only a couple to go now. day 19.

day 19 Sydney to Tamworth
got up, and packed, and on the road pretty early for a change.
left town and headed up the putty road to singleton and then we just rolled on along to tamworth. the putty road was great, and quite since it was early on a weekday. the rest of the trip was just open asphalt road. pretty basic caravan park in tamworth.
not really a lot to say...

and a day in sydney. day 18

day 18 sydney.
spent the day doing maintenance and sorting some bike issues out.
during the course of this trip we'd done around 7000k so far, and the dunlop 606's we were running on the rear were looking a little second hand. the air filters we had needed a clean and oil, and my front sprocket was totally stuffed. to be fair, the chain and sprocket were looking a bit sad before we left and the corrugations taken at speed with a load on board had pretty much finished them off. the chain will do me back to brisbane but the sprocket was as hooked as a hooked thing and kept grabbing the chain. so a quick $35 and a new sprocket was fitted. the air filter we bought just a couple of days before we left. when we washed it in cobar it delaminated on us and we were stuck with the same filter for Boo as she'd been running for a few K's now. we gave Mark at Team Moto virginia a call and explained what had happened and he helped us out way above and beyond. he stuck a new filter into an overnight bag and shipped it down to the blacktown store for us. total legend. and then the guys at the blacktown team moto cut a great deal on a couple tyres and some chain lube and oil. brilliant. and a huge shout out to the ADV guys, and particularly fatguts Mccantride and sydadvgs for a gimme tourance for Boo's ride. i love the people on the ADV forum. did we tell you that a couple of them had been following us by the spots and giving people stop by stop run downs? how cool is that. cool, and a little creepy. but mostly cool.
quick oil change and clean air filters and we are ready to rock in the morning. all set for the last 1000k's. we're taking a few days for the return and the plan is to spend thursday night at urbenville and then into the hospital. and now we've just finished dinner and desert, and we leave early tomorrow for the last bit. haven't decided yet whether we are going coast road or inland yet, but probably inland.
more later. out

and all this shit for another day. 17

day 17 cobar to sydney.
long, boring day on the asphalt on the way to sydney. only real highlight was just how fucking cold it gets for two people who had packed riding gear for days in the desert. riding out of orange it was pretty damn cold. riding towards kattomba was really fucking freezing. got into sydney around 22:30 hrs. Boo's nana was waiting with coffee and hot water bottles. score!

day 16

day 16 camerons to cobar.
left camerons reasonably on time for a change and headed south for white cliffs. good road, but not great. and then you turn left at the tool tree and the whole thing changes. absolutely brilliant, fantastic, awesome road. the single best road we have ridden to date. fairly firm, a bit rocky, and lots of curves and crests. it runs through some of the nicest scenery we've come across but it's the road that makes this the best part of the trip for me. we rolled into white cliffs with huge smiles and plenty of adrenaline used up. had a good lunch and was given the bad news that from here on in it would all be asphalt for us. i reset the tyre pressures and we headed on to Willcania for a refuel. nice town, with kids playing cricket in the street. we tried to meet the ADV guy from there but apparently he was in white cliffs going for a ride. maybe next time. next stop for us would be cobar, quite a way down the road considering what time it was. decided to just push on into the night and get a room when we got there. and that's just what we did, by following a road train and let him be our roo bar and flood lights. have to say that the trucks and road trains have been really good for the whole trip. whenever we have meet up with them they have given us plenty of room, and have been really polite the whole time. not a single bad incident the whole run. and the road trains were the thing everyone warned us most about. but like the dangers of stopping in small towns, completely overblown. if we'd listened to and followed the advice of a lot of the people who were telling us this shit, we'd have stayed home. the two places we were specifically warned about (urandangie and willcania) were really pleasant and the people we met were fantastic. for gods sake, go and see this stuff for yourself, don't be put off by what everyone else knows. usually they haven't been there themselves and are just regurgitating whatever shit they were fed by some asshole who's never been there either. almost as bad is the person who was someplace 20 years ago and is absolutely certain that that's the way it is now. Bah!
anyway, we went to bed in a nice hotel and got warm again. you don't want to know. really, you don't.

day 15, more crap from us.

