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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I fell over...

Just before this was taken. I broke the NEW driving light on the bike and swore VERY FUCKING LOUDLY!

Here I am taping uo the busted light so I can go- man from Snowy bloody River style- down the infamous "Gunshot" drop into the creek.

The creek was ankle deep.

posted by thr at 7:18 pm 0 comments links to this post

Duncan and Kat go skinny dippin'

Ok it's Kat's bikini top and Duncy's Jimbly Jam bot bots:

posted by thr at 7:16 pm 1 comments links to this post

This is what you do

When you want to celebrate stuff.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

So go crazy folks. She is all I need.
posted by thr at 7:13 pm 0 comments links to this post

Smile- and try not to drown



Tired as I am of people going out to thr GBR (Great Barrier etc) and taking pics of what could be ANY idiot in a snorkel mas, I decided to "sex it up" a bit.

Vote now if this is a winner...
posted by thr at 7:10 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

NT/QLD border

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Yes, the bikini top and the Jim Jams pants made it across the Savannah Way.

It's not a real tough trip- but a good warm up for the hell of the Telegraph Track (Cape York)

Stuff:
- We missed Roper bar just to avoid 100k's of unknown dirt (we knew it was THERE, we just didn't know what it was like)
- The road was at times, sandy, rutted, corrugated, gravel and various combinations of these.
- The sandy patches meant we often parked the bike (when having a break)in the middle of the road to ensure it didn't fall over. The long roads made one bloke slow down coz he "thought it was a horse". I think he was drunk.
- One couple were so impressed/amazed/freaked they stopped, took a pic, then took a polaroid of us and gave it to us. Will scan later.
- First river crossings- easy. Hilarious video of Rachel (her filming) begging to be dropped off and allowed to walk it. Ego maniac at the controls assures her it will be ok. He's right and the ego gets bigger still.
- The Burketown pub has a white and a black bar. As in your skin colour. In 2005. We did not go there to change the status quo, and as a result, had one drink in the white bar and left. Weird. - Karumba has more grey nomads that grains of sand. One old fella caught a HUGE (20 kilo!) Jew fish and gave us two HUGE fillets- fantastic!
- At Mt Suprise there is a flintstones themed Caravan park, and in said park, you can get a guided tour of the bush and stuff from a verbose, clever, excellent 8 year old guide. Truly.
posted by thr at 7:20 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, August 29, 2005

More pics!!

See "Round Oz 2005" for more pics and captions.

Cairns
We've made it. No more damn dirt. 3000k's of dirt from Darwin to Carins to Cape York back to Cairns.
Stats:
Tyres: 2 rear, 2 front.
Breakages: starter motor (twice), top box mounting, one headlight.
Injuries: Rachel fell over on her bum trying to RUN into the sea @ Cape York, Tom sliced into finger with tuna can.
Crashes (bike fall overs): twenty-bloody-two.
Engagements: one. Tom to Rachel. or Rachel to Tom.
We're going off to the reef in the the next day or so. Going to see a movie on cheap arse Tuesday ($5!!) and then start home (sniff!)
posted by thr at 4:41 pm 0 comments links to this post

RIPPED ORF!

I saw it, he lost, no way. so:

posted by thr at 4:31 pm 0 comments links to this post

Friday, August 12, 2005

At the Gates of Hell

Well, that's what it is called.

The Hell's Gates roadhouse is a bad name for not a bad place. Oodnadatta would be more approriate if called Hell frankly.

We left Borroloola as early as practical (get tent down, pack, refuel etc!). the wind is still blowing, the local natives are still fighting from teh night before and we are freakin' outta here.

Todays track will take us out of the NT and into QLD. The Woologorang roadhouse closed in the last 12 months, so we have to make 319 Km's without refueling. That's fine- 400 should not be a problem. If, I stress if, we don't fall over. When you drop a bike like the GS, it leaks fuel. And then you can have a problem. Just a litre or two on the ground can have you resorting to terrible things.

It's freaking long way- 300+ kays on the dirt. And it changes - bulldust, sand, hard packed, corrugations, river crossings etc. We stop regularly for a rest, wee, drink and feed, but I am so tense and sore and stiff that I just begin to will the sight of the bloody roadhouse to come into view. We take nearly 9 hours to cover the 300 ks.

Rachel, bless her, gets the tent up while I pretend to help. She's not ridden today at all- but it doesn't mean she's not 3 parts buggered too. She is. With the tent up, we cook up and go and have one beer and one coke. As is the norm, people marvel at our tenacity and perhaps our stupidity in taking a bike all this way two up, loaded up etc. I am frankly sick of this shit and plead exhaustion and want to go to beg. Rach is as cheerful as ever and trots out a few familiar lines. It's almost a script now.

