Mid-Life Blues; Lets Go Riding, first up Australia.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Happyidiot, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    Great times, worth a bit of dirt roads :clap
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  2. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Has been worth the visit to Lawn Hill, phone reception is a bit painful, I reread my last RR back at the tent last night, which I did ad hoc & noticed 4 errors. Only phone signal is near the Adel Reception area.

    After a cooked breaky it's now time to pack up & get moving again.

    Great to hear you are finding time to get out on your bike MaverickAus. Even small 1000km (!) rides are an adventure.
    Will
  3. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    8/09/17 Friday, Adel Grove (Lawn Hill) to Camooweal....285kms (150kms of very rough gravel roads). Last full day in Queensland.

    Our day started off great with a cooked breaky at the Adel Gove Restaurant. It was a little pricey at $20 per head but since it was self serve bistro style we went for double helpings, knowing there would be no lunch today. (We are nearly out of food supplies).

    So next up we pack our gear, mount up & as I push the Tenere off it's centre stand it sort of falls into a hole and I have a very close "dropping it" situation. Remember, quite a few fellow campers are watching our departure. Somehow my scrawny left leg manages to just hold everything together....phew that would have made for a bad start :-)

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    This was actually a reasonable section, turned out to be the longest, roughest dirt/gravel road section Jen & I have ever ridden.

    Rough dirt roads, 4 water crossing, 2 of which were on slimey, slippery concrete causeways, rocks the size of bricks strewn along the track. Wallabies, Emus & Wedge Tail Eagles to dodge, made for an interesting & challenging 3.5 hour ride along 150kms of dirt track.

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    The photo doesn't really do the situation justice. For us this was a hairy crossing. Then I walked back & rode Jenny's Honda through.

    We took it extra easy, any mishap out here is at best expensive & at worst a show stopper. Jenny did exceptionally well. Hard to believe she has only been riding now for 4 years. I did ride her bike across the Gregory river crossing, but hey that's fair enough. It was 40 to 50cm deep, 100mtrs across and flowing very strongly. The concrete causeway was very slippery. So I rode her bike across, she did conquer the other crossings.

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    At the next crossing Jenny has a go & no problems.

    The final 135kms to Camooweal was on a bitumen surface, so after a brief stop to inflate our tyres it was all easy 110km/h stuff, seeing us arriving at 3pm.

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    Back on the Black Top & time to reinflate the tyres.

    We have booked into the Camooweal CV Park run by the nearby Pub. Tomorrow we cross into the Northern Territory !
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  4. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Map Details:
    Day 7 (117), Monday 4th Sept. to Day 11 (121), Friday 8th Sept. 5 days, 926kms. (195kms on gravel/dirt roads)
    Normanton-Karumba-Gregory Downs-Adel Grove (Lawn Hill)-Camooweal.

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  5. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    This series of Dakar spills highlights how slick algae on concrete can be.....
    JJ
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  6. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Very entertaining Just Jeff, thanks. Gee that forth rider went down hard. I was told by a Bloke back in Normanton that we wouldn't be able to get through on the tyres we are running. My ass was tweaking on the Gregory River crossing with the strong current....
    Best I don't let Jenny watch this :-)

    Will
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  7. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    The 5th guy knew what was going on :y0!
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  8. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Yea
    Yeah he had my style of riding without the 5 minutes of procrastinating.
  9. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Saturday 9/09/17 , Day 12 of Part 2 (122 of Aus/NZ Tour). Camooweal to Barkly Homestead/Roadhouse.
    Happyidiots are full Outback Now. 270kms.

    Ok ADVRiders team wiljen dropped the ball today....sorry. After 9 nights of tenting we decided to "get a room" I know Jenny & I are friends & travel companions but hey we are also married & have needs so give us a break :-)

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    Right here right now, home for the night at Barkly Roadhouse NT. A bed so, so good !

    Needs met now lets get on with the RR.

    We spent the morning talking to Truckies at Camooweal CV Park who were placed on standby due to a safety issues, outside of their control. Great bunch of Blokes doing a tough job that the general public don't even remotely comprehend.

