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Thread: AUSTRALIA 2019/2020

  1. #17
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    Woke nice and early on day two only to find a message on my phone that the security deposit for the bike hire has been rejected by the bank. Here begins a long and fruitless phone call with my bank (HSBC if you want to know). First they didn’t know I was on holiday despite telling them online as your supposed to. Then get told there is nothing they can do as it is night there but the best suggestion they had was to cancel my credit card and issue a new one which I would get in 10 days. I asked if they were going to fly somebody to outback Australia to give it to me and was met by stony silence by the “helpdesk” guy. The bank was totally fucking useless with no idea about anything, later I found out this had happened to a friend with the same bank. Managed to get around the problem with the bike hire company but meant I left for Freemantle later than I wanted.

    Walked into the centre of Perth and hopped on a very clean train to Freemantle for a look at the old prison, walk around the town and generally mooch around before tomorrows start to the big ride. Not a bad place but I wouldn’t want to live there.
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  2. #18
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    Packed the gear and headed to the train station to get down to Armadale to the south of Perth where I was met at the station by Mark from BikeRoundOz who drove me to his house which doubles as the pick up point. Here I was introduced to my steed for the next 2 weeks, a well used BMW F700GS. It was in good condition and a lot cheaper to hire a “high mileage” bike than a brand new one. Don’t need the latest bike to have an adventure on, and anyway if I drop it they might not notice the extra scratches………………………more on this later.

    Went over the bike and did the paperwork before packing and leaving some gear with Mike, intended to travel light up north. Strapped on the extra fuel tank as in places it would be touch and go if the bike had the range between petrol stations.

    Camelbak filled and everything sorted and off I headed for the first leg up to The Old Convent Guest House in Dalwallinu, my bed for the night only 170 miles away but enough for day one given I was leaving around 11:00 am. Decent enough place so dropped gear, shower and head to the pub for dinner and beer.
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  3. #19
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    The Old Convent Guest House in Dalwallinu and the inside of the pub. As you can see from before the roads were very busy.
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  4. #20
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    I'm off to Oz next month, but not on a bike.

    Just to check - is everything still on fire?
    There can only be 11 and I'm one.

    My pics

  5. #21
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    The East coast is getting it bad still, I used this site to keep track of the fires and adjust the route if needed. Pretty much from Cairns to short of Melbourne has fires with more scattered throughout the country.

    https://myfirewatch.landgate.wa.gov.au/map.html

    Where you headed ?

  6. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by grez View Post
    The East coast is getting it bad still, I used this site to keep track of the fires and adjust the route if needed. Pretty much from Cairns to short of Melbourne has fires with more scattered throughout the country.

    https://myfirewatch.landgate.wa.gov.au/map.html

    Where you headed ?
    Adelaide, Barossa, Flinders, Byron Bay, Perth, Margaret River.

    Via Vietnam.
    There can only be 11 and I'm one.

    My pics

  7. #23
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    If you get the chance Albany is a nice little town with a great ANZAC museum and south of Margaret River is Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, worth a visit. Caves Road (Tourist Road 250) leads up to Margaret River and on the north Coast is Busselton with a cool jetty, if you are driving in that area.

  8. #24
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    Next stop Meekatharra, a 320 mile jaunt with a fuel stop in the middle. Only fuel to be had in Dalwallinu was 91 octane and the bike is supposed to run on 98, what could possibly go wrong !

    Filled up and headed off to mount Magnet up the Northern Highway and the temperature rose and the landscape became more barren. Then short of Mount Magnet the bike started to loose power and kangaroo (see, Australian reference). Made Mount Magnet and filled up with 91 as its all they had and set off again keeping an eye out for wildlife and road trains.

    Short of Meekatharra and the bike was kangarooing again when I pulled into the fuel station. Turns out that when the tank is half empty the fuel pump is above the petrol line and gets hot and begins to cut out. Again only fuel available is 91 so in it goes. Added some extra fuel tanks as I wanted to keep the tank full and fuel consumption increased with the low grade petrol, this came back to bite me in the ass.

    Bed for the night was the Commercial Hotel, the motel behind is basic but has a bed, en-suite and tv so what more do you want. Chain lubed and oil checked it was time to wander through the town, there goes 10 mins the towns look a lot bigger on the map, and then into the hotel for dinner, beer and a chat to the truckers and miners.
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  9. #25
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    The road trains a big but the drivers are very good. Give you clear signals when it is safe to pass them and if you are going slow they pass with plenty of room.
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  10. #26
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    Bike packed and the next long day, just under 400 miles, up to the Auski Roadhouse near Karijini National Park. The temperature was in the mid 30’s and the road deserted. Bought a couple of extra fuel cans as the consumption was getting a bit high and I wanted to have enough in reserve in case a petrol station was out of fuel. Road was more empty desert and progress good until the fueling issue again.

