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3,000klm DR adventure....

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Well the DR (the Doctor as I call it) has been serving me well for the last 10 months on the road. Replaced the clutch plates a while back with some EBC ones, a perfect replacement. Only issues have been some loose screws and my new mirrors not staying still at speed.

Since I have started planning a two week long tour across three states, with both tarmac and graded dirt roads, a few other issues have poked their heads up for immediate attention. Firstly, my stock exhaust system has rattled itself to bits internally. It makes a hell of a racket and sounds like a drag bike when backing off as the baffle floats about in the muffler body. Both sides are doing it and soot is enveloping the underside of the seat area too. I have a couple of new CZR mufflers but they are too loud for touring purposes, they do weigh a lot less though. I have had to settle on using the new TK-R stainless one I just got for my XT600L Yammy. It is only a little louder than my stock system (before it started to decompose inside anyway) and is way lighter.

The stock system leaks, rattles and has intermittant back pressure......

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Yep that's right....10.5 kilograms, or about 23lbs.

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The CZR ones are snazzy, but too loud at 102dB from 6 feet away....

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Impressive low weight though......

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The XT600's new muffler will have to do.....

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There is still a good weight saving of 7kg's.....

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My speedo also has decided a 2,000+ kilometre tour is out of the question and quit working, Navman to the rescue....

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Fits perfectly on the speedo dial......

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Fits in there okay I guess.....

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Will be a challenge to get used to on the move, very small text for the speed I'm travelling.....

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Change of oil (filter is only 2 months old) and a tappet set, fitted new plugs and a new air filer element today. Chain retensioned and new brake fluid purged through the brakes last weekend. Now all I need is kind weather and no idiots about...hahaha.

I have the bike booked in to have my duallie tyres fitted this week.

Cheers,

Chris,

Edited by DoctorChrisko

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G'day all, season's greetings etc etc etc....after organsising a babysitter for my bikes, I'm finally able to get away on my three state "adventure", my loose term for a bike ride to see my niece in Adelaide. But the "there and back" is the main reason for going anywhere when a bike is involved isn't it?

As soon as the dual tyres are fitted that is......

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....and I cannot possibly get lost now that I have a Navman......

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Heading off from Melbourne firstly to see what the country around Harrow is like, then down to the SA coast at Robe, there a call to Ashley (to meet him in Kingston). I plan a campover in Kingston area and then a 30klm morning ride along the beach towards Meningie. A leg of a journey on a GT860 Ducati that I missed in 1976.

Shall meander around the Murray mouth and follow the river upstream to Mannum. Then head NW towards Gawler. My niece is in Salisbury, just north of Adelaide. Couple of days there and then slowly through the beautifull barossa valley and then onto my next stop at Waikerie. A few people to see on my way through my old stomping ground on the way to more rellies in Renmark/Paringa.

Man, there is some great country there I will introduce you all to. Will be packing my digi camera and laptop...so will be logging on most nights given good network strength.

Will most likely go the back way from Renmark to Mildura (via Wentworth) as the country is simply awe inspiring compared to the grainbelt along the main Sturt Hwy. Spent a lot of my youth out there, first on horseback, then in "paddock bashers" and then on two wheels.

I still have a counter Meal to finish off at Gol Gol (near Mildura)...and then I shall wing it and end up at old mates place at Lake Boga, for a cuppa, some fishing and maybe a round of golf!!

Shall then follow the Murray, and like the whole trip, stop anywhere that looks half interesting. Will head all the way east to at least Wangaratta and then head south down the King Valley, camp there somewhere trying some fly fishing and then to Eildon for some bait/lure fishing. By this stage my wallet will conspire with the calendar to get me back to Melbourne.

Any members in those areas wishing a nutter on a Soozy to drop by and gawk/talk bikes, is encouraged to let me know.

Here's hoping everyone has a good and safe festive season. 8)

Cheers,

Chris.

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Righto, my bikes and a few things are at the babysitters for a couple of weeks, my new tyres are all good to go. Bike's been serviced and new filters and fluids abound. Valves cleared and sparkies renewed. Even packed fresh marine grease when the wheels were off and went a tad tighter on the steering head.

New set of Bridgestone Trailwings, bought and fitted for under $190.....

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Hopefully they will last the 2,500 plus kilometres I have already planned to cover.....

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Bike is ready to be loaded up with my gear and hit the road.....

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Merry Christmas and have a great start to the new year, fellow members.

Cheers,

Chris.

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Sounds like you are almost prepped and ready to go. You will have to post pictures of the trip when you get back.

