At last, the final post to “Holiday Bob’s” epic three part series….
So, I think there is a BMW GS1200 for sale. Steve had loaded her up for the trip, wheeled her out, then realised his crook knee wasn’t up for it, Bugger!! Back into the shed & transfer all the gear onto the DRZ, must have been a disappointing moment. I’m sure his arse will never be the same, but he manned up & turned up at Echuca on the DRZ. Then again at White Cliffs, he realises he can’t trust his knee & chooses to head south towards home. Sorry to see him go, but selling the Beemer might just cover the cost of a knee reconstruction !
Anyway back to rest of us, a slow start & a cooked breakfast! Very pleasant indeed. Then back into town & head north on big sandy roads to Willara crossing. Just a locality really, but we cut east here as we are heading across to see Ronny Wouters on “Wapweelah”, a station he is managing near Enngonia which is not far south of the Queensland boarder. The road is now little more than a station track, for the most part unmaintained with varied surfaces of gibber,Sand & rock with a couple of creek crossings with water! Great fun…
We regroup at Yantabulla, a Ghost town on the Bourke- Hungerford road. A couple of guys wonder off into the bush looking for a graveyard while the rest of us have a drink & a few snakes. Then it’s back onto the bush tracks till we come to the main gate of Ronnie’s joint, it’s about 5 km’s into the homestead. Time for a shower, a little washing & a proper bed for the night. We have a whip around & Ronny runs us into town to get a few beers. I learn a lot about life up here chatting away on the 30k trip into town.
Turns out its a 6 can trip & I’m pretty smug by the time we get back. We have a look at the artesian bore & there is a bath attached. Now I’m a spa sort of person so I’m in the hot water, can in hand. Dinner is heaps of lamb chops cooked over an open fire along with a few more beers, by 10:00 I’m done in & don’t hear anyone else go to bed .
Spanner is at it again, pre dawn & trying to get everyone up! Fuck it, I’m having another spa, it’s awesome sitting in the hot water watching the dawn break. Our host has made some eggy bread & coffee, then It’s off to find “Captain Midnights” Grave which KLR Dave almost falls on as he pulls up in the sand! Mick gets caught in some wire coming out of the gate , then as I go around him, I get caught on the other side. We look like a couple of fish in a net !
Into Enngonia & turn left for a quick run on the blacktop into Bourke & potato pies at the Bakery (But only if your quick )!
A sneaky look around Bourke. Then KLR Dave leaves us here as he wants to check out some country to the east as we turn South West & take the dirt to Louth along the east side of the Darling river. Luckily the pub is shut so its a quick stop & head South to Cobar for fuel & a bite of lunch. A good quality sealed road for 80 k’s then dirt into a State Park & some exciting roads through some homelands that we are not permitted to camp in. Val is riding just behind on my right then as I move right to go over a grid I realise he is gone. I shit myself as I thought I had run him into the fence in the dust, but it turns out he threw a chain just before the grid. Much relieved !
It will be dark & cold soon,so we sneak off the road on what is probably private property to camp for the night. Another great night around the fire . There is heavy dew & fog to greet us in the morning . Packing up cold wet gear takes on a new meaning when Moz, who’s geared up & mounting his bike to get started realises he has left his keys in the pocket of his tent.. He gets to pack up twice. I believe there is footage of this complete with a colourful soundtrack!
Not far down the road Hans has copped a puncture, always fun with cold fingers & then backed it up again with another just short of Hillston. At least there is coverage, Mick has just shelled out $30 for an inner tube so I run it back out to the boys north of town . From here we zig zag south avoiding the main roads around Griffith & into Leeton for fuel.
Someone picks up that Moz’s rear wheel has a bit of a wobble up, turns out he’s flogged a bearing out which is a bit unusual on a bike that young. A local puts us in the direction of a local bike shop. what a legend! Just about the best bike shop ever, Phil Ivanoff motorcycle repairs. Turns out there is a bush missing out of the rear wheel so he lets Moz cut loose on a manual lathe to make a new one while the rest of us wander about the shop looking at drag bikes, classics & funny bikes for hours . What a champion, Woody & I fix up a bit of electrical work for Phil. Poor ol ‘Ivan is wondering what he’s got here!
When all is well its a bit of a rocket run South to DR Dave’s brothers Pub in Howlong and who is that down the road with a walking frame on the back of his bike? It’s KLR Dave !
DR’s brother, Andrew has tee’d up a couple of cabins at the caravan park for us & after a hot shower sends out the minibus to pick us up . Feel like royalty !
After a great feed & a few to many wines its time for a sleep ,even if its at the table ! Spanner starts ringing up people & pretending to be an Indian selling solar panels ! It’s 1:am.
In the morning some of the boys head south to catch up with Trucky in Benalla. Dave stays to visit his mum & 5 of us drop into Chiltern & across to Myrtleford, Woody ,Val & Spanner then head over to Omeo & Lakes for the night. KLR Dave & I head south to Cheshunt & Whitfield then through Mansfield to Jamison Brewery for a bowl of soup & a plate of chips, then over the best bit of road in the state to Eildon. I always enjoy this stretch, but it’s tinged with a little sadness that this has all come to an end.
TILL NEXT TIME !