    Yeah I have a soft spot for them, I drove a small truck once (24 Tonne GCM) for a few years around Perth. I also have unloaded/loaded 100's of Roadtrains while working on Mine Sites.

    Everyone/Everything is out to get you, or rip you off....I've never driven anything like these Big Boys are driving. Their Multi-Combination Semis are pulling 3 trailers at lengths of 57 meters. They do keep this country moving. Thank you guys from us !

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    Our second last Border Crossing for this tour, next one will be in about 2 weeks. Crossing back into our Home State, WA.

    Happyidiots were one of the last to leave the Park, we didn't have far to go & all day to get there. Not to mention, once you enter the Northern Territory the speed limit increases from 100km/h to 130km/h.....hallelujah Bike travelling pilgrims !

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    130km/h (81mp/h)...Time to open up the throttle ! There is a 300km section on the Stuart Hwy between Alice Springs and Ali Curung that is "Open" (ie Go for it, but Drive to the conditions) with plans to continue it through to Katherine once the road is upgraded.

    After a quick ride while listening to our music on our phones via Bluetooth, riding along a surreal landscape along Highway 66. Commonly known as the Barkly Highway we arrive at the Barkly Roadhouse, topped up with some 95RON at $1.89 per litre (expensive in Oz) .

    Book a room & shared some beers with fellow travellers, hussle some Pool (nice shot sinking that Black 8 ball, Jen) & just enjoy all the delights that a genuine Australian Outback Roadhouse has to offer. Had similar experiences at Nullarbor Roadhouse, Overlander Roadhouse & numerous others, during our various Australian trips.

    If you travel Oz it's worth spending some coin and experiencing these little Aussie icons stuck in the middle of nowhere. Don't get sucked into the "they cost to much mentality" and just blowing past them to camp in some desolate bush camp by yourself.

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    We start our day with two choices, 270kms to Barkly or 670kms to Heart Break. I think you know how Happyidiots roll now :-) Barkly it is.

    This means we have entered the last State/Territory on mainland Australia on our bikes, to repeat we have ridden our own Bikes in every State/Territory (there are 7 on the Mainland).. wow.

    Sorry Tassie maybe another time. Tomorrow we head north, nothing but scrub for 400kms, our Bikes have a range of 450kms & we will have a South Easterly assisting us. This time tomorrow will see the Happyidiots sucking beers at the Heart Break Hotel, NT.
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  10. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    :clap
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  11. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    Loving the pictures guys! Nice to know that there is the odd oasis out there and not just miles and miles of dirt, snakes and crocodiles!
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  12. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    It wouldn't work in a strong current but in other cases I would be tempted to throw a bunch of sand on an algae covered concrete slab to enhance the traction. Sand works well on ice in the winter it should help on algae the same way.
    JJ
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  13. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    [​IMG]
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  14. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    [​IMG]
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  15. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Oldbeer it is seeming like miles of vast plains at the moment. There are a lot of gems around if you hunt them out. Will
  16. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    I agree JJ, Sand would help. Check out this GoPro pic of me taking Jenny's Honda across the Gregory River, you can see the current is fairly moving.

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    Crossing Gregory River, Qld, the algae covered concrete causeway was slippery, especially on 70/30 tyres. Note the flow rate.

    When I finally have some spare time I'll do up a Vlog for YouTube, it's just to time consuming & data sucking when you are on the road.
    Will
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  17. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    M
    I must confess MaverickAus, I bought a sticker as well :-)
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  18. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Yes you have to snap those Border Crossing in Oz, they are few & far between. Will

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  19. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Just Basic RR notes for the last couple of days. Right now we are at Bitter Springs, Caravan Park close to Mataranka. Starting to warm up here, it reached 37C today.

    DAY 13 (123), Sun, 10/09, Barkly R/H to Cape Crawford (along Hwy 11, Tablelands Hwy) 390kms, 35C S/E Wind.

