We arrived in New Castle at about 14:00. We registered and then called Wombat, following the direction to the reserved space at the campground. Pitched our tent and had a look around.
This was actually Julie’s birthday, so in the evening we walked to a nice pub to get some food. Unfortunately the pub didn’t have any meals on Mondays. So off we walked a bit further (miles and miles) to get to the RSL. The food and beer were great, but just before we left we heard a pounding noise on the roof. John was brave enough to have a look outside, and it turned out to be rain, lots of it.
After we all finished our meal we went out, waited for 10 minutes and decided that the rain wasn’t easing. So Wombat organised a big taxi which didn’t come, in response Val ordered 2 taxis. They came and we all got home via Maccas for a night coffee, but dry.
John got a phone call that his tent has given in to the rain. When we arrived at the site, it was only one side that has collapsed, the rest was fine. We temporarily fixed it. Wombats and our tent leaked a bit at the front zipper, but the sleeping parts were dry.
Today we went on a Tour with Wombat, Val, John and Julie. We went to the wetlands, then the aircraft museum/base, which is where Wombats used to work.
Tried to find a spot to swim in the ocean, but the first one was full of green seaweed. We moved to the second beach, which was a little better but had still lots of seaweed. However we went into the water anyway.
Got up to see the sun rise (that was early). After we stopped shivering, we got back to the room, packed, had breaky (bacon and eggs) and left at about 9:00. That’s really early for us. I was aiming for Adelaide that day, but Sigrid came up with the idea to take a picture from emus, goats, sheep and cattle that we would find crossing the road, as well as some ponds that formed during the last rain. So progress was a bit slower, but we took nice pictures. Stopped in Broken Hill to buy some magnetic oil sump plugs. The Suzuki dealer knew what I was talking about, but he didn’t have it. We went to the Information office to find out if they have maps about dirt roads in S.A. They didn’t but they had pamphlets that showed some unsealed roads. So we settled for them and bought some fridge magnets as gifts, went to a gallery to purchase some more souvenirs before heading off to Burra. On the way we found some police escorting 50 or so Finks. We had a small break at a road house, Sigrid had a nap and then we did some bike maintenance. We oiled both chains and removed the access oil from both air filter outlets, all by ourselves. We arrived in Burra just before sun set. The caravan park didn’t have any cabins, the historic accommodation where pretty pricey, so we settled for pub accommodation. Arriving at the pub, we got the room key but the room had not been cleaned.
Got another room and when I put down all the luggage that we brought up, Sigrid noticed something fall from my ear. My golden computer-mouse earring was missing, and the lock had just fallen to the ground. So we jumped on the bike and traced back our steps. Sigrid found my earring in front of the camp ground office. We went back happy, had a nice dinner and went up to our room to update this blog.
The plan is to do ~100km of dirt road and then head home.
Talked to the other couples on the campground about the noisy night, they said they heard it as well and were thinking on us. We talked to an older couple that traveled around Australia in a bus, and they encouraged us to travel as long we can. After all that talking and another bath, we left the campground relatively late.
In Pilliga we enquired about the road condition at the police station (well we passed the house of the police man) The Policeman told us that the dirt road to Junction would be ok but couldn’t tell us more about the dirt road to White Cliff. Went into a coffee shop, had a coffee and Sigrid discovered that a screw on my old pair of glasses was missing. We fixed it with a bit of bread wire from the shop assistant.
First 32Km of dirt road with the bikes fully loaded. Road was graded but some sand patches were there. After a couple of kilometres I remembered to let the tyre pressure down, which improved the stability of the bike quite a bit. We were just happy that we managed the road without dropping the bike. In Burke we went to the police station, since we couldn’t find the information office. The police woman described the direction to the information office, but she realized as well that it was past 17:00, so the office would be closed. So we asked her about the dirt road to white cliff, and she confirmed that it was closed. Thus the only way was via Corba.
We left the police station, filled up and set off to Corba (150km). It was raining on the way, and we saw an Emu, goats, sheep and kangaroos on the road, so we took it really easy. In Corba we looked for a Motel, but we couldn’t find anything for under 100A$ (125A$/night). So Sigrid found the camp ground and we book a carbine with en suite. On the way to the lunch, we discovered that Sigrid’s back foot peg couldn’t be folded out any more, so I dismantled the foot peg and lost the spring and ball on the ground (in my defence, the ground was fine crushed stones). We searched with the torch but could only recover the spring. We headed to dinner at the RSL, but they just closed the kitchen 5 minutes before we arrived. So we went into a pub instead and had a great meal.
Dropped the bike of at Vince Strange Motorcycles, the work shop manager was a German guy names Günter.
He rode himself (a KTM) and he suggested that we should go to White Cliffs via the dirt road, as it would be a good training for us and not too hard. He couldn’t promise that the bike would be ready until that night, so went back and I had a look how to get to White Cliffs. We also wanted to have a look at the Wine Shanty which the pub owner suggested. Got a phone call around 16:00 that the bike was ready. When we picked the bike up, a mechanic showed me how to tension my chain, I was over the moon.
On the way back, I notice a noise coming from the chain, and it was clear that the chain was not evenly lengthened. Nothing I could do about it that evening, so we went grocery shopping and had a nice Thai meal.
Rain on the way to Sydney, break on the big Moreno ram.
Arrived afternoon, got lost, went to McDonald, had a coffee and googled for the direction (a GPS would be really great). Arrived at the youth hostel, put our cloth into a room, had a swim and met with Andrea and Anne. Had dinner and a couple of Guinness and went home after that.