No Bumbling, no bull ...

Having collected the FarTreasure from up Mudgee way, it was now up to me to find a spot to “hide” it. And I reckon I had in mind the perfect location. (You’ll need to check the Forum thread to find out where – and now it’s gone! Already! There are several pics of the roadside furniture on which the treasure sits, ah hem, sat!.) With this location in mind, I just had to get with The Shrink (2014 Yamaha FZ8n) for another “consultation”. Well, if I thought the last consultation lasted for a while, this one was even longer.

The consultation started just up the road in Croydon Hills. Start time on the fuel docket was 4:03:59 of Monday, February 1, 2016. Beginning odometer reading was 40469. And where to? Booleroo Centre, SA! (Never heard of it? It’s a tiny and very tidy little town south west of Orroroo and south east of Wilmington … ) and then get home safely, a return trip. While my TomTom (SatNav) found the location it was at a loss to find me a route to get me there. It could get me to Jamestown about 46 km away, but not to Booleroo! (Since returning home I’ve found that if I’d changed a couple of parameters (like include dirt roads) it could have/would have found me a route.) Nothing daunting I set up (the night before) several locations to which to ride. When departing the start servo I set the device to record the complete ride.

In addition to carrying TomTom I also took along my eTrex to track my ride. Night before I cleared all the memory I could find to clear, eventually hitting the full reset, back to default values. Also put in new batteries, the previous items had expired on the ride to Mudgee! Hmmm. So what happened when I switched it on at the start location? Error message! “Please delete memory. Insufficient space to mark waypoint!” or something similar. Me thinks to myself, me thinks, “I did that last night! Ah well, do it again.” So I did it again, this time deleting individually, every item I could find. AND the message for each item was “memory used = 0%.” Switch it off and try again. No difference. So I left it off, paid for my fuel and started the ride while cogitating what I might do to sort out the issue. Thinking that I might have installed one or both batteries in the wrong way I decided to stop at BP Calder Park, adjacent to the Thunder Drome to purchase a new set of batteries. They might solve the problem. They didn’t! But I left the device switched on anyway hoping it might record the track, and continued on regardless ( … and it DID!).

The route? The quickest way around. (Fuel stops are detailed in the table above/below.) The original plan to return to Croydon Hills was to skirt the metro area of Adelaide from Two Wells to Gawler, Williamstown and Murray Bridge. But time got the better of me (that is, I slept in too long on Monday morning) and decided the well-used highways would be a better option around dusk and at “dark o’clock”. Even thought of JeffTheCheff and his exploits with k’roos not far from his front door. So discretion over-ruled adventure … this time!

It’s supposed to be summer season at the moment – nice warm to hot days, balmy evenings and night. Well, it’s not happening. And Melbourne’s summer? Someone must have nicked it. Temperatures were around 20 degrees in Melbourne on the Sunday. Forecasts that I checked indicated maximum temperatures up to just over 30C in parts of South Australia down to 16 or 17C in some parts of Victoria with nothing much over 25C for Vic. And the Victorians call it summer!

Monday morning I nearly froze (slight hyperbole here, but not much). Around Melbourne it was near 10C but going up around Woodend and Kyneton it must have been significantly lower, with a light fog in places. In other places it was a quite wet fog! Almost had me getting out the wet weather over-strides. I was already wearing double density (strides with full length Kevlar lining) dude dacks, and the cold was coming through! And the torso was also rugged up more likely to suit winter than summer. Redesdale temp around the time I was on the road through here was near 10C. Must have been at least 5C lower through the Black Forest area of the freeway.

By the time I got to Charlton I needed to warm up so took my time trying to down a few chips and a sip of fluid. Service was slow – they didn’t seem in too much of a hurry, if they noticed, to take my money for fuel - but at this stage I was only interested in warming up some.

Done pumpin' at Charlton

Look carefully at the sign: Elliott Gardens (Charlton)

Next stop was supposed to Ouyen. But at Sea Lake a hot coffee stop was indulged to try and keep the inner self a bit warmer than the outer self. Again, interested mainly in warming up a bit. BTW Sea Lake has a very nice convenience stop for travellers.

