My Trip to Qld

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Leigh Semmens, Sep 13, 2020 at 10:52 PM.

  1. Leigh Semmens
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    Leigh Semmens Supporter Member

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    This is a map of my journey thus far.

    I left home on Sunday morning to attend church in Clare. It was Father’s Day. I stayed for the late service and then went back into Clare to fuel the Bike up for the next part of my journey. A friend was also at the servo chatting to some other bikers. As I bid my farewells and took off, I realised I’d forgotten to put my right glove back on so, I returned to the station, and it was nowhere to be found. After a few minutes one of the group who had just left returned carrying my glove. He had found it on the road! The trip north was uneventful even though I had a strong cross wind north of Port Augusta which is normal for this area.

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    Ready for the ride

    My first night was spent at Pimba and after a breakfast of soup, continued upon my way, fighting headwinds all the way. North of Glendambo I discovered one bolt that stabilised my driving lights had come out so I stopped to replace that. About 10km down the road I ran out of petrol after only 210km! I was 80 Km short of Coober Pedy but I had a spare 10L of fuel in a jerry bag that I carried for just such an eventuality. The filler nozzle needs some revision, and I shall perform that when next I hit “Civilisation.” Apart from that, the only other crisis was that my phone was not being charged properly so I had a flat battery at Coober Pedy and spent the night at Marla to recharge the battery and me.

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    Ubiquitous Coober Pedy Shot!

    Marla to Kulgera and Alice was without incident, the border crossing as a result of COVID was different from the many times I’d travelled the road in the past.
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    If you've never had one, you have never been to the Territory!

    I was able to stop in Alice for the night at the Wintersun Caravan Park where I had stayed some time last century! I purchased a replacement charge cable for my phone and a couple of other small items that I found that I needed and prepared for the next few days on the road.

    My next stop was at Ti Tree for fuel then onto Wycliffe well where I decided to “fall off” my bike. Actually, I had stopped to re-tie my load as it was shifting slightly. As I was riding back onto the road I got caught in some loose sand which cased the bike to fall over and land on my foot! It took a couple of minutes to extricate my foot which was pinned under the weight of my luggage and bike. Fortunately to only lasting damage was to my pride, although my knee did ache for a couple of days afterwards. I was blessed in that a couple returning from an Alice Springs car show with a lovely old Jensen on a trailer pulled up just as I was struggling to right my bike. From then on we played “tag” all the way to Cloncurry where I turned off to Kynuna.
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    I even managed to avoid being abducted by aliens at Wauchope! (Edit:Actually Wycliffe Well)
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    Another quick stop at the Devil's marbles on my way to Tennant Creek
    I stopped at Wycliffe Well for fuel and pushed on without incident to threeways where I turned right and headed to Queensland Spending my last night in the Territory at Barkly Homestead. The next morning was to be my longest distance without a fuel stop and I was praying that I’d not need my reserve supply. I arrived in Camooweal with 2Litres left in the tank sow was quite pleased. After my experience at Coober Pedy of only getting 210km to a 15L tank I was concerned as Barkly to Caomooweal was 260km which is easily doable without the headwinds I’d been fighting since I left Gelndambo. From Camooweal to Isa, then Cloncurry where I turned right and started heading “south” to Kynuna where I camped for the night.
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    We all know about Drop Bears, but, I'd not heard of Cows eating Cars! Be careful in Queensland!!!
    Kynuna was nothing as I remembered from my last trip through there when Deb and I were just engaged nearly 42 years ago, I suppose things are allowed to change. I had a counter meal at the pub there, along with a couple more ales than I should have had and managed to let my bike fall over again as I was stopping to set up camp. Another person again helped me to right it. “Note to self: Set up camp before ale!!!” Next morning, all fueled and ready to go I headed off to Winton for breakfast, then, Longreach.
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    At Longreach I took a two hour diversion to investigate the QANTAS museum, but was unable to take the tour of the aircraft as all places had been booked. I will definitely return for that.
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    I then went across the road to the Stockman’s hall of fame, but, this time could not even get in the door owing to the size of the place and COVID restrictions. Another place to re-visit. The next town along the road, Ilfracombe, also had quite a display of historic machinery that requires a substantial time in exploration. Another place on the agenda for a return visit.

    From there I travelled through Blackall to Augathella where I spent the evening with a couple I had been passing on and off since Camooweal. They nearly had to pick me up off the road about 25km short of Augathella as, coming on dusk, the animals like to populate the roads. Even though it was a little early, I saw Skippy parked on the side of the road and hit the brakes expecting a suicide attempt and I was not disappointed! He started to jump down the road towards me and, as I was just about up to him, he did a right hand turn straight in front of me. I ran over his tail!!! All I could think was “Thank You Lord”. When I arrived in Augathella I met up with them and related the story and they remember seeing the roo looking pretty sorry for itself. It’s gonna have a sore tail for a few days, methinks.
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    After a good night’s sleep I went out to pack the bike only to discover my back tyre was flat! So, out with the pump and blew it up again. As I remove the nozzle air starts blowing out of the valve, a quick tap and blow again, and it was holding, might have been some dust caught in the valve. I have no idea how it got there as the valve cap was in place, anyway, it’s holding. So far, so good! I get to the Servo in Augathella to fuel up for the next part of the journey and the engine stalls as I’m pulling onto the driveway, of course I am on loose gravel, so the back wheel duly locks up and I am left with a bike that wants to sleep on the road again!! I walk the rest of the way into the servo and ask the young lady (the only one there) to give me a hand getting it upright again. This time, I lifted from my baggage instead of removing it all (the buckles were underneath) and it came up easily. I might have resolved how I can lift it by myself as a result!. It did the first real damage to the bike this time. I broke the front RH indicator, so it is now held together with 100mph tape!
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    From there I moved on to Morven where I had one of the best coffee’s that I have had in a long time from a coffee van on the side of the road. The lady manning it was from a local campground called ]Gidgeebushcamp and we had a long conversation about depression and her work with helping Domestic Violence victims whilst I watched her make a bird out of wire netting. The campground was, sadly not doing as well with COVID and all, but she set up the coffee van to keep her staff from the campground occupied rather than laying them off! Another great example of Aussie mateship!

