I hope everyone had a lovely break for Christmas – I spent it catching up with cousins I hadn’t seen in years This post essentially marks the end of the year – I’ll have some news on where the trip is headed in the next one.
20/11/2013-21/11/2013 – I was originally planning to split the trip up back down to Cairns over three or so days but things did not go according to plan this time..
The trip started off normal enough.
After stopping to wait for traffic, we were on our way. The run out was fairly dusty and rough (nothing new there) – unfortunately I managed to get caught behind a road train. Until you’ve actually experienced it you can never understand the sheer amount of dust a big road train can stir up – I could hardly breathe! Overtaking is quite difficult as visibility for oncoming traffic is almost non-existent; a number of drivers have been injured or killed by striking oncoming traffic when trying to pass a road train. That in mind, I waited until we were stopped at a traffic control and took the opportunity to overtake when we got the go ahead. I had noticed at this point that Alex wasn’t behind me but this isn’t that unusual – I can usually keep a quicker pace as the XR is a bit lighter and I’m not riding two-up either. I decided I would have something to eat at Musgrave while I waited for Al. I stopped in at Musgrave and after waiting for around half an hour with no sign of the DR I started to worry. After asking a 4WD travelling south if they had seen another bike on the road and finding out they hadn’t I wasn’t quite sure what to do – as the weather was closing in I decided to push onwards towards Coen, figuring if they had got caught behind the road train they would be travelling quite slow. After stopping at the Exchange Hotel in Coen and putting on a dry set of clothes (my jeans were now a fluro orange colour from the bulldust thanks to a touch of rain further back) I waited for the DR to show up. After a few hours I knew something was up but it was too far to turn back now – it was turning dark and the weather wasn’t looking too good so I decided to camp near the river just North of Coen for the night.
Not long after stopping I momentarily switched on my phones data connection and had an email – it was from Alex. The DR had spat the chain joining link about 30km outside of Weipa in a spot where he had no reception. Luckily he had a spare chain on board (the old one was soon due to be changed) but when the chain came loose it did a bit of damage – thankfully all repairable. This meant we were now a day out of sync so I would be keeping myself company tonight. After a rough nights sleep thanks to some mizzle (apparently that is the term for rain described as misty drizzle – you learn something new everyday) and high humidity I woke fairly early and made the decision to push through to my aunty and uncles for a hot shower and warm bed – 550km down the road.
The trip was pretty uneventful, just very, very wet. I rode through heavy rain for the last 300km or so – cold, soaked through and cramped from the 8 hours of riding I couldn’t wait for that hot shower!
Now, with that all said this post essentially marks the end of my posts for 2013 – bring on 2014!