Friday, August 26, 2016

The painful road to Warakurna

After a self made breakfast we left Warburton early and headed down the Great Central Road , we were told that the rough part would be at Dock River so we expected the road to Warakurna to be fairly good.

For the most part is wasn’t bad except certain areas where there was no clear track and the gravel made everything slippery . There roads are unforgiving for motorcyclists since they run on the clear path of previous vehicles and avoid the gravel heaps on each side, but the track is very narrow and needs concentration if you look at anything else or get distracted you veer off and once your front tyre catches that wobble you go down. 

It seems that’s what happened to me since I don't recall how I started to wobble but once I did it got worse and I flew off the bike at around 90 km/h . One of the panniers was dislodged and all the contents scattered all over the road. I was mostly OK nothing broken just bruised and strained with my right knee and my left ankle both I believe got twisted. The left pannier was off the bike scattering its contents all over the road.

The guys picked up the bike and gathered the pannier contents , Ali kicked the pannier back into shape, we mounted the pannier taped up my helmet visor ( two screws missing) and continued to on a much slower pace to Warakurna Roadhouse. Once we reached there we filled up with fuel and I asked the attendant about the road ahead. He stated that the road was pretty bad for the next 100 km , and then it gets much better. It took a while for me to start moving again not only was I in pain but also exhausted from the ride with many sore muscles. I tended to my injuries and we all had a meal before they close for business at 5.

Tomorrow if all goes well we continue to Yulara and Uluru (Ayers) Rock. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

On the Great Central Road to Warburton

After a hearty breakfast by Serena we packed our bikes, filled them up with fuel and took a nice photo with Alan and Serena before we headed off to Warburton which was only about 3 hours away.

Along the way we stopped for a about an hour while Husain tried out his Phantom 4 drone , took some images and reached Warburton around 3 PM . Since they only had takeout food, and well equipped shop we assigned Ali the task of cooking for us. There was a campers kitchen that we could use and Christa at the counted hook us up with pots and plates.Since there were Laundry facilities we decided to do some laundry too.

We decided to attempt to reach Yulara tomorrow and leave early even if we felt we couldn't we could stay at the Warakurna Roadhouse which is about 3 hours away.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Better safe than sorry

We woke up to a nice sunny morning , Husain ankle would hurt when he put pressure on it. We needed to make sure it wasn’t anything serious before we pushed on to Yulara so we went into shop to have breakfast and to talk to Alan & Serena on what we can do. They recommended to go back to Laverton and get it checked out, and lent us their pick-up truck to for the day as long as we picked up their mail and supplies. 

We thought this was very generous and left right after breakfast. It took 3 hours to get to Laverton and on the way we saw a man riding his bicycle (they call it a push bike here) in the middle of the bush. We expect it would take him another two days to get to the roadhouse. I dropped off Husain and Ali at the Medical Centre , filled the truck up with fuel , then picked up the mail which was being kept at caravan park in Laverton where we had stayed before , I left for the Medical clinic  and waited for the doctor’s evaluation.

That day there wasn’t a doctor on site so they had one video conference in , to observed Husain and asked him some questions and concluded that it was just a sprain and all he needed was some Anti inflammatory medication and painkillers. He mentioned that if it got worse he could seek medical advice again.

We went to the local store to pick up the supplies and we were on our way driving back, we waved tot he guy on the bicycle took a couple of pictures and get back just before sunset to taste Serena’s fish burgers and get a goodnight’s sleep before we head out to Warburton tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Off Road to Tjukayirla Roadhouse

Since it is still winter here it is always very cold in the morning. This time we had a kitchen and made our own breakfast , our bike were conveniently park right outside the door. This is why we like motel type accommodations however it turns out that the best ones are in caravan parks.

We left Laverton around 10 am with a full tank of fuel a cloudy overcast which was the end of last yesterdays rainy storm. we headed to the Great Central Road not knowing exactly what to expect. it is wide in many places and the sail here is red we didn’t see any trucks but we did see many cars  pulling small trailers or campers. 

While riding at the beginning we were stopped by road construction workers who gave us the condition of the road. That is the main topic now , the condition of the road since it is all dirt and the only way to reach some of the communities. 

About two thirds of the way in we took a break since we were getting tired and my hands hurting me from gripping, since we need to stand much of the way to keep the centre of gravity low and keep the bikes stable. After the break right when we started to leave Husain hit some gravel while only holding the bars with one hand trying to close his helmet and managed while out . He was OK except for a hit he got on his foot , apparently it hurt but not enough to not ride. So we continued on to Tjukayirla Roadhouse. got ourselves some nice rooms and a meal. 

