February 20, 2010
Location: Lorne, VIC
I am feeling completely wiped out. Motivation is at an all-time low. I hope this is just some hump that I will get over with a little more sleep. My stomach felt awful all day. Yesterday, I ate half a can of salmon that had been sitting open in my tent overnight. Maybe that was it.
I arrived in Melbourne this morning in good spirits because the weather was grand. I changed my oil and filter in an auto shop parking lot in the city and made a huge mess, in typical eraine fashion.
I made friends with two German travelers (F and H) who are headed towards Adelaide. One has a similar bike to mine, an XTZ660. This is good because if my bike breaks, I can kill him and strip his bike for parts.
We took M1 to Geelong, then Torquay. Went to Bells Beach and then took trails through Anglesea, and then the Great Ocean Road to Lorne.
February 21, 2010
Location: Portland, VIC
Left Lorne in the morning and followed the Great Ocean Road to Cape Otway. There was a bit of traffic on the road, but it wasn’t so bad to go slowly because the views were nice. Tried to take some trails through Otway National Park, but most of them were closed off.
There were a lot of koalas hanging out in the trees on the side of the road through Otway. The koalas were really ugly for some reason.
Stopped by the 12 Apostles rock formation. Continued along A1 to Portland, and am camped out here for the night.
I took a pretty good dump on the bike today. The bolts holding the ignition lock have been broken for some time, and today it was loose to the point where the ignition was cutting out while riding. It needed attention, but I didn’t want to hold up the group, so I tried to ride around it until it killed the ignition mid-corner and locked up the rear, tossing me to the ground. I’m fine, the bike isn’t any worse off, and I was able to bandage the ignition together with duct tape. I don’t know that there is any better solution beyond drilling out and replacing the bolts, which I don’t have the facilities for right now. I generally don’t like duct tape fixes, so if the ignition continues to have issues, I’m just gonna hotwire it.
February 22, 2010
Location: Salty Creek, SA
We are now in South Australia, about 200 km from Adelaide. We were supposed to make Adelaide today, but had a bit too much fun screwing off.
The Germans played a mean trick on me this morning. We needed to siphon petrol from one of the fuel tanks so that we could light our little cooking stove to make coffee. I was assigned the task of sucking fuel out of my tank with a hose, which I accepted because I am kind, but did not realize that F held the other end of the hose just above the fuel line, causing me to inhale petrol fumes until my stomach turned over. It’s a good thing I don’t need my brain cells anymore.
To make a queasy day worse, we filled our camelbacks from a bad tap this morning. As the day went on, both F and I suffered from intestinal issues and required frequent stops. H had no such problems because he does not drink water, only coffee and beer.
At some point, someone came up with the brilliant idea of riding some trails that crossed over sand dunes. My bike was perhaps the only one even remotely suitable for sand, and even then it was asking a lot of the bike and rider. There was a lot of falling over involved today, but it was a great time and now I’m bruised and sore as hell.
February 23, 2010
Location: Adelaide, SA
And here we are in Adelaide! Took Princes Hwy almost directly here from Coorong. Took the Wellington Ferry. Didn’t take any pictures worth uploading today, as I was exhausted from a sleepless night of being attacked by insects.
We are camped out by the beach. This afternoon H dared me to swim out to a buoy about a kilometer from the shore, so I dragged him out to sea. He nearly drowned and I had to rescue him.
February 24, 2010
Location: Adelaide, SA
Got new tires and brake pads for the bike today. I changed the tires the day before I left, but those knobbies burned up quick in the last 5,500 km. I switched to a much harder hybrid compound this time, because there will be hundreds of kilometers of hot desert tarmac ahead.
I also finally bought a proper riding jacket today, something I wish I had done months ago. My lovely white rain jacket has just about reached the end of its useful life, unfortunately.
No pictures from today because I spent the day working on the bike, and it was not very interesting. Also reloaded on fluids and spares (for both me and the bike). All of a sudden my luggage is really heavy again. Damn.
February 25, 2010
Location: Rawnsley/Flinders Ranges, SA
Took about 400 km of highway from Adelaide to Orroroo to Hawker and am now camped out in the wilderness that is the Flinders Ranges. H & F were annoying the hell out of me so I ditched them and found my own campsite.
There were lots of wild emus and kangaroos along the way, but they disappeared in the bush before I could take out my camera.
February 26, 2010
Location: Port Augusta, SA
H found my campsite this morning and woke me up. Departed early because it gets really hot out during the day. We rode a few hundred km around the Flinders Ranges, and did some pretty awesome tracks. F kept trying to race me, and it made me really angry. I miss doing my own thing. This evening, I told H that I did not want to ride with them anymore. He offered to ditch F and continue with me, but I declined that offer.
After riding around the Flinders Ranges, headed back down to Port Augusta. We’re nearing the desert now, and it is getting really hot!
|Next: Week 4 Crossing the desert|
Week 3: South Australia
March 4, 2010 by Elaine