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Tooth hurty and I am already settled on my packing...... :smirk:

Which obviously means I have forgotten something major....like my can of puncture repair that's still with the viduro kit. Back inna minute......

Okay, there is a fair chance if I see some sort of saddle bag set-up for sale cheap, I'll get it. Just on 24kg for the main pack. My back-pack weighs only 3kg with only the small laptop yet to go in it.

Feels a little like having a small child on the back when travelling, but will require a bit of focus at stops and getting on/off etc........

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I was happy to find a high-vis pullover tucked away under the backpack, especially good in the forested areas I'll be travelling through half the time. Hopefully the bike will be high-vis out in the red stuff.

Cheers,

Chris.

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With the packing going smoother than I anticipated, I had time to go and search for one of those cheap FM radios and earpieces, with a scan only station finder. Only about $5-$10 and throw away when the battery dies, but worth it to stay tuned to the cricket and local fire restrictions. Didn't find a replacement for my old one, but I did spot something else....

I ended up buying a slightly bigger blue canvas bag that covers up the crappy green one. At least the zip works well and all the extra handles help, and my gear is double storm proof now.

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....$12 out of the $1.5 BILLION :smirk: spent today....I did my bit.

Cheers,

Chris.

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I got away an hour late, re-adjusting the load as it wasn't feeling safe. All good by 8.10am was underway into a steady stream if rain showers till I reached Ballarat where it was only drizzling, but 10 degrees cooler and blowin' a gale. Oddly enough they have filled every hilltop in Victoria's "blow belt" between Ballarat and Hamilton with massive wid farms. Right arm aches from fighting the wind for several hours at 110klm/h. The bike did not miss abeat and sat on 4,750 revs @ 110klm/h. Dunno how many k's I've done coz my gps battery failed to recharge from my dodgey wired charger......oooops. Dam thing went blank halfway outa Melbourne. Still, I went through a freeway speedcheck and 4500 was my limit for 100. Did the maths for the other speeds in towns...no tickets, no flashes....didden even see any cops at all.

Stopped a few times to look-see, buut the moments were lost as my camera was too much of a hassle to unpack, my mobiles battery is on it's last legs and after two pics I realised the importance of not flattening it completely. Here's a pick of t3e bike/load at Lak eBolac, near Hamilton......

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Arrived at Kingston on the SA south east coast about 5.30 and texted Ashley. He arrived in minutes and soon we were at his beach house talking bikes, also offloaded a headlight lens for Ashley's IT rebuild. We had takeaways for tea and went and pitched my tent in the back yaed....here's my view, the beach is just over those little dunes.....

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Provides a lovely sound as I post this, then it's lights out...bed.....tomorrow I ride the beach for 20-30klm, then follow the coorong to the rejuuvinated Murray mouth and then the over the hills back way to Adelaide.

...at least my laptop batteries okay.

Cheers,

Chris, backyard tent Kingston SE, South Aust.

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Woken by a rooster before light, I pondered the day ahead and slowly drifted back to sleep to awake at first light to a light smattering of rain on the tent. 30 minutes later was greeted with a cuppa from Ashley. Soon he took me for a look-see of Kingston. Lovely place. Small, but spread out along the foreshore, with a vibrant fishing backdrop.

The view in the morning from Ashley's backyard....

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Looking towards town with Jaffa Lighthouse prominent......

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What looked like a large boom crane from across town, turned out to be just a big prawn......

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A drive along the beach gave me an indication of what I might encounter on my first leg of the day.....

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Of all the sights to see around Kingston, this is what I wanted to explore....

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Unfortunately, Ashley recieved an urgent call out....so was not able to ride the beach with me. It was then I decided to restrict the length of my beach ride somewhat, the few soft patches we encountered in the vehicle set me thinking about my safety. But, ya' can't hold a man down.....

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The "Granites", the place I can get back onto the highway is off in the distance somewhere, my GPS was keeping on telling me to "go back - do a U-turn at.........." Yeah right!! They always expect you to go the easiest way....

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I could not stop anywhere as the bike was very cumbersome. A very strong wind was giving me curry and the sand was very soft. Picking the right strip to ride along was proving hard to maintain. I got bogged down quite a few times and thank to 40+ horses, we made it. I would do the whole length in a heartbeat without my 30kg load. Some rough seas whipped up by the wind......

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I made it to the granites....must admit, not knowing what the "Granites" actually were, I thought I was approaching a pod of beached whales at first, I was relieved in more ways than one to realised I had made it....