    The rest of the trip was largely uneventful except I did meet up with a heap of bikers who have banded together to help kids of police who have been killed on the job, some are/were cops, others, war vets, and a few who just want to help. Apparently they have a national rally in Canberra at this time, but COVID has cured that. Rather than miss out, they did a run around their state! Good on ‘em!

    I arrived at Dinmore and my daughter’s place just in time for tea and a few coldies. I’ll have a few days rest before I move into catching up with all and sundry in and around Brisvegas!

    After my experiences with this bike, I'll definitely not be considering any serious dirt travel for the near future!
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020 at 9:14 PM
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  2. ottafish
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    ottafish Member

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    Bloody amazing. Well done and my respect and admiration for tackling the trip. And posting of your adventures.
  3. Scotty
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    Sounds like a good trip...how are you getting into queensland with this bird flu bullshit?
  4. ottafish
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  5. Leigh Semmens
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    Leigh Semmens Supporter Member

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    Already there, I wasn't coming from a "Hot Spot" so all I had to do was fill out some paperwork at the Border and I was in!
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  6. ottafish
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    ottafish Member

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    This country is so f*cked that you need to do paperwork to cross an Australian, internal, state border... Or go to jail
    dip slaping politicians.
  7. Daisy
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    A crackin read..... I take my hat off to ya mate....:bigthumbsup::beer:
  8. Scotty
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  9. Hopper
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    mate what an awesome account of your travels. good on you for having a laugh along the way with your dropsies. a bloody great read and congrats on getting home safely.
  10. Leigh Semmens
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    Leigh Semmens Supporter Member

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    I ain't home yet! I'm still in QLD, no Idea as to when I'm heading "south" yet, I've still got to get to Cairns and Darwin. BTW, the aliens are at Wycliffe Well, not Wauchope as I said earlier. I'll blame the barbed wire for that (XXXX beer that is)
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  11. Hopper
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    even better, keep posting up

    Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk
  12. Leigh Semmens
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    Leigh Semmens Supporter Member

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    I'll be camping at my daughter's place for a few days, then onto a friends for a few more, so my trip is going to be mainly around Brisvegas for a week or six, when I hit the road north I shall continue my tome.
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  13. Ditch
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    Great trip report Leigh, Looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip. Thanks for sharing!
  14. JR
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    JR Staff Member Administrator Supporter

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    Awesome Adventure .................. well done, I'm jealous ...........:beer:
  15. Leigh Semmens
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    Leigh Semmens Supporter Member

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    Spent the day with a friends in Burbank. He has a Harley and we took a run out to Redland Bay and on to Cleveland Point for lunch. Sadly forgot to take any photos along the way. Even though it was all in "city limits (i.e. 60KPH or thereabouts)" it was a great ride. I've wanted to live on Russell Island since I went there with him some years back, so Redland Bay, as the ferry terminal was to check out long term parking for the likes of my tin tops and Bike. I might just do it, just not this trip! I'm getting used to the traffic in a Big City. Adelaide is tame by comparison! :D
  16. TIK61
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    Awesome Trip mate. Well done and thanks for the pics and stories of your Journey:bigthumbsup:
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  17. Leigh Semmens
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    Leigh Semmens Supporter Member

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    After a days rest I tooled around the house for a couple of days chasing a replacement indicator unit for the bike. I ended up purchasing a pair of very flexible Yamaha units that blend nicely with the paintwork on the bike. Tuseday was spent fitting them. I’ll have to remember to solder the wires when I get home or somewhere with someone who has a soldering iron. I was hoping that a match would, at least put enough heat into the wire to melt solder, but no joy. Meantime they are twisted together and held with heat shrink. So far, so good.
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    Thursday saw my daughter with a day off, so we travelled into the city to visit Southbank in Brisbane City. There are beaches and pools along a stretch of the Brisbane river which weaves its way through the entire Brisbane area effectively dividing the city into two parts.

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    The pools are freely accessible all along the bank

    Another fascinating area on Southbank is a publicly accessible garden called “Epicurios” that show many and varied edible plants, herbs and spices. It was fascinating walking around there and seeing many of our familiar herbs and vegetables in their natural state.

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    Very common around Southbank were the Water Dragons

    We then moved on to the Powerhouse Museum which, sadly, was closed for a special event. The Place of the Land Tortoise is the name given to the area around the museum by the local indigenous people of years gone by. The sculpture is part of a public art project of the Brisbane government.

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    This marble sculpture is called “Place of the Land Tortoise”

    From the Powerhouse we moved on to Mt Coot-tha for a view over the City of Brisbane and surrounds
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    Brisbane City skyline

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    15. The Brisbane river bisects the city

    We then stopped at the Brisbane Planetarium were there was a display of the history of man’s efforts to conquer space. From the early observations by Aboriginals in the distant past to Chinese astronomers of around 700AD to our recent attempts to understand the cosmos.
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    16. Chinese observations of the stars
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    17. Man Lands on the Moon
    The rest of the day was spent in exploring the suburbs of Brisbane.
    Friday was used to catch up with old friends in Burbank, a semi rural area only about 20 minutes from the city. Peter has a Harley so we took a quick ride to Redland bay then across to Raby Bay for lunch. Saturday was spent with the family watching grandchildren at gymnastics and adding to this story.
    Ditch likes this.