    Met an interesting trucker who showed me pictures of the vintage bikes he and his mates took to England for a rally years ago, never know who you will meet. The cattle truck is a double layer and when loaded weighs in at 160 tonnes !

    Stopped about an hour from my destination to top up the tank and discovered one of the spare caps had a damage seal on the filler cap and petrol had leaked over my luggage and over me, soaking my right hip. Next mistake was to try to wash it off with some water from my camelback, only succeeded in making the burn hurt more so no option but to suck it up and ride for an hour to the roadhouse.

    Walked in and was greeted by two girls asking what the petrol smell was…..me. They didn’t have skin cream but got some burn cream from the first aid kit and off I want to shower fully clothed to wash the petrol out. Rooms in roadhouses are generally very basic but you get the essentials.

    Dinner was chatting to truckers in the “restaurant” and a few bears before turning in for an early night as I had the ride to the national park in the morning. Went to check out in the morning and the girls had found a sealed contained and filled it with burn cream for me to take on my travels, got to love Australians always helpful.
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  11. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatdog View Post
    Wave Rock is mind boggling.
    There's a reasonably good motel nearby which is surrounded by salt lakes and encrusted vegetation - petrified trees etc. Early morning colours are photogenic.

    Not much else there but the scenery is stunning.
    Love the way crows sound in OZ.


    Like babies crying lol

  12. #28
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    Next day was another glorious sunny one and I headed off Karijini National Park after filling up as there is no petrol in the park. Only a short 50 mile ride on tarmac to Dales George. Helmet and jacket secured to bike and off I went for a few hours walking along the top of the George and then down into it and along the bottom. There are pools at each end, one for the men and one for the women. The women would leave food for the men at their pool and then leave so they could bathe in peace, these Aboriginal’s got things right. The heat rose and it was a lot harder going than I thought. Wandering along the bottom the wildlife came out to play.

    After a few hours I was knackered and headed to the camp site, the road is graded but after 500 yards it soon became apparent the bike and the tyres were not going to survive 20 miles of gravel strewn washboard road. The tyres were Mitas Terra Force which were billed as 70/30 by the hire company but 90/10 by Mitas which is closer, there was no grip for steering over the marbles that made up the surface. Discretion being the better part of valour, we will come back to this point later, I opted to take the longer road route that only needed a few miles of track at the end.

    Arrived late afternoon at the camp site and retired to my luxury tent, glamping whatever next, did the bike maintenance, showered and headed to the restraint for beer and food before retiring to watch a huge thunderstorm and enjoy the rain. Wondered what the road out would be like but no point in worrying as I had to leave in the morning come what may.
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  13. #29
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    A few more pictures in the park, no idea what the lizard was but it scared the crap out of me when it ran out. The blue stuff on the rock is raw asbestos, lots of warning signs not to disturb it around the place but still people want to touch.
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  14. #30
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    Enjoying this

  15. #31
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    Nicely done Chris, enjoying your piccies & write up....your trips are always an 'adventure'
    Bounce

  16. #32
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    After the thunderstorms and a night glamping, can’t believe I have stooped so low, it was the great schlep across to Exmouth on the coast. This was the one that was definitely touch and go regarding fuel so the extra tanks would come in handy. First stop after navigating the marbles was the little town of Tom Price, 50 miles from the camp site. Turns out only 91 octane again so mixed with the 98 from the spare tanks and on I went to Paraburdoo a further 50 miles to top off all the tanks before heading out some 170 miles to the Nanutarra Roadhouse on the North West Coastal Highway, number 1. I know some of you are thinking the bike can easily go more than 170 miles but the next fuel after that is 170 miles so the golden rule is fill up when you can as the next fuel stop might not have any fuel !

    Lunch at the Roadhouse was met with the usual comments of “are you crazy, your on your own, aren’t you scared of breaking down” and the less common “respect”. Met a German couple in a 4 x 4 who were having cooling issues, every 30 miles or so they needed to fill up the radiator. They were somewhat worried when I told them there was nothing for 170 miles, no trees, no shelter. I managed well over a hour before seeing another vehicle. From the Roadhouse I had great directions, go 70 miles and turn right, go 50 miles to the end of the road and turn right, go 55 miles and you are there. You can’t really go wrong as there is only 1 road.

    Rolling into Exmouth there are huge termite mounds in the desert next to the road. Apparently they are very solid so going off road and hitting one is a very bad idea. Made the town and was greeted by an emu in the caravan park. Usual routine of unloading and maintaining the bike (oil, chain, water etc) then a shower and off to town and a nice pub with locally brewed beer for dinner.
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