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Road trip to Flinders Ranges.

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GU221 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17 May 2016 at 01:21

 

When most of Australia’s population and activity are in the east, us West Australians have a long way to go. Meeting up with old friends gets more difficult with age, but we try. It’s been a couple of years since I made the crossing to a rally, but this year someone suggested a meet in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, which is as close to the middle of Aus as you can be, staying on the tarmac. Thus a Griso and my Bellagio headed east across the Nullabor’s straight outback roads.

 

 

Crossing the Nullabor is very time consuming, but 1000+km days are easy. Traffic is mostly caravans, RVs and road trains. Kangaroos wait for you to get close, and then jump out in front of you, and massive wedge tailed eagles that feed off the roo carcasses leave it until the last second to fly off as you approach. Then there are wild camels, dingoes and wombats, according to the warning signs. No riding after dark in these parts, when the animals all come out to play in numbers. Warp speeds on these roads are possible if the roos aren’t around, but its best to keep speed below 140km to conserve tyres. Petrol prices are exorbitant in remote areas too. And the roadside food and accommodation require the traveller to have a sense of humour.

 

 

 

2000kms after leaving Perth, the land becomes agricultural again These windmills are at Penong in South Australia.

 

 

 

South Australia has lots of country towns that are almost deserted. This one was Yacka, population 19. On the War Memorial, about 60 men were killed in 1914-18, and only 2 in 39-45, which says something about depopulation. The retired folk of Yacka do their best to preserve the town as it was, but are sad that no one stops any more.

 

 

 

On the fourth day out of Perth, we met up with two old friends, Tricky on his Bellagio, and Roderick on his R90S. Rod’s had this bike since the 70’s and is not a man that adapts to change. It’s on its fourth time round the clock. When we set off in the morning, the rain started, and it rained on and off all day. This photo is at Peterborough. At this stage we were about 2 hours in front of the rest of the riders.

 

 

Not my photo, but taken on the last bit of road to our destination, Blinman. We’d been lucky with roos up to now, hardly seen any at all. Copious roos and the rain made the last leg very slow. Pity, as it was very twisty and undulating. Perfect bike road. The scenery along here was quite spectacular too, but not a day for taking photos.

 

 

 

More photos purloined off the ‘net.

 

 

Finally we reached our destination, the Blinman pub, at the northern end of the Flinders ranges. Blinman was a copper mining town once, and only a few diehards remain. Tourists keep the town from dying, and several big desert tracks to the north mean that it gets lots of 4WDers passing through. The pub was a surprise, at it was a thriving business, and the rooms were really good. We got the news from the landlord that the others weren’t arriving. No mobile phone reception meant no contact with them until the next day, when we heard they’d been told of “Flash Floods” that would make the road to Blinman impassable. There weren’t any, but that was just bad luck, because the pub was a great venue for the meet. Anyway, six of them had accumulated at another pub 100kms away, and we got the message to meet the next day at Quorn.

 

 

 

It poured during the night. The R90S refused to start, but a bit of methylated spirits in one carburetor cured that.

 

 

 

Tricky packs his Bellagio the next day. It rained hard all of the ride to Hawker and Quorn. We stopped at Wilpena Pound again, but today the clouds were very low, and nothing to see. Having re-established comms with the others, we rode on to meet them.

 

 

The Grisos had arrived, 4 from New South Wales.

 

 

Mal and his cousin Mal arrived on V7s. They’d ridden from Tasmania. We’d all booked in to the hotel/motel for 2 nights. After 5 days on the road a rest was needed. After alchohol, of course. And food. And conversation that is not always repeatable, when old friends meet again.

 

 

 

It was good to catch up with some of these guys again, and listen to their tales. 3 of these guys I have known over 35 years. Who needs an excuse for a ride? It was great everyone made the effort.

 

 

 

And so all things must end, and farewells were made with the promise of doing it again next year, subject to the ever growing list of aches and pains, etc. Had to get a new front tyre in Port Augusta, and then it was the long ride home. Did 5,330 kms in total, the last day being a marathon 1100kms. The rear tyre looked very flat in the middle and barely touched towards the edges. I rang the wife with an eta, and she had a hot bath ready.

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Jerry atric View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jerry atric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2016 at 08:54
Great story thanks. It brings home what a big place Oz is. I spend a day preparing to do the 100 miles to Mallory Park! Not that I would be a whinging Pom, just a bit of a p**f I suppose.
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Dave P. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave P. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2016 at 09:15
Excellent story and pictures.More of this would be good.

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Mick L View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mick L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2016 at 10:08
Great post, enjoyed reading.
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Guztave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guztave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2016 at 17:09
Fantastic report and photos a inspirational to say the least!
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johnno View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2016 at 17:20
Top class pictures and report Thumbs Up
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Mike H View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2016 at 22:46
Wow!
"Chicken nuggets don't dance on a Tuesday."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote red leader one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2016 at 09:55
Looking at those photos I feel right at home.
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