    Jenny & I enjoyed our stay at Barkly Roadhouse, the night off from the tent was welcomed as well. There really wasn't much along the Tablelands Highway, just open plains & grazing cattle. The long single lane ribbon of black stuff was on the rough side but we managed to maintain 90-100km/h most of the way. There was hardly any traffic.

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    Looks like Cattle up ahead Jen, Tablelands Highway. Not much out here.

    As you get closer to Cape Crawford (Heartbreak Hotel) the vegetation & scenery gets a bit more interesting as you pass through a small Hill Range.

    We filled up with 91RON Petrol at Heartbreak, the S10 took 17.5L & the CB500X 13L so both bikes still had up to 100kms range left in the tanks.

    Our other issue is we are now out of food, which means we are eating plastic, well using the Credit Card to purchase expensive Roadhouse meals, take-aways & beers.

    DAY 14 (124), Mon, 11/09, Cape Crawford (Heartbreak) to Maratanka (Bitter Springs CV PK's), 485kms, via Carpentaria Hwy & Stuart Hwy.

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    Time to break camp & clear out of the Heartbreak Hotel, I know they broke my wallet !

    Jenny & I are getting up earlier now, usually around 7am . This equates to a reasonable departure time of 8.30am. We say goodbye to our fellow travellers, all camped close to us & tackle the 270km stretch of Carpentaria Highway to the Stuart Highway. The road is better then yesterday, but still generally just single lane bitumen.

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    While we stopped on the Carpentaria Hwy to take a photo, Pat & Lyn who were camped next to us at Heartbreak pass by in there mega-rig. Pat says they use about 21 litres of diesel per 100kms. Which I think isn't bad considering the size/weight of their combo.

    We fuelled up at the Hi Way Roadhouse once we reached the Stuart Hwy, the petrol was over 30cpl cheaper then anything we had seen since Normanton, Qld.

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    Lunch Stop at the Daly Waters Pub, the Barra Burger was ace.

    Then it was a short ride to the Famous, Daly Waters Pub to have a Barra Burger. It was actually pretty bloody good ! After our feed we took to the Stuart Hwy in earnest. Maintaining a steady 120km/h plus, which Jen wasn't overly happy about.

    I just wanted to get to Mataranka & park up for the day. Once at Mataranka we bought some food & beer at the local Grocery Store , then headed out to the Mataranka Resort Camp Ground. In Reception I was informed that there was no camp kitchen & we would be putting our tent up in a dust bowl.

    I decided to give it a miss, I think the place & its thermal hot springs may have been loved to death. Our plan B was Bitter Springs on the northern end of Mataranka township, this place turned out to be heaps better.

    Tomorrow we will check out the nearby Thermal Spring, then it's a short ride up to Katherine, where we will spend a couple of nights in a Cabin. Jen & I have some urgent business to attend to, the sort that makes money & the 12th/13th are our D Day to get it finalised.

    Back soon, phone reception & WiFi should improve now as we head towards Darwin.
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  20. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Tuesday 12th of September, Bitter Springs Caravan Park, near Mataranka, Northern Territory.

    Jenny & I got up at a early enough time, rolled up our bedding, looked at each other and both said at the same time. "WTF it's nice here let's stay a second night". Business can & will wait until tomorrow.

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    Nice shady camp site at Bitter Springs CV Park.

    We actually did do a bit of business, fired off emails to the Realestate Agent, booked bike services in Darwin, booked accommodation in Katherine & Darwin. Even caught up on the laundry.

    Next order of business, we walked the kilometre to Bitter Springs swimming hole & enjoyed a nice swim in the Thermal Pool. It was Goldilocks temperature, not to hot, not to cold....just right. We swam about 150-200mtrs with the current, hopped out and walked back to start.

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    A short walk from where we are camped is The Bitter Springs, Thermal Pool on the Little Roper River.

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    Working on my sun tan. Another 35C day !

    Later I ducked into Mataranka town to pick up some supplies & we spent the afternoon relaxing under the tree & palm canopy while watching wallabies & birds. Pretty good day really :-)

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    Often if we sit quietly a "Pretty Face" Wallaby will hop past.
    .
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