day 15 Camerons to Tibooburra.
after a good nights sleep and (surprise surprise) a late start, we went on into the corner for lunch and a refuel. and when you go to see Fenn And Cheryl i'm sure you'll hear about the weird queenslander who opened the gate rather than use the grid... yep, that was us. the way we pulled up it looked like the fence ran along the road and we needed to open the gate. we looked like total muppets. sweet!
had a great chat with fenn and cheryl and got all the goss on the behavior of the participants of the scrapheap challenge and tenere tragics so we have all the blackmail info we need on you lot now. should shut you up about the gate. while we were there we realized we were 4 days ahead of schedule we decided to make a short detour. instead of heading home from tibooburra, we thought we'd have a look at sydney. gave hillbilly a call and checked that finances would be ok and the desition was made, "onto sydney we go!" finished lunch, finished gossiping, got a messageto give the owners of the tibooburra hotel and got our fuel. left there for tibooburra and gave it a bit of a belting. nice fast road, bit sandy in places which isn't something that Boo enjoys but i was having a ball the whole time. we'll have a whole new rack of skills with which to enjoy the snail trail rides.
because we'd started a bit late and stayed a bit longer than we should have at the corner, we ended up running a bit later into the night than we really wanted to, but it was still fun. made it there just on dark and got a room. handed on the message from camerons corner "get fucked" and then asked for a room. if it hadn't been a recurring joke between these two it might have been better to do that in the other order.
actually, funny side story for you. when we were about to leave the corner, cheryl got a call from a friend of hers who had left about half an hour before heading west. she'd called to say that she'd nearly had a head on with a big pack of little suzuki 4x4's doing a run from the WA coast to byron bay. we'd heard about these guys from a couple we met in yulara. apparently they were a bit of a bunch of dicks and not exactly careful in a couple of cases. anyway, cheryl tells us about these guys who almost had the head on, and then had the hide to abuse the local woman for being there. any of you who have met Fenn will know how he's going to react to that. first words out of his mouth as they arrive? "so which one of you idiots nearly had the head on?". we left, headed to tibooburra, and about half way there had 3 of them catch up up and pass. first two were fine, sat back for a minute, then passed when we moved over for them. this was in the loose sandy section about 50k out. the third one was a complete asshole. blasted past without giving any room, then floored it and showered us in rocks and gravel. no prizes for guessing who had nearly had the head on. we pulled into the tibooburra hotel and the bar guy told us that the suzuki 4x4 guy had just left in a bit of a huff when they couldn't get a room with an ensuite. bar guy gives us the last room and 10 minutes later the suzuki guy comes back since there wasn't really anywhere else to stay at that point. he gets even more huffy when he finds out there are no more rooms. i think he ended up in the caravan park. the rest of them seemed nice enough though.
anyway, back to the main story. we got a room, sorted out that we would go to sydney, and went to bed. another great day, but only one more day of dirt to go. this makes me a sad sad panda...

and since we're home, more days reports. day 14

day 14 Lyndhurst to Camerons Corner.
it was a bit of a late start as we had to finish the packing and change the way the fuel and water was fitted to my bike. we decided to run 10ltrs of fuel on each side of my bike, and 5 liters of water just behind my seat, you'll see what i mean when we get the photos up. this morning was the start of what was to be one of my favorite sections. this was the track i was most looking forward to. not so much the part from lyndhurst, but the section from the merty merty turn off to the corner.
the first part of the track was a bit of a disappointment for me. there are big chunks of asphalt all along it now and it was dusty as hell.that hasn't been such a problem except that this time the wind was very still and the dust just sat on the track without moving at all. usually you'd just ride next to the person you're with. that would be fine except for the fact that Boo likes to use the whole road. she figures she pays for the whole road, she might as well use it all. makes it a bit difficult to ride beside her. i'll admit i was getting a bit grumpy about the amount of dust i was sucking following her. i may have got a bit cranky at some points along the first part of the track. just a little bit quite a lot. as soon as the wind picked up it was awesome. so much fun. the wind was blowing the dust straight off the track and we were able to run it up a bit .and once we got to the turn off it just got better. fast swoopy sandy tracks that just kept urging you to tip it in harder and open the throttle more.
we ended up camping about 80 klms away from the corner as it was starting to get a bit dark and we wanted to have one bush camp on the strezlecki. just because you do. beautiful sunset, then a nice dinner and warm fire. perfect. what a day.

second half of day 13

day 13 Rest of the day from Marree to Lyndhurst.
after the bright moment of civilization that was an internet center, we continued on to lyndhurst. more corrugations, more dust, more sand. more fun too though, and it was heading towards the gateway to the strezlecki. when we got in we went straight to the roadhouse to refuel and pick up the 10litre jerry. now we called this roadhouse from coober pedy to check that they had jerrys after yet another round of disinformation that included
-lyndhurst wouldn't have jerry cans
-that it was illegal to camp anywhere on the strezlecki
-that camerons wouldn't have any fuel.
lyndhurst had jerrys in every size from 5 to 20 litres, there are designated camping spots all along the the track and as long as you move well away from the road you can bush camp all along it, and not only does camerons have fuel but it also has a great feed and some of the best people we've met all trip.
but back to lyndhhurst. we went into the roadhouse to find that although we had called a few days earlier they couldn't be bothered to check if they a 10ltr. the actual response from the owner was "you get what you're given round here". asshole. the number of people i've since spoken to who have had problems there beggar belief. if the pub would just start selling fuel everyone would way happier and the roadhouse would be out of business in a week. the pub was brilliant. great food, great service, and a good camp site. got ourselves a good jerry from the pub that fits really well on the bike, finished sorting out the rest of our gear and had dinner. good day.