Done pumpin' at Ouyen

Ouyen came and went (after taking on board fuel). Did the dirt truck by-pass of Pinnaroo then to Loxton. A quick jaunt down town and the riverside for a photo op and then back on the black top to Waikerie and the ferry. I’ve tried the Waikerie to Cadel Road and am happy to leave it to the locals, the orchardists and all others who want low speed limits. Take the ferry and get on the “C” road with 100 Kph limit and a few nice windies and one is into Morgan in very smart time; just gotta enjoy unirrigated South Australian semi desert area for some of the way. Morgan to Burra goes through Salt Bush Bill’s country. Still beautiful in its own unique way.

At Loxton BP Round-about servo

Loxton (Murray) River foreshore reserve

Middle of the road, middle of the city parkland, Loxton

On the Waikerie ferry

Entry to Morgan

Just south of Burra is Burra Gorge – on the Burra Creek would you believe – down at Worlds End and just off the Worlds End Highway. (And now I’ve been to Hells Gate AND Worlds End!) Having camped down there in the Spring a few years ago I thought a 20 Km detour would be nice. Wrong! South Australia can have some very hostile environments. Burra Gorge is not up with the most hostile, but if you want to check it out do it in the Spring. The grass will be green and there just might be some wild flowers around. On Monday it was very dry. Even the mighty river red gums looked hot and bothered. There were, though, a few campers with vans and tents braving the heat (temp in Burra at that time was just over 30C). Anyone for yabbies, fresh water crayfish or gilgies (aka maron)? The creek has what in Spring, looked like permanent water holes. One of the campers a couple of years ago had a “yabbie trap” in the drink and was hopeful of a decent catch for the next day’s dinner.

Salt Bush Bill's kinda country

Burra Gorge on Burra Creek at Worlds End(!!!) just off Worlds End Highway

Abandoned buildings opposite Burra Gorge, Worlds End

Burra (copper) miners' accommodation with historic steel (rivetted) girder bridge leading into town in the background

Stately old pub opposite the miners' accommodation

Burra to Hallet to Jamestown was just another bit of 110 Kph, open road. Nice … and quick. A quick pic in front of the road sign and then a quick ‘round-the-round-about and try and ensure I take the right road to Booleroo Centre. I spied a pedestrian walking down the footpath. “’scuse me,” I call through the open visor. “I’m looking for the road to Booleroo Centre. Can you tell me which direction to take, please?” A very quizzical look crossed the face of this young mum. “Sorry,” she said. “I do live here, but I haven’t been living here long and I can’t help you.”

Hamlet of Hallett (on the Barrier Highway), turn off to James Town

The OLD sign posts, Jamestown

Street scene, Jamestown, looking towards the "country pub"

Just down the road is the pub; typical country pub. Plenty of tables and benches on the full length verandah. And yes, there was a patron occupying one of the tables. Again, through the helmet visor aperture, “’scuse me, I’m looking for the sign that gives me directions to Booleroo Centre. Can you help me?” Hmmm. Once again, the wrong person to ask. This guy wanted to send me all the way to Main North Road and Wilmington. But I knew (thank you, Mr Google) there was a direct route from Jamestown. Eventually this guy came up with the right answer. (And if my memory was any good I would have remembered what Mr Google showed me on his map.) “Cross the bridge and just up the road a bit you’ll see the sign. You’ll go past Elders yard and it’s a bit windy … “ With a quick thank you and good wishes for the rest of the day, I was off. Mr TomTom must have this road classified as unsealed. I found it a top class “C” grade road.

Booleroo Centre IGA

Recognising the need for a corner docket I had tried ringing the Booleroo service station mentioned in the phone book. Only ever got a fax machine answering! Not much good. Eventually I noticed an IGA listing on the web page I was looking at. So I rang them on the Sunday before departing. Told them my story and was given their hours of operation. Monday afternoon? Corner docket now in hand (50c for paperbag!) on examination I noticed that yes, it had the time and date, but no! No location mentioned. A quick pick of the outside of the building - hope so that will verify that I stopped there at that time.

Now to get down to the Port Germain Gorge Road, and on to the Princes Highway to head home.

Pics taken through the gorge. Treasure planted. Deed done. And the ride home?

