall for a nice fire. We had arrived at 530 and had to hide in the van until well after sunset and the flies were HORRIFIC! If you stepped out you had 30 on your face and ears in seconds and they are aggressive. Luckily as soon as the temperature dropped a few degrees they completely disappeared. AHHH the relief. We had another almost cloudless night for star shots. It was getting chilly by 9 pm and so time for bed. The guys stayed up with the fire and a large bottle of scotch!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    SmilinJoe and MaNDan like this.