We retire to bed by 8pm. I have no recollection of getting in to bed nor falling asleep. It's just morning before I know it. Burketown, here we come.
posted by thr at 8:42 pm 1 comments links to this post

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Borroloola

Last fuel stop before Hells Gates, Borroloola is not quite paradise.
click for full size. borroloola pub rules
While the caravan park was acceptable, the noise at night from the locals fighting and so on ruins it. Nuff said.

Though, once again, the fellow travellers make it worthy. I head off to the river for a bit of a fish. Arriving at the edge, I meet a nice WA couple who advise me they've caught 3 fish in 3 weeks. I decide not to fish and to pursue another passion of mine: chattin'.

I chat them near to death and then ride the 3 k's back to the camp, but not before inviting myself and Rachel back for coffee later. The WA folks are more than amenable to this idea.

the pair of us load up and arrive just on dark. They folks have their generator AND satellite dish going. I admire their determination to bring home with them, but am glad we are forced to travel light. They have cleverly placed two 60 watt lights outside their mozzie proof annex and this mean the annex is lit, but the insects are not trying to get in, but rather having their way with the lights outside. I file this idea away for future reference. We have coffees- real coffees as the peeps have a CAPPUCCINO maker! Using it requires the TV and fridge to be turned off- but the results show it's a worthwhile (temporary) sacrifice...

We head home about 9PM- straight to bed. It's just as well. The noise in the vacant land next door starts after the pub closes and continues until after 4AM.
posted by thr at 12:00 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Mataranka.

Finally, we head south. The bike is singing and the stuart highway with its unlimited speed limits meant we covered some big distances in quick time. For example: we nailed the 90 Kms from katherine to Mataranka in 40 Minutes. Smoking!
We hit 180 K's but this required full throttle and the bike just drinks like Carl at that pace. Have a video of us cranking along the highway, will upload it once home.
Mataranka has a wonderful got springs- about 30 degrees and feeds the RoperRiver and keeps it flowing even in the dry. I've been for yet another fish, with the same bloody result. Beginning to think that this might be a fish free journey. Bugger! About to get rachel to come for a swim and will try to get in a sneaky fish.
We've lightened our load by ridding ourselves of little used items and winter related stuff. We sent gloves, thermals, beanies and jackets to rachels aunt in Caloundra, QLD. We have ditched the five litre petrol can, the got plate and one hammock. (i am in my hammock as i write). We have gained a 15 litre collapsable water bag and a really cool solar recharger. It plugs into the cigarette lighter and provides enough power to keep the battery a ok despite running our tent lights, bed air pump and mobile phone charges. It can actually charge a mobile on its own. This purchase came about after the starter motor issue- i realised the a flat battery on flat, sandy roads could result in us being stuck. It also means i can stay up late reading with both flouro tubes on, without worrying. It still annoys rachel, but at least she wont be pushing the bike next morning.
We will have one more might here before going south to Daly waters, where we will finally turn east towards Cairns.
I am posting this via rachels mobile, so excuse the general punctuation and errant capitals.

posted by thr at 1:29 pm 1 comments links to this post

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ubirr, Kakdu, NT


Taken with Rachel's camera phone.
posted by thr at 3:18 pm 0 comments links to this post

Darwin theories

Camping in Darwin was weird- hot n' dry PLUS rain on a few occasions, depite locals assuring us it wasn't going to happen. Tent does great job.

The bike has become a stand up, sit down nightmare. The starter motor has gone. It is a non servicable part, meaning you buy a new one. $1100- thanks.

But ol' Brian is a old had at this. He can service said motor and correctly diagnoses the problem when I hot th starter ONCE. He knows I have a new battery in it (bought on the road into Darwin DAMN FURY!), and once we get the starter off, we find, as predicted, the four magnets inside the case have come adrift (this happens after about 10 years!) locking the motor solid. This requires a big clean up and re glue and will take the beter part of three days. Meanwhile we need oil n filter, new tyres and a general going over.

I change the oil as it is a nightmare job. It requires me to take BOTH bellypans off. The bellypans won't come off unless the engine bars come off. The oil change period will now be 100000k's or ten years, whichever is easier. The discovery of dual bellypans is both gratifying (safer) and annoying (heavy, cumbersome and the retaining bolts are all bent/stripped/crap.) With the bellypans off, I can get to the oil sump plug and the oil filter. In goes 4 or so litres of Castrol, and 6 hours of my life go by.

I also get new riding lights- having smashed, bent, abused and messed up the existing ones. They only cost $55, just as well as I smash one on the Telegraph track before I've even switched them on for the first time. FURY!