As mentioned previously, I was going to bypass Adelaide, but with the going down of the sun, discretion indicated I should go through Gepps Cross, pick up a corner docket at Glen Osmond, and enjoy the freeway/limited access road to Tailem Bend. Going up the hill on the freeway was delightful. One hundred Kph speed limit increasing to 110 at the top (Crafers) if my memory is good. ‘Tis not the first time I’ve ridden it, but I reckon it was the most enjoyable. Time of day? Around 9.00 pm and the temp at Glen Osmond was in the high 20s. At the top, at Crafers the temp was much cooler. Cool but not uncomfortable in the garb in which I was clad. Non-stop from here to Bordertown and the temp, like my fuel gauge, was going lower all the way. Fuel gauge? Going up to Crafers on the freeway I must have left the bike in fifth gear. Me thinks I might have forgotten to change up to sixth once over the top! Dah! An extra 20% of fuel used! Now I really know why I need sixth gear!

Servo, Glen Osmond

Servo, BP Bus and Truck, Bordertown

Take on fuel for bike and a hot coffee for me, grease the chain (I must get that oiler installed) and put on a few layers of jacket/s, clean the lights and visor and stretch the legs and I’m off on the next leg. A quick stop for a docket at Nhill (not needed as it turned out) and then off to Ararat for the next refuel. Noticed a truckie taking off after getting a ticket (no sympathy from me on this one) near Horsham. Horsham is notorious for highway patrols. And they don’t allow much lea-way!

Refuel at Ararat and it’s getting colder and the ride continues. And I thought I was riding in the summer season. Ararat through to Ballarat is always colder than much of the rest of the Western Highway, but that’s life. One gets used to it. But this cold in the summer season?

While my ride continued beyond Ballarat, my 24 hour time limit expired just as I was coming off the bypass. A quick trip into the servo (I thought I just might have racked up 2000 Km in the 24 hours; it was close), but alas, I was two minutes outside the 24 hour period.

Going down the freeway from Ballarat, running down to Pikes Creek Reservoir in the cool of the night … the bikes just love it. Heavy air, great fuel-air mix, and for much of the way, no load on the engine. It’s like as if the bike has “free rein”. Just love it. Question: Who invented speed limits? Oh to enjoy some of these roads without breaking the law and risking the payment of discretionary taxation!

While I didn’t intend to attempt a 2000 km ride in 24 hours I thought it just might be possible. Several factors worked against it, viz, taking time to warm up at Charlton, Sea Lake and Bordertown, as well as being friendly with some of the staff behind the various counters. Total kilometres racked up by the time I arrived at the 7-Eleven store where my ride started was 2088 km done in 25 and a half hours. One day, wife willing (she’s a bit agin these rides atm), I guess I’ll intentionally attempt another 2000 km in a day. (She’s just said, “NO!” again.)

End result: one happy wife to greet me at the door at 5:50 am on Tuesday morning; one happy chappy who was feeling great (died pretty quickly after a hot shower though) and happy to be home. Maybe I should do these rides a bit more often.
And now, the treasure that took a 24 hour ride to collect and another 25, almost 26 hours to re-site, has been picked up and re-laid …

Follow this link and you should be able to zoom in and out of the map. If not interested in that see below ...

Route map with eTrex tracking overlaid on Google maps

Ride Summary
Ride Date: February 1, 2016

Start Time (and location): 04:03:59 am at Croydon Hills, Vic

End Time (and location): 04:00 am at Ballarat, Vic

Distance: 1948 km

Departure Town: Croydon Hills 3136

State: Victoria (Australia)

End Town: Ballarat, Vic

Ride Name: No bumbling, no bull! AND, no bluey!

Destination: IGA Booleroo, South Australia returning to Ararat, Vic

Scheduled refuelling points: (in ride order)
Charlton & Ouyen, Vic; Loxton, Burra, Nelshaby (near Port Pirie), Glen Osmond and Bordertown, Sth Aust; Ararat, Vic


Premier Member
You certainly did some kilmetres Eliot. Don't you love asking 'locals' for directions :rolleyes: Its surprising how mch we rely on our GPS. Oh, the pics also added to the adventure.

Grey Gentry

Premier Member
Some good touring roads amongst that lot Eliot. Good to see someone getting out and about over summer.
Thanks for the travellers tale and pics.