Quite literally – I had to hike up a mountain to get some reception to post it. Which as you’ve probably just figured means that I am now back on the road and motopacker.com is now to it’s regular unscheduled programming. I thought I’d give alliteration in the post titles a break for a while..
Now I guess I better give an update as to where I am and where I am headed. Those that have read my previous posts would know that I was waiting for the wet season to pass before heading back on the road again. I spent a few months staying with my aunt and uncle on the Atherton tablelands and quite enjoyed my time there – it also gave me a good chance to figure out a future direction for the trip and ultimately think about where I am headed whenever this trip has reached it’s conclusion. I also had time to work on a few projects I have been meaning to tackle for the last few years. Time fairly well spent, all in all.
That now brings us to the trip itself. First point; I am now travelling solo. My timeframe and Alex’s for recommencing the trip didn’t quite line up unfortunately so it will likely be another month or two before the big Suzuki hits the tarmac again. This is can be seen as both a good thing and a bad thing depending on the perspective (said as I’m looking at the ying-yang necklace I am currently wearing for which the proper name alludes me right now). I will obviously need to be mindful of where and when I am travelling as I no longer have the security of having someone else with me but it also allows me a freer schedule; I don’t have to wait an hour in the morning for Al to load up the 650*..
Second point: It’s kind of nice to be back on the road. I left on the Friday just passed (16/05/2014) and ended up knocking over two of my biggest days yet (505km and 570km respectively) to reach my current destination at Lawn Hill National Park. I did however have one quick stop-over on the way through on the first day at Terrestrial – a mineral exhibit in Georgetown which had some quite interesting items:
Including some cool glowing things.
Quick stop for lunch and I was back on the road. Why I hadn’t thought to do this until now I have no idea. Very handy!
I then spent the night 90km outside of Normanton at a railway siding (apparently it is a stop for the Gulflander train – I wasn’t waiting around 6 days to find out!). Aside from someone trying to do some rather pathetic doughnuts in a ute out in the gravel car park it was a fairly peaceful night. Well, with the exception of a cow munching on some grass next to my swag which I soon moved on. Got a reasonable start and got into Normanton around 10am for some fuel, supplies and photos at a really big croc statue.
My fingers for scale. Back on the bike for a few more hours of this along the Savannah Way.
I pulled in at Burke & Wills’ camp XXIX – the final camp of the 1860/1861 expedition. All but one man perished.
Click to embiggen.
Back on the road it was much the same; just clocking up the kilometres. Aside from hitting a roo (probably more technically clipped it as I caught it’s tail. Certainly woke me up but luckily no damage to the bike or myself. Not sure about the roo – it kept on going.) and taking a wrong turn at Augustus Downs’ homestead which added 150km to my trip I had an uneventful run. Bumped into two blokes called Angus and Streaky riding DR650s with Safari tanks and had a chat which was quite handy as we got to swap some travel notes. They were from Kurumba but had just come back from Darwin using the route I intend to take so I now know what to expect. Ended up riding in to the sunset dodging a few small wallabies. Kept the speeds down which came through in my second best run economy-wise yet at 4.8L/100km.
Thankfully I only had a short run to my next destination – Lawn Hill National Park. I intended to stay two days at Adel’s Grove just up the road from the park and I am very glad I did. The camp grounds are rather spectacular and well equipped.
Short walk up to the lookout. Incidentally this is where I am posting from.
These things turn up everywhere. Must be a lot of bored traveller’s about..
Which now brings us to today. One of my main reasons for staying at Lawn Hill was to do something I hadn’t done for quite a few years. I hopped on the bike and rode down the road 10km into the park proper to go to the gorge to hire a canoe. My shoulders are now rather sore from spending an hour and a half paddling a solo canoe but it was well worth it! Pardon the poor quality of photos as I was trying to balance and kneel in the canoe while taking them.
And that concludes an up-to-date post of where I am currently at. I would have liked to spend a bit more time hiking around the gorge but I gave it a miss; I am currently nursing a running injury from a few months back. I now intend on heading up the Savannah Way towards Borroloola through Hells Gate – posts may be a bit delayed from here on out as I am finding it hard to get reception so please do be patient.
*I honestly didn’t mind. I know he’ll likely read this post at some point and I couldn’t resist a dig..