Some notes on Darwin
We stayed at the caravan park near the airport- and we quote that line from The Castle "Is that the runway?" every time a plane goes over. And when I say "goes over" I mean tree-top-that-pilot-has-blue-eyes height. It poisons my initial view of Darwin, but I get over it.

Darwin's CBD is really rather nice. It scored well early with the high number of specific motorcycle parking facilities. We parked on teh footpath down the road as we needed to go into a side street for the ubiquitous bump start. (the bike went without any starter motor for several days- you could see the edge of the flywheel and the dry clutch through the gapin no starter-motor-hole).

We dine at some English styled pub one night and had el cheapo backpacker $6 meal another night. The rest of the time we revert to our well rehearsed pasta-and-whatever nights.

Finally, after many days of horse doodling, the starter is fixed, the bike oiled, tyred and ready and we head off.
posted by thr at 11:11 am 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, August 06, 2005

More pics- Kakadu


The bikini top and PJs on top of the art sites @ Ubirr, Kakadu, NT.


Rachel's snap, taken on East Alligator river, Kakadu/Arnhem Land, NT.


Rear tyre pre replacement- square as a car radial. Only about 1000kms too far!


Katherine Gorge, Butterfly walk- NT.


Our campsite in Darwin, NT.
posted by thr at 11:00 am 0 comments links to this post

Its the bike- its complicated

We want out, but this town is not finished with us quite yet. When i was back there, i wanted to be here, now i'm here, i wish i was there.
The beemer has compromised its starter- the magnets inside the casing have all come adrift. Thank God for Brian. He's the local expert on Ducati, Moto Guzzi and BMW. He regards our 94 model as a young pup and is rather reluctant to have a fiddle with it.
Further, his work rate on it could be measured with a sun dial. He loves a yarn, and I am naturally a little keen to join in. Two days have passed for the grand total of one tyre changed, the errant starter removed and nothing else. We've put back our departure date twice already. Monday is looking more likely.

posted by thr at 9:28 am 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Kakadu -u-u push pineapple etc

A little know fact about the Katherine gorge: It is made out of fibre glass and was only finished in 1972. If thats a suprise to you, then you can imagine how we felt..
That said, they have done a great job making it as close to Disneyland as possible, right down to the American tourists.
A wallaby ate my map. "Sure thing" I hear you say, but its bloody true. They are a Damn menace and I want to know what the government is going to do. They roam about the campsite like errant teenagers, though I dont blame them- there is bugger all to do here at night.
Im going in to see my very good friends and new trip sponsors at Rod and Rifle. I have become rather obsessed with bagging a big one with me new fishin rod. Im not fussy either- barra, croc, pig, German tourist- I just wanna catch something that puts up a bit of a fight. My mates at R n R are bloody confident and stoked with the huge media coverage my efforts are generating.
We have a very important commitment in Darwin next week* and more updates and pics will be available at that time.
HUGE HOLLA to New York livin little bro who made his first appearance on The ABC 774 breakfast program with Red Symons. Steve was the feature expat and I am sure would have been really funny, interesting and cool. Hell, I reckon he's finally learnt something from big bro. It was me who dobbed him in to the show in the first place.
*New tyres.

posted by thr at 1:01 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Barramundi...NOT!

Rachel suprised me with a fishing charter for a half day on one of the poorly named Alligator rivers (east I think it was).

I had to be in Jabiru by 6AM- and that would not have been a problem but for the GODDAMN starter motor crapping out- once and for all. It has been running slower and slower over the last few days and I suspect a battery. I turn out to be wrong, wrong, wrong about the problem. Having said all that, the starter motor decides this crisp, coldish morning to play one more time and I hit the road- 30 kays to Jabiru at 5:50am.

For those of you who have not travelled in the early dawn at 180km/h in shorts- don't. I didn't hit anything due to luck and arrived and then WAITED 15 minutes. Just as I was about to start cursing, Shannon (pictured right) turned up with boat. We picked up two other blokes and hit the river.

Worth the money alone for the scenery, crocs and tales of the ones that didn't get away. We trolled up and down the river for a few hours and did not catch anything- apart from a 6 foot croc- an animal we actually skewered through the foot with a lure- so it hardly counts. Amusing in a "isn't abusing animals funny?" kinda way. Selah!

Home fishless (due to the jinxing oursleves by buying foil and a lemon for said fish!), we begin packing for Darwin. I've spoken to Brian Thompson (old school, old time mechanic) in Darwin about the bits I need for the bike. I now need to ask him about the starter motor. Things are not looking good. Not least for Rachel, who will find herself bump starting the bike for the next week at least.

And if you think pushing 320 kilos of BMW with 100 kilos of thomasr on board is fun, nor relationship straining... well tell me how.
posted by thr at 9:00 am 0 comments links to this post

 
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