To get Simon ready to look after our house he needs to be able to rent out his. To achieve a good rental price and attract the right kind of tennant we did some renovations with him. It was a massive weekend starting on Thursday – Australia day – and going on until Sunday night.
But the result was quite good! Still some more work required, but this time it will be outside.
It appears to be quite difficult to register a bike in the US.
New York and New Jersey want at least 6 points of ID. That’s where we failed due to our documents obviously being Australian and not from the US . Of course that’s not mentioned on any of the DVM Websites… Grrrr…
We were originally meant to stay in Springtown, but due to a mix-up we all of a sudden did not have any accommodation. After some mad reorganizing on the part of the people in Springtown (great work!) we travelled to Mt Pleasant. We ended up staying at the Mt Pleasant hotel in a simple room. There we had nice dinner at the pub. To make up for the mix-up we got very generous breakfast for the next morning.
At night I discovered that while I brought the laptop I forgot the power supply! Bjoern to the rescue! We can charge the laptop with my bike with the connectors Bjoern brought! Success! So , everything was well until the next morning. Time for sleep! 🙂
Day 2: The simple room did not have any cooking facilities, but it didn’t matter. We had very nice fruit with a coffee in the morning and got ready to go. Loaded up and rugged up, we’re ready to go! Last thing- start the engine!
Whooops … not a single spin from the starter motor. For some strange reason the battery was completely flat…
OK no Problem, out comes another gadget Bjoern built- trickle charging my bike from his battery. That should work… another coffee and 15 min later, try again.
Bugger… only a faint humming from the battery. So, while the trickle charging is working it will probably take a while… Meanwhile we were checking out other options.
I saw a motorbike shop in town, let’s go there and see if he can help! Off we go to arrive in front of the shop – they had a very polite sign up saying
“we are on xmas holidays until next Monday”
So we’re on our way back to the bike for another try. Once more, no success. While the alternator made half a turn, it wasn’t quite enough. So we asked people in the neighboring room if anyone had a jumper lead – again with no success. Even the very helpful staff cleaning the rooms could not help us. But she came up with the information that there is a petrol station on the other side of town. She even offered to drive us there, but we were ready for a walk. So off we went to find the petrol station. When we got there it appeared as though it was stuck in time – looking like a petrol station out of an old movie set with an attached garage.
It looked soo crammed but the owner knew were everything was and – for a deposit – leant us his jumper lead. Back we walked. We tried to start the bike again, still no success. So now we are attempting to get the bike started with the jumper lead. That means seats off…. Easier said than done- while the seat of my bike came off, no worries,
Bjoern’s seat was a different matter.
The nut on the right hand side was so tight that the thin spanner that comes with the Suzuki toolkit was not strong enough and bent open, damaging the head of the screw in the process. The lady from the pub came to the rescue again. She said her partner is also into bikes and he would have all sorts of tools. After a short phone call and an even shorter wait he arrives with a REAL ring spanner and the screw comes off in no time. From there it was easy, connect the terminals of the battery and in no time my bike was started, making its formidable thumping noises again
After a big thank you to our rescuers we were finally off, but we did not dare to go off roads . With my history I would have dropped the bike on the dirt and then we would not have gotten it started again. So we went via the main road and only a short ride to Tanunda, our final destination for this little trip. We stayed in a very nice cottage with access to a pool and a beautiful Spa. Luck would have it that the other available cottages were not booked at this time so we had this all for ourselves!
We went for a short trip to town to get a few supplies like oysters, Champaign and BBQ meat and settled in 🙂
Today we were lazing about, alternating between Spa, Pool, and lounge – live can be hard 🙂
Bjoern did however fix the screen door and I tried out the laptop in conjunction with the mobile as proof of concept and found out that Simon sent us a nice e-card and Gaby had booked the accommodation in NY for us! Progress! Real Progress!
We talked about the upcoming adventure and how we would organise luggage. What to send and what to take on board of the airplane are still contentious issues.
At night we walked for a nice meal to The Clubhouse in Tanunda. It was a balmy night, very pleasant after the hot day.
Late start, some more swimming, spa and discussions, testing out how we could charge the laptop during the drive…. Only if we drill a hole into the top box… not quite ideal… More thinking to be done.
Another short trip to town to get some pasta that will help us to use the leftover from the BBQ and provide a nice dinner
Day 5: Over already?! Cant’ be !
But it is .. but not before a nice cooked breakfast, courtesy of Bjoern – Ok I’m spoiled
We packed up and left as it started to drizzle. OK, a question dear reader: When does drizzle become rain? At which point does it warrant a stop and put on the wet weather gear?
Too late for me- too early for Bjoern – but we could syncronise due to our new beatiful communications equipment ! We stopped along the way and put the wet weather gear on and slowly made our way to Summertown to visit Charles and Joanne. We got warmed up by their coffee and a nice chat. Bjoern had a niggling issue with one of the screws on my luggage box- he could not fit the taps. Charles gave him the great advice to use copper paste and together they fixed it there on the spot- thanks Charles!
Then we made tracks homewards bound and arrived home early in the afternoon.
What a nice break! I’m soo looking forward to make kt permanent for a year!. Ok I might not get the Spa thingy , but just being on the road is a great feeling! Can’t wait! 🙂
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.