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I had come just over 4klm, taking me about an hour, getting to the beach took half, those dune tracks are soft...very soft. There is only a thin strip of rideable sand along the beach, very hard to see at times where it was...

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The Granites carpark.....now for bikes!

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As I mentioned before, my interest lies within the bush......tracks going everywhere, many things to be found at the end of some......

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Didn't even leave tracks...... ???

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The whole area seems to be lined with sandstone......with unexpected sights.

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Biggest tree I couuld find has been summarily fertilised......

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I couldn't resist the tempting tracks....I have plenty of time......

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Was suprised to find that the large green clumps dotting the landscape were actually large Mulllberry trees.....

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After a messy treat of berries I moved onto Meningie on lake Albert, filled again. So was I, had a great Egg n' Bacon roll at Dascul's Foodery.

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Tailem Bend proved a nice sight, full flowing river....and fuel at $1.57.9/litre!

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I headed north from Tailem Bend to Murray Bridge and on up to Mannum, turning left to head up the Mt Lofty Ranges. No more freeways for this end of the day, no sir, narrow windy roads all the way to the outskirts of Adelaides northern suburbs. Here's a view from near Mt Pleasant looking east towards Mannum......

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Strangely, I seemed to be the only person heading to Adelaide, made good speed for me through all the nice corners, but was kept on my toes with a steady stream of traffic heading the other way...many overtakers.

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I finally loaded my destination into my gps as the sight seeing had finished, I was suprised to find I was only 11.9klm from my nieces place. It was 4.30pm when I arrived having left Ashley's around 9am. A brilliant days ride to say the least. Oh yeah, the bike didden miss a beat, I'm not sore at all, only my ears are a bit ringy from the wind buffet.

Till my next ride in a couple of days....cheers,

Chris.

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Okay so I saw me rellies and dropped some momento's off, (niece and eldest brother), rode around Adelaide (very easy to do), lost and then found my nieces whippet/chiauaha(?), fixed a mower and mowed a two year old lawn. Stocked up on cheap smokes and fritz....only crow-eaters could understand that last bit. Then headed NE towards the Barossa Valley, in particular the small town of Tanunda...where Tony T lives, to pick up a bottle of wine!

Just love these country roads...if it's flat they are in straight lines and right angles, where it's hilly, it's fun, coz the roads go silly. Either way, you are surrouunded by acres and acres of unprepared hangovers.

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After a brief encounter with 21st century communications, I found I had gone 200m past Tony's place, a text and an arm-wave go me to his driveway okay.

Intro...talk-bikes....then Tony fired up his 610 Husky, we went and fuelled up and took off on a tour...a grouse one with many of the silly roads to boot. Thumped our way past countless world famous wineries on our rounder, ending up at the top of a hill with a great view.......and STRANGE sculptures placed at the foot of the lookout......yes, I was aware I was in SA.

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Prolly the best view........ :whistling:

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We returned to Tony's and I saw the Cagiva Elefant in resto mode... Choice bike! I parted with a gift from Tony, a bottle of plonk....a '98 vintage Saltram Shiraz called Pepperjack.

Tony had a date at the end of the state and had to be away by midday, his Husky was gonna enjoy some dirt miles and we soon parted ways....I headed through Truro and (lo and behold...tourists) then onto Accommodation Hill. Where the roads drops 358m down onto Gondwanaland....I was heading for that horizon......

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The land of the Willy Willy whirlwinds......

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I was soon to be travelling that road....and yes it's hot, dam hot! Reached 38c by 2pm (still over 34 at 10pm)......

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The "Doctor" is treating me well.......

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Big thanks to Tony T...and the earplugs worked a treat, thankyou!

More to follow.......

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After a relatively boring run across the plains to Blanchetown, I had a mental note of turning right across the highway just before the Blanchetown bridge over the Murray River, to take some scenic pics.....I did the turn and ended up on the bridge I thought I was stopping just short of......

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Yep, there was now two of 'em.......

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Anyway, the sights are still the same.....these are the sights that will be repeated at every opprtunity to see the river from the road.....

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The river has been relatively low down this end for years as evidenced by the now almost submerged trees and shrubs...these will be those dead trees youu will always see on the Murray (apparently greenhouse gas causes it....honest). I've called it nature for fuggen years......

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This for the Bridgets amongst us........

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A mud map of the area I'm about to head to Renmark through.....

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And once at Renmark (hometown), when the cool change hits on monday, I will be taking the red track out to Cooltong and around the top way, 235 klm to Wentworth NSW (via the now full Lake Victoria).....

