Following on from Fatman’s story
So, our plan was to hire a BMW GS, I enquired about hiring the bike and all we had to do was work out the date to put a hold on it. We had made our minds up that we were going to hire it when I asked Fatman can we get adventure tyres to fit our bike? Fatman had done all the ground work last year prior to our first attempt last year and he couldn’t find any in our size. But we thought we’d have another look and to our surprise we could get the same tyre as what was going to be on the GS if we hired it and we could get them in our sizes. Ok so we then sat down and worked out the pros and cons of the GS v’s the RT. Yep the RT won, why you may ask, well it is set up for long distance riding where as the GS didn’t have cruise control, tank bag and we would have to try and work out where to put things. So Metzeler Tourance tyres were ordered and delivered from Brisbane.
Wednesday 19th December 2018
I went and got the tyres fitted ready for Fatman to put on the bike. Knowing that we weren’t leaving until Christmas day he didn’t put them on straight away, we still had 6 days to get the bike sorted for takeoff.
Thursday 20th December 2018
Fatman was just checking over a few details for the ride and happened to notice that the weather would be more favorable to do the ride on the 24rd December 2018 rather than initially 28th December 2018.
Friday 21st December 2018
So, with the temperatures in mind when we got up on Friday 21st December 2018 and made the decision to bring the ride forward. All hands-on deck, whilst I phoned around to amend our accommodation and check on fuel station hours Fatman got the bike prepared. Everything was done, well we hoped we hadn’t forgotten anything, if we had hopefully it was important.
Saturday 22nd December 2018
Wow that came around quick, we were on the road by 5.00am and rode via Horsham VIC, Tailem Bend SA, Mannum SA, Truro SA, up the Worlds End Highway passing Burra SA and onto Terowie SA where we stayed for the night. 972kms today
Sunday 23rd December 2018
We awoke to a rather pleasant morning, blue skies and sunshine. Off on the next leg to get us to Marree, SA. From Terowie SA we travelled through Peterborough SA along the Petersburg Rd and onto R M Williams Way which took us through Orroroo SA, we stopped at the ‘Wallaway Rail Accident’ site.
Wallaway Rail Accident
Then continued onto Carrieton SA, Cradock SA and onto Hawker SA where we stopped for fuel. This stretch of road had dead roos scattered all over the place and there were large Eagles perching on the dead carcass’ not wanting to leave them as we approached, in all our travels we have never seen so many eagles in one area. I did wonder why Hawker was called Hawker maybe Eagle would’ve been a more appropriate name? Once we had fueled up, we didn’t hang around for long as we wanted to get back on the road before the temperatures got to high, so we were back on the road and continued aiming for Marree SA. There was roadkill along here but not as much as last year nor what we’d just come through. Upon exiting Hawker SA, we turned onto The Outback Highway travelling to Leigh Creek SA where we enquired on their opening hours and if air was available, as we would need this after our dirt stint of the ride. Now Lyndhurst SA is only 42kms up the road however I had spoken to the owner and told him we’d call in and have lunch with him. We arrived at the Pub and before going in Fatman lowered the tyre pressures ready for the dirt sections ahead.
Upon us walking in the door the publican (who is the owner of Lyndhurst & Marree Pub) laughed and said well I’ll be, you said you’d call in for lunch, most people say things and never follow through, well buggar me, what can I get you both? We had a freshly made salad sandwich and drink with him along with ‘Harry’, The Mayor of Marree, his grandfather was one of the original Afghan Cameleers. Ok so now the test has come, last time we left the Lyndhurst Pub we only got about 20-30kms into the dirt and got a puncture, here’s hoping we make it this time. We were both looking forward to a swim in the pool at Marree, we didn’t get it last year. We said our goodbyes and they both told us we wouldn’t have a problem to the extent that the mayor told us he’d see us at the pub for a beer. Along the bitumen we travelled for a short distance and then the dirt road started,
Where the bitumen ends, and the dirt starts
I took a picture of my watch, so we could get a time of how long it took us to Marree.
We took it easy again as we didn’t want to get a puncture, however we were making pretty good time.
We’d decided that we would stop off at Farina and have a look around, which we did but the road in was a bit dicey as it had bigger rocks on the road.
Road at Farina
We didn’t stay long and headed back onto the main road and where we exited Farina it was onto the bitumen section of the road, not long down the road was a car pulled over to the side. We thought they must have troubles, so we slowed down to see if we could assist only for Fatman to be breathalyzed, of all the places in the middle of nowhere you must be joking. We had a laugh with the police lady, she asked me if I wanted to get proof of a picture, that we were pulled up.
She asked what we were up to, we told her heading to Marree for the night then out to Lake Eyre for a look around then heading back south. She informed us of the road conditions and wished us well. Onward bound finally we arrived in Marree, what a great feeling it was.
Last bit of dirt before Marree
We were the only tourists in town and we had the whole place/town to ourselves, as I walked into the bar and the publican, Joe said you must be Lynne.
Accommodation at Marree
View of our accommodation from pool
We booked in then got things sorted for our ride the next day, had a swim in the pool, now that was Nice, before going in to have a drink and a chat. Before we got talking Joe asked what we’d like for dinner as we were the only people they had to feed.
It may be in the middle of nowhere, but you sure do get a good feed.
