Cover Photo: recently taken of the new Mandurah town traffic bridge being constructed. (Guess it will be completed & in use when we get home).
Away We Go —>
First objective, Mandurah to Melbourne (approx. 4000kms) over 18 days, should be easy. We are both fairly worn out & feeling it. Jenny has unfortunately contracted Ross River Virus…again. My back has been aching badly for nearly 4 weeks (I’m starting to think I may have RRV as well but haven’t seen a doctor to properly find out).
We have traveled this route slowly a few time in our past, so don’t mind doing it in a hurry on this occasion (the road trip can be done in a car/motorbike over 4 days if you really try). Both of us are looking forward to riding Victoria’s Great Ocean Road , West to East, only ever driven it by car East to West a couple of times during our travel life together.
Leading into our escape from Mandurah:
We both feel like we aren’t ready for this extended motorbike tour yet. The Travel Home Base (THB) has been all consuming of our time & energy. We have now been living here for over 3 weeks & nearly every day there has been Tradesmen on site doing work. Patios, Retic, Screens, Landscaping, etc. It’s been unrelenting (& costly). Alternatively Jenny, Bill & I have tackled some of the smaller home improvement projects like painting, picture hanging, selling excess stuff or rearranging the shed.
The Reticulation Guys complete part one of the yard watering system. We have our own bore water to use here. So our water bill will be minimal !
We have now taken to the road with the THB not quite reaching the stage we were hoping for, most scheduled jobs are completed but the rear lawn & low area gravel bed still has to be completed by Rohan of Anytime Contracting, he was unable to access the rear due to the Patio Blokes (Grant & Darren) & other trades being in the way. Bill (my father) & Rohan will just have to take care of it without Jenny & I being around to advise.
Once we get home after our Aus Bike Tour, Jenny & I’ll make one final push to get the place smicko & that will be that…apart from regular maintenance.
A hectic morning on Sunday the 2nd of April getting ready to start our Ride. After stowing the Landcruiser etc. We depart just Mandurah THB before noon.
Odometer starting point: Super Tenere 15199kms, CB500X 11364kms
Day 1, 2nd of April 2017….Yeah, yeah, I know we are already a day behind !
Mandurah to Pumphrey’s Bridge. Depart 12noon, arrive 3pm.
Weather: max temp 31C, sunny, clear skies, no noticeable wind.
Details: After a hectic morning, cleaning the house & car, packing the car into the shed, leaving instructions for Bill and making final preparation to the gear for our 4 month motorbike trip, Jenny & I left the Mandurah THB at 11.55am.
Since Jenny often calls me “Paparazzi Will” I thought I had better include this pic from her smartphone.
First stop was Woolworths Shopping Centre a mere 2 kms away, to pick up some food for our dinner tonight. Then the Caltex Petrol Station for fuel & top up Jenny’s bike tyres with air. After that it was onto the Premier Hotel in Pinjarra, 20 kms away obtain get some “Camp Fire Port”.
We decided to take a well known (to us) route east via Boddington and after some nice quiet leisurely riding along the back roads we arrived at Pumphrey’s Bridge, out in the Wheat Belt.
Camped in the Cricket Ground Pavilion at Pumphrey’s Bridge, first free night of many.
3pm & 156kms was a little early to stop but the next good alternative we know of is Gorge Rock near Corrigin a further 2 hours of riding east.
I guess tomorrow we’ll regret stopping early as it means a long days ride to Norseman (about 7 hours). We are considering taking the shortcut along the Hyden/Norseman Road, it saves about 180kms but includes about 220kms of gravel road riding on 60% worn street tyres ?
Dinners being cooked on the campfire tonight, tent is pitched in the old Pumphrey’s Bridge, Cricket Ground Pavilion, bikes are parked undercover as well. We are both relaxing a little, listening to kookaburras & watching the sunset over what remains of the Malley Scrub.
After nearly 4 months getting houses sorted out team wiljen are back on the road….top stuff ! Tired but excited.
Day 2, 3rd of April 2017.
From/Too Pumphrey’s Bridge to Norseman, via Kondinin & Hyden
Distance: 530kms (220kms on gravel road Hyden Norseman Rd) 7hrs
Depart 9am, Arrive 6pm
Weather: max temp 30C, sunny, clear skies, no noticeable wind.
Details: Last night Jenny & I were a little irresponsible & instead of practicing moderation we had a blow out with the Port & drank the whole 2L cask while sitting at our small camp fire. We were just happy I guess, there’s the blowout done ! Best to get it out of the way early.
This plus some mechanical & luggage adjustments meant for a slow start. Just before 9am we were on the road. We made a Bee Line for Hyden, stopping in Wickepin for a late breakfast. While there we got talking to a local farmer (name?) who was originally from Pinjarra & knew a lot of the farmers who came into the Roadhouse when we had it.
The next stop was Hyden, where we stocked up on additional food, water & fuelled the bikes up (both tanks only had 3.5 Litres remaining after 400kms) . Once you leave Hyden there are no services for 295kms so you need to be prepared. Jenny had also SMS’ed Nicole (in Norseman) of our approximate arrival time, between 5 – 6pm.
The ride along the 220km section of dirt (our longest ever on motorbikes) was relatively uneventful, cruising along at 60 to 70km/h during the first corrugated section, then after about 100kms we stopped for a late lunch at the Kondinin/Dundas Shire border. While there I deflated out OEM tyres all down by 10psi (should have done it an hour earlier). Once back on the track the road improved & we were averaging 80km/h. It was getting late in the day so we kept up the momentum. Jenny & I were now in the zone !
Riding at night out here is a very bad idea, though there was no road kill along the verges & mine site Road Trains regularly drive along this road. Also all the water holes are full from the unseasonal rain back in January. This meant the risk of seeing/ hitting a kangaroo or emu was a bit less then usual. The sunset at 5.40pm as we completed the last 15kms into Norseman, we took the shortcut across the causeway to town over Lake Cowan, a vast salt lake that surrounds Norseman.
It’s 6pm and the sun has set, we finally roll into Norseman after what we hope will be one of the only few 500km+ days during the next 4 months.
Barry & Nicole had heard our Bikes belting across the Lake so they were out the front waiting for us upon our arrival. It was great to see them, we were all tired so it was an early night after a fantastic day !
Finally completed editing & uploading our Indian Tour Ride onto YouTube. I’m still learning the process but the Vlogs have turned out ok. There are 3 parts all under 15 minutes long. Part 3 is possibly the best. Here are the links if you are interested.
Planning on doing some more of our Aus Ride so any constructive criticism would be welcomed. Just keep in mind I only make the Vlogs with a GoPro 4 then wifi them across to iMovies on my iPad Mini4 so hard to get to technical.
Thanks for reading, Will