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I'll be doing a bit of research and figure crunching to work out my fuel range in the interim.

Still more to follow.....

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Waikerie is famous for gliding and the world championships are a regular event here. The river has carved its way through Australia's central plataeu and for 50miles the cliffs are relatively close by on each side of the river. This causes huge thermal updraughts, that could hold those motorless gliders aloft for as long as the day.......

It was stinkin' hot and heading for 40c, my idea of a ride down to the river from this side of it was not now an option, the tracks are dam steep and are mostly limestone...like marbles after all the 4x4's have been towing boats down there, I parked at a short tar trip lookout.....

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But the views are better from on high......

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An ariel view of the area from above during the 1956 floods....9 months before I was born......

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And for the Plaquies amongst us.....

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I can only think of one word here........dirtbike!

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But wait, (are we there yet?) there's more......

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Kingston Bridge at Kingston-On-Murray, one of the reasons (besides the Coorong bit) I wanted to go down to Robe/Kingston in the SE on my way to Adelaide. The bridge replaced a ferry as late as 1973, it is a national interstate highway......

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Last time I passed through here, there were abundant Willy Willy's out in the dusty lake bed......

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Bike pic.....

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Another one for the Plaquies.....

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One of the most thought provoking Plaques you will come across.......

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Remember them previous views, here's a reminder......

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I'm now in Renmark/Paringa for a few days of day tours, stay tuned for some experiences.

Cheers,

Chris.

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Well, besides the air-con...or down at the river....the obvious choice with a DR650 at hand, is to go fishin'.

In my school days, mates and I used to frequent the "Blow-hole"....just a concrete pipe under the road that feeds the adjacent wetlands, as lock #5 is 150m downstream. This insures the numerous ox-bow lakes are regularly kept fresh. *Ox-bow lakes (or Billabongs), are the old river beds left abandoned from flow when the river cuts a new course, as it slowly meanders downstream. With a fall of only 160m over 380 miles of river, it doesn't take much to carve a new path across the flat flood plains. But we didn't care about that back then...we just had fun.

We'd hold a truck tube across our backsides and leap off the guard rail into the pipe outlet, and try and gain some kinda control before disappearing into the willows, with massive whirlpools under there. The trees have overgrown a lot since then....seems kids these days have better things to do.

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Sluice-gate is not even half open atm........

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It was a real struggle once you went in there.......

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We would recouperate sunbaking on a patch of lawn left from an old since removed cottage....

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And boys being boys.....we found a drum of 4' wire tomato stakes and proceeded to spear them into this tree, now colloquially known as the "Stake Tree" by the locals......

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:dirol: This happened circa 1969.

Now for some bush trackin'.............. :bumps:

*Ox-bow http://maps.google.com.au/maps?q=renmark&ll=-34.193062,140.769796&spn=0.033723,0.054846&hnear=Renmark+South+Australia&gl=au&t=h&z=14&vpsrc=6

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Bush tracks..... :s_biggrin

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Bush tracks will eventually always lead to the water......

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And those enjoying it......

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Aussieriginals told me long time ago, when ya' see a wet comorant, get the rods out......

He wasn't going anywhere till he was dry, the DR didn't scare it away at all.....

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I caught some fish the bird would have rejected and soon was snagged anyway.

One of my favorite things to do was find a large patch of "Lip Ear", a small ground covering sucullent....

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And do massive wheelies and slides on it on my TS50cc Suzi....the stuff when squashed becomes like a greased pan.....

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Of course, we always had other things that were pretty slippery too......

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And I see another track in the background........

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See track...must follow....can't help....myself...... :s_crazy

One of the most exciting thing is not knowing what's around the next bend.....

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Bike pic..... :dirol:

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Aha, just as I predicted, figjam.........

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Two Ox-bows converge, a sanctuary for many.....

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These graded main roads get you about from area to area relatively quickly, provided you are at one with "Limestone Marbles".......

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Hence my hesitation when at Waikerie Cliffs yesterday.

....it's 39c and climbing at the moment. So I'm going swimming!

Cheers,

Chris.

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Crunched some facts, figures and folklore after a warm bath (a swim at the sandbar)

Forecast of 41c tomorrow (sunday 1st) and 36c with a cool change later on monday.....

My fuel range is 420km open road.......

Averaging 21.6 klm/litre for the trip so far, with the Tailem Bend over the ranges to Adelaide, and then suburban riding, showed little difference from the other legs at 21.4.....

I can only get one small section of my next leg of the tour on the web. It is from Rufus river to Wentworth, a relatively straight run of 67 klm. The expected time taken was 2 hours 10 minutes however.

