A Travellerspoint blog

Day 29: Thursday 26th January

Bordertown - Melbourne

sunny 33 °C

So we discovered the caravan park was right next to the highway. There were trucks going all through the night. And trains! For a while we tried sleeping with our ear plugs in but they make your ears hurt when you lie on them...

We packed up the camping gear for the last time and headed off for Melbourne. We had a couple of stops; first to get fuel, then in Horsham for morning tea. We had lunch in Ballarat.

The Western Highway from the South Australia border was one of the worst roads we've been on - very bumpy and in poor condition. And it was still very windy... probably the strongest winds we've had on the whole trip.

We had a good ride into Port Melbourne. The Spirit's day sailing hadn't arrived yet so we had a drink at one of the bars on the Esplanade before making our way to check-in.

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The sea looked rough...

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We had quite a long wait before boarding. Once we'd settled in we had dinner and watched a bit of the Australian Open. As the Spirit sailed we could see the Australia Day fireworks.

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Port Melbourne from the Spirit as it departed

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Today's distance: 457km

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 12:18 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Day 28: Wednesday 25th January

Port Germein - Bordertown

sunny 37 °C

"On the Road Again..."

One of us usually sings it when we first set off! We rode south bypassing Port Pirie. Then we cut inland at Nantawarra to Balaklava for morning tea. We travelled some lovely country roads through Owen and Hamley Bridge to Gawler, then through Williamstown to Mt Pleasant. Tomorrow is Australia Day and in Mt Pleasant the trees along the main street had been decorated with giant ribbons in green and gold.

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Where's Wally??... er, I mean Glenn?

The weather was perfect for riding - in the high 20s, though as we rode further inland it got hotter. We found the roads to be very bumpy and Glenn's bike bottomed out a few times! We reached Murray Bridge and were back on the highway out of Adelaide. The wind was very strong and we were constantly fighting against it. We both had sore necks by the end of the day!

Just out of Yumali on the Duke Highway we came across this:

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Jacob French is "trooping" from Perth to Sydney raising funds for the Starlight Children's Foundation. He as already raised nearly $50,000. Read more here: http://www.everydayhero.com.au/troopertrek.

We stayed in Bordertown tonight. Our last night camping and our last in South Australia.

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Today's distance: 504km

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 12:12 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 27: Tuesday 24th January

Ceduna - Port Germein

sunny 39 °C

We were both rather tired this morning and took our time getting packed up. We decided to have more frequent stops to avoid getting sleepy. We stopped in at Wirrulla, "the town with a secret."

They have big ants at Poochera.

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Dinosaur ant

We fuelled up and then headed for the next stop, Wudinna. On the highway we were waved off the road by an oversize convoy coming in the opposite direction. There have been many big pieces of machinery being transported in this way.

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At Wudinna we decided we didn't need a break and continued on to Kimba where we had lunch.

From there to Port Augusta was long and hot. The temperature peaked at 39 degrees and I would have stopped but there was nowhere with shade. Once we reached Port Augusta we had a break and a cold drink! We hadn't chosen our destination for the night and ended up riding another 70km to Port Germein, which book-ended our trip rather nicely. We set up the tent and relaxed for a while before cooking dinner in the camp kitchen.

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Another beautiful sunset at Port Germein

Today's distance: 543km

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 11:25 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 26: Monday 23rd January

Cocklebiddy - Ceduna

sunny 38 °C

All through the night we could hear mice scratching around the tent. We made an early getaway, up at first light. Packing up was interesting with mice running out from under the tent. We discovered a couple of slightly flattened mice under our groundsheet having inadvertently trodden on them when we were in the tent... Blech.

We were on the road at 6:10am (Perth time) or 6:55am (Central Western time) or 8:40am once we crossed the WA border. Quite confusing...

We had a quick stop at Madura, where we came across the oversize convoy we had kept ahead of 2 days ago. Somehow they'd got ahead of us!! They must have been traveling long hours. We had morning tea at Mundrabilla, then it was a long haul over the border and through to the Nullarbor Roadhouse.

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The Nullabor Roadhouse

We had a long break here and chatted to another motorcyclist who was travelling alone and towing a trailer.

Penong was our next stop then we pressed on to Ceduna for the night. As we rode we watched the clouds develop and we could see showers ahead of us. We were hopeful of some rain but it didn't get us. After we'd set up camp at Ceduna we had dinner at the pub.

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Camping for the last time!

We watched another beautiful sunset and walked out on the jetty.

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It stayed hot in the tent for ages and we ended up sitting outside for quite a while.

Today's distance: 769km

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 11:15 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 25: Sunday 22nd January

Kalgoorlie - Cocklebiddy

semi-overcast 39 °C

For the first time on this trip neither of us slept very well. After waking very early and tossing and turning for a while we fell back asleep and woke at 7:30. We had planned to leave at 7...

Again, it was already hot when we left. We stopped to view the super pit in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. It is huge! It is about 3.5 by 1.5 km and operates 24 hours a day every day of the year.

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The Superpit

We stopped at Norseman for fuel and drinks, and from there we were retracing our route of 3 weeks ago.
Our next leg took us to Balladonia.

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The Balladonia Roadhouse

We caught the edge of a shower which cooled us down a little but not for long. Even though I'd been making sure I had plenty to drink I was really thirsty and drank about 1 1/2 litres at this stop. We had lunch and a good break.

Our next stint took us over the 90 mile straight and I had my least favourite run of the whole trip. First my iPod froze a short time in so I had no music to sing along to. Then the arm of my jacket was flapping furiously in the wind and slapping about 20 times a second against the inside of my upper arm. After 150km it was really hurting and at the end of the day I had a big red welt to show for it.

We had a short stop at Caiguna, where I regained my disposition, then decided to go another 65km to Cocklebiddy for the night. We camped there and enjoyed a lovely mild evening with a beautiful sunset.

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Camping at Cocklebiddy

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Sunset at Cocklebiddy

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We discovered that while there were no flies or mosquitos to contend with there were mice everywhere! They would run away as soon as the torch light disturbed them, but once it was dark and we were bedded down in the tent we could hear them scurrying around outside...

Today's distance: 629km

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 18:43 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

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