Unfortunately there was no internet and no cell service here so I tried to use the InReach device that we use for tracking to send a message but we didn’t get any messages back which was disconcerting since the reason I purchased it was for two way communication . Once I get internet I  will investigate what is going on.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The rainy road to Laverton WA

Since our next stop was to Laverton which was only 360 km away we decided to visit the Royal Flying Doctors Services and take a tour  and found out that the creator is represented on the 20 dollar bill here in Australia, if you are lucky you get to see a plane unfortunately for us both planes were out . We did however leave with a great appreciation to what they do and the logistics of it all. with services ranging from just calling for medical advice and education to medical transport via a jet. At times they get permission to land on a highway. 

It has been raining all morning, and after the tour I was hoping that the rain would reduce , which it did just enough for us to pack our bikes and head north. The weather didn’t get any better with scattered rain and temps around the 11 deg C and then going down to 8.5 deg C. By the time we reached the caravan park in Laverton which is the best place to stay I started to shiver even though we had stopped earlier and I put on another layer of clothing .

We got settled and went into town to the Desert Inn Hotel where they have the best cooked food, tomorrow we head into the outback on dirt roads for the next 4 days .

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Cold Ride to Kalgoorlie

When we arrived at the caravan park we were given a list of local restaurants, their address and when they were open. The only thing open on Sunday morning was Subway and the french bakery. So I decided to ride into town and get some breakfast from the bakery. I managed to get each an egg sandwich and a blueberry muffin. It was 8 deg C and luckily I can only do 60 km/h intown which made the trip manageable.

We ate packed up our belongings and headed east towards Kalgoorlie it was a very nice ride reminiscent of South Africa said Husain with the trees and the red sand. A rabbit crossed in front of my bike and Ali managed to see a dead kangaroo (Road Kill) amongst other furry smaller creatures that we don't recognize.

We stopped for a break and to take a picture at a road trains sign. and arrived at around 3 PM at the Rydges Hotel and Spa. Ali and Husain went to the only market open on a Sunday to buy some food in preparation for the desert cross expected in a couple of days. Tomorrow we head to Laverton and the start of the Great Central Road to Yulara

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Eastward bound

I was on pins and needles yesterday morning waiting to hear if the bikes have been released especially after I called at 10:30 am and there was still no news. I got really worried when Arpan from Star Movers stated that officially they take 24 to 48 hours , but they are usually much faster than that.

Then I got the call around noon and all was OK we would get the bikes delivered as promised with in 2 to 3 hours. Yes I don't need to make another one night reservation with the hotel. Once they were delivered we started working right away organizing our panniers and finding places for all out things.

Ali told me last night that he got a message from Simon and that he will be riding with us from the hotel until our first rest stop (coffee break).

In the morning we packed our bikes and Found Simon and his friend Mr. Andrew Macksey waiting for us, after a brief chat waiting for some of us to finish getting their bikes ready we decided it was time to go if we ever wanted to reach Southern Cross in time.

Ali and I started our bikes and we waited but Husain's bike wouldn't start. The battery was almost dead . we decided to try to dry start while going down a ramp in the hotel parking but no such luck. Then Husain stated that he had a powerful battery that can jump start his bike, it was out of charge. So Ali went and talked to Simon, and Andrew stated that he had a battery pack that could jump start the bike and went home to get it. less than an hour later we got Husain's bike started and we headed on our way. Luckily it a Saturday so the traffic was light.

We first stopped at a petrol station and filled up all the bikes. with only ten minutes of riding we wondered if Husain's bike would start, fortunately Andrew still had the battery pack just incase , but it turned out that we didn't need it. Husain's bike started right away.

We rode until we reached the Great Eastern Highway (Route 94) and then continued for almost an hour until we stopped for some coffee a said goodbye to Simon and Andrew.

We spent some time adjusting our stuff and setting up cameras that resulted in us not being able to reach Southern Cross since we were warned not to ride during dawn or dusk ( thats when the animals come out to play) , and we don't ride at night so we got as far as we could which was Merredin.

We found a place to stay at the Tourist Park Merredin (Caravan Park) where they had nice small Chalet type with a bed a fridge a bathroom, and a heater which we were thankful for. My room came with two friends in the form of small black spiders in the corners, one right above my head feasting on all the insects that would get in once you opened the door. Dinner was a quick ride to the local Subway for a nice tuna sandwich, tomorrow we try to get to Kalgoorlie .