We actually split this across two days of riding, but I’ll keep it in one post.
Daybreak – time to get organised. No set destination for today – just to ride as far as we feel like. I was quite surprised to hear a few other bikes this morning – an organised tour group was making there way up to the Cape – 4 DRZ400s and a support truck. They passed me as I was waiting for Alex and Rah to get ready and then I set off. The road was good hardpack dirt for the run towards Musgrave so I had an excellent run up on the XR sitting on 100-110 for the most part. I eventually caught and passed all 4 DRZ’s and got a nice clear dust-free run to myself. Aside from a couple of suicidal roos (one of the joys of being the lead rider: flushing out any waiting wildlife..) I had a good run in the cool morning air.
I eventually made my way to Musgrave after an hour or so, well ahead of everyone so I took the liberty to order a burger and take a look around. The first of the DRZ’s from the tour group rolled in about 20 minutes later so I talked for a while. The group had started at Cairns and had 6 days to get the the tip where they would fly out from Bamaga. The tour leader was quite a nice guy and was quite well travelled in these parts.
Water tank at Musgrave roadhouse – someone went to a lot of effort to get a sticker made up…
Small collection on display. Yes, I know the photo is out of focus..
Let’s see who can identify these items
I’ll put the answers up sometime..
Yet another old bowser
Very handy reference! Our next stop was Coen – 106km up the road.
Once I arrived in Coen I stopped at the pub and waited for Alex and Rah. The tour group arrived eventually followed by Alex and Rah. I had another good run on the way up and had a dust free run out front. The Exchange Hotel (commonly known as the Sexchange Hotel) was a nice, small country pub. We happened to stop in while a superhero/Avengers-themed dress up charity event was being held.
Old Pioneer Jukebox at the Exchange Hotel had a lot of character.
We decided to press onwards to Archer River, another 65km up the road (the photo of the water tank served as a handy reference guide at this point!). Once again we met up with the tour group and camped next door at the Archer River camp site. The guys were nice enough to spare us a beer each – cheers lads!
The Army rolling in to camp for the night.
Flood level quite a way up from the river – The flood in 1992 must have been something else!
6/11/2013 – I had a day off from photos today. Not much to report – we said our goodbyes to the tour group (after the organiser had very kindly marked out my Northern Territory map with some choice spots – should come in handy in a few months!). We headed up the road towards Weipa – where we would stay with my cousin for a few days. The road into Weipa was probably my least favourite road of the entire trip. It is composed of gravel, corrugations and Bauxite – essentially very fine ball-bearing like rocks covering the entire road. It was on this surface that I happened to have a momentarily lapse in concentration and wandered slightly wide off the 15cm wide wheel track, touching the gravel piled into the centre of the road. The back of the bike drifted across the travel and put the bike into headshake (some people call it death wobbles) – this continued for around 100m as I tried to straighten the bike out, thankfully eventually I did – the last thing I wanted to do was come off here, especially at 105km/h! Putting that behind me I made it into Weipa safely.
My Tracks – 5/11/2013
My Tracks – 6/11/2013