Joe asked if we were doing one of those rides from Lake Eyre to some high point, as he’d had a few others call through doing the same ride. We explained to him who we thought they would’ve been and what the IBA does. He was really interested and could not do more for us, even showing us where the autobank was and advised the door is open 24/7 so you can get a receipt here and confirmed that it would do a printout for us. It had been a long day and we headed off to bed to rest up, as we had still had to get to the start which was 92kms of dirt to the start point.
Monday 24th December 2018, Christmas Eve
The alarm went off and we got ourselves sorted and, on the road, as we left the pub, we saw Harry again and we stopped to say gidday and he apologized that he didn’t make it to the pub for a drink with us. But he did wish us safe travels and good luck for the ride before he waved us off. How many people get waved off from town by the mayor to start their ride, special don’t you think.
This was unknown road, so I decided that I wasn’t going to take any pics along the way rather concentrate on being vigilant for animals and holding on. Fatman picked his line and as we’d discussed try and take a mental note of any thing to be careful of on the return trip.
We arrived at Lake Eyre, ah the tranquility and the heat and the flies well on Fatman anyway, ha ha.
Lake Eyre Sign
Lake Eyre – view from Oodnadatta track
We had decided to leave the GPS on automatic, so it changed the time to the relevant state we were in, the camera and phone was set for Melbourne time. We had made the decision that we would take photos with the camera and the phone as back up just in case, as we didn’t want to get to the end to find we’d lost the camera or phone.
We took the relevant photos required then sat around waiting for the time to click over to 10am Melb time but decided rather than sit around in the heat getting annoyed by the flies lets go. So, with that Fatman wrote up the details on the ride log then took the final pic of the GPS and bike ODO and pressed SPOT………… and we’re off!
Here we go, I’m all excited but at the same time unsure if we had bitten off more than we could chew, oh well here goes, hang on tight. With that on my mind I had full confidence in Fatman’s ability to get us safely through the dirt. We started off slow then we slowly picked up pace as it seemed a smoother ride along the dirt road and I was just as vigilant of animals on this run as on the way out. It seemed too hot for them to even care that we were there. Fatman stood a bit through this section and I had my whole body back as far as I could and had my feet firmly on the pegs to allow him to ride like he was on a dirt bike, as though I wasn’t there, I pretty much just became part of the bike and went with it as I usually do. We had a great ride through the dirt section from Lake Eyre back to Marree with no mishaps, now that’s a good start to the ride. We stopped at the General store for a docket, but the time and date were so out of whack and having to explain to the German attendant would take way too much time out of our ride, so we decided to head over to the pub to obtain an autobank receipt.
Marree General Store
I jumped off the bike entered the pub fully geared up, helmet on punched the details into the machine then waited for the print out, things don’t seem happen quick in the outback it seemed like forever. Finally, it spat out the receipt and I went outside to Fatman and reported the time and date for him to record on the ride log. All done back on the bike we get and head for the next section which is also dirt road.
As we left the bitumen and started on the next dirt section, I noticed that the rocks seemed bigger and the road was rougher than that from Marree out to Lake Eyre. Anyway, I had full confidence with Fatman’s ability to get us through safely, and that he did. Finally, back onto bitumen, no more dirt, bitumen all the way to Heaven. Leigh Creek SA was our first stop after the dirt section for fuel, air in the tyres, a quick bite and soaked our neck coolers before we headed off again.
Leigh Creek SA
Before long we were passing the turn off into the township of Hawker SA, we were going quite well a little ahead of time continuing onto Peterborough SA where along the way we picked up a couple of like-minded people, Reg & Daisy.
Reg and Daisy came for a ride then they turned off and headed home whilst we headed towards our next scheduled stop Yamba SA. By this time the heat was starting to take a toll, so we decided to pull up 23kms short at Renmark SA where we refueled, had a break and sat inside the air-conditioned to bring our core temperature down. We were still ahead of our schedule time by 20 minutes but knew that heat was going to be a killer. Onwards we went till the Meilman rest area where Fatman needed time off the bike, so we pulled over into the wayside stop for a 15minute break.
It appears that somewhere between Meilman Truck Stop and Hay South it rolled over to
December 25th 2018, Christmas Day
We pulled into the servo at Hay South NSW, I went in to pay for the fuel and was greeted with ‘Merry Christmas’ by the service attendant. I confusingly asked him to repeat what he said, ‘Merry Christmas’ oh is it Christmas day already. I happily returned the Christmas wishes to the attendant then returned to Fatman, gave him a kiss and wished him Merry Christmas, then we got back on the road for our next stint to Wagga Wagga, NSW. Upon arriving the servo seemed to be closed but no it was open thankfully, but we had to pay via the night drawer, that’s fine but we couldn’t enter the servo to use the toilets. The temperature had dropped now and was down to 16C after being around mid 20’s all night, so we put on some extra clothing to get us to the end. We had a quick stop at Adaminaby, NSW then back on the bike we still had 130kms to go and only 2 hours or so to go before the 24 hour was up. Bearing that in mind it doesn’t give you much spare time if you have a puncture or something, so we took off to Jindabyne NSW where we pulled into the servo obtained a receipt then kept going to Charlotte Pass, NSW to the finish.
We did it!
Woo Hoo! that’s a thumbs up
We didn’t have phone service at Charlotte Pass because if we did, I was going to post
Ho Ho Ho
From Mr & Mrs Mo
You probably think we were a little bit Naughty for taking a road bike out there……………
………… I can tell you it’s so bloody Nice I want to return to Marree !
‘The only difference between the two BMW’s are the letters
one has GS the other RT