Locals say the section heading NNE from Cooltong is very slow going with dry water runs for miles. Top track and down to Rufus River has lots of impromptu detours and hasn't been graded since August 2010.....

I need to rest up tomorrow big time......I've gotta get back on the black stuff near Wentworth BEFORE the cool change dumps a sh!t load of boggy spots in front of me.........I've been out there in the wet before and tractors or horses are the best means of transport. Would be a real challenge for the serious off-roaders, one, two or four wheel wheel drive alike.

I'm anxious......... :dunno:

http://maps.google.com.au/maps?saddr=Rufus+River+NSW&daddr=Wentworth+NSW&hl=en&ll=-34.023071,141.314392&spn=1.081296,1.755066&sll=-34.070862,141.470947&sspn=1.080687,1.755066&geocode=FWqV-P0dzIhrCCm9so4R_37BajEQAkSQtAkGBA%3BFYuT9_0ddo91CCl5FtCt0FvCajFAAkSQtAkGBA&vpsrc=6&mra=ls&t=h&z=9

Cheers,

Chris.

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Made by own tracks late today, kinda ridin' near the edge too...... :whistling:

Many people have presumed, that with such a shiny fangled bike, I'd never risk going off the tar...well stuff them!

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This area is extremely dangerous to the novice and foriegners to the area, there are some pitfalls. This pic needs some study to work it out, imagine going at any speed and trying to read it properly.....

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There is a 350 foot drop in 5m.

There are also hundreds of hidden chasms that can reach 100m long running to the cliff's edge.....

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There are some impressive ruts too.......

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Anyway, the cliffs are pretty impressive as far as sights go.......

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Fossils on the top of the cliff are really ancient......

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They are abundant and I even managed to stand on them photgraphing others.....

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The river valley across here is about 20 miles, opening out to nearer 50, that horizon is where the Wentworth track runs, arcing it's way around the flood plains.......

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Oh yeah, I was chasin' sunset pics.......

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I better go get some before it's too dark to negotiate the cliffs and erosion washout area!

Cheers,

Chris.

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When the moon becomes visible in the daytime, the time is right for some sunset viewing......

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I'd better get outa here before ground visibility is nil......

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With an average annual rainfall of just 200mm, Renmark enjoys over 300 clear days a year, so generally, sunsets are well prepared afresh each day......

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Hope you enjoyed my day......

Happy New Year to one and all, hoping everyone has woken up this year in good nick!

Cheers,

Chris.

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Had a bit of a personal agenda today, so bare with me....

This track leads through the Riverland's founding settlers old dump, and onto an area where I have stocked "clearwater" lagoons with juvenile redfin and catfish from a close by running creek back in the 70's. Clearwater lagoons are essentially stagnant as they consist of groundwater that seeps into depressions. However, adding some various flora/fauna, can build up a healthy ecosystem. Things like duckweed, ribbon grass and lilies, some mussels, shrimps and yabbies. Throw in a few fish fry and turtles and wait a few seasons. Soon the pool is producing it's own oxygen and things thrive as the clearer water helps breeding immensely.........

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Quite happy with that, I set off for my next encounter just a kilometre away (more like 5 negotiating the scrub)

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An ingeneous wasp lays a sand trap or 20! The unsuspecting crawler will tumble down the perfectly angled sides into the cone and any movement trying to get up, will result in being buried. The wasp then comes along and mops up.......

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The area is rich with history and is an area I have recovered many dozens of old bottles. I found quite a few just today, as the small flood 12 months ago has uncovered a few. They've been stashed away for 'ron.......

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The going was tough, but I need the experience, but *box-thorn bushes are non-negotiable.....

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First I thought it was a fresh turtle nest, given I'm still trying to skirt the lagoon.....

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But now it's got me stumped. It is a large burrow and the faeces proves it's not a rabbit or fox. We don't have wombats here, too hot. We have hare's about, but they don't like water and rarely burrow...this nest has a private run down to the water's edge.........a very large waterweed eating goanna is a logical owner perhaps....

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Come across another section of water, the feeder creek for my lagoon enterprise.......

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The roo trail I happened on came to a neck-high stop......another detour!

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Obligatory bike pic then.......

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I'm not very far from my next encounter, a plantation....... :whistling:

*Box-thorn are actually a gum tree of the box family. Initially a thorn bush grows to a height and breadth of about 6'. Then from the centre of the branch sprout (at ground level) a young tree sappling appears. The tree grows to a height of 15-30' before the protective thorn bush dies away.

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