Riding and Talking Our Butts Off

9/04/17 Ceduna to Kimba 359kms

Whoah, what a night! Blowing a gale, making heaps of noise, but we were sheltered in our little spot. It rained a couple of times in the night, not too long, but heavy. When we woke up, we seriously considered just staying in our tent and sleeping the day away. Another cold windy day coming up. But, not really much to do here, so might as well push on. We pottered around and had a coffee and bird seed, and started chatting to a young Hungarian couple. They sounded familiar to Will, and we discovered that he had been following their blog. How cool is that? These two had lived in Australia for 6months each, before getting residency, so now they can travel around without the time pressure they once had. Really nice to meet Peter and Sandra, and to find out some of their ideas and experiences.

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Coffee, must have coffee.

By 10:15am, we were rolling slowly out of the park, stopping to say another thank you, and see ya, to Phil and Robin, who’d fed us last night. They weren’t in, so off we went. It was windy already, but a bit less than yesterday, and we just took our time and enjoyed the bushland we passed by. It is a pretty busy part of the highway, and there were lots of caravan outfits, heading west, lots of freight trucks, and a couple of super over width trucks with haulpacks on the back. We just slowed right up, and hugged the white line, making sure we didn’t have to escape onto the stupid dick shoulder, with the gravel of death.

As we were getting a bit cold, and our first coffees had worked their way to the exit, we pulled into a tiny little town called Wirrulla, “The Town With a Secret”, the sign said. Well, I think it is their awesome coffee, but maybe it is their town jetty. Yes, they have one, and no, they aren’t near the water. Neat little place, and all the locals were at the coffee/corner store, cradling their hangovers from a big bash, the night before.

 

 

Main Street of Wirrulla and their secret jetty with strict swimming rules.

Lots of people over the past couple of years, had mentioned Pildappa Rocks, to us, and this time we decided to check it out. Like Wave Rock, they said, but with free camping and good views. So, at Minnipa, we had a look around town, and then found the road out to the rock. Another gravel road, for about 12kms, practice is what we need, so again, slowish and steady, until we figure out the conditions. A couple of locals sped past us annoying bikes, they obviously knew the road, but we just took it easy. Not much soft slippery stuff, so we could pick up a bit of speed, but at the turn into the picnic area, it was soft sand…aaarrgghhh, but after India, I actually had a good plan. 1st gear, feet down and just paddle it through. Huh, that was heaps better! Just a little bit of rock hopping, and back onto some firm dirt. The rock was pretty, and the view nice, the wind was strong and unpleasant, but it did look like a good camp spot.

 

We stopped at the day use area, which was okay, but there was a free camping area with clean long drop toilets.

After our gourmet ham, cheese, tomato roll, a shared Coke Zero, and a long drop toilet stop, we went back into Minnipa on that dirt road, a fair bit quicker. Some fifty, fifty tires and I think we’ll be able to do a bit more of this. From here, we just battled the wind through to Kimba. At Ceduna, we’d chatted to a young guy, living in a van with his young family, who mostly travelled locally. He’d told us that Kimba had 3 free camping spots, in town. He said they were really good, and we thought that sounded like us. So with a bit of luck, we found one. It had a small grass area, for our tent, a barbecue, toilet, and a bunch of travellers having sundowners. So Will dumped his gear, and went to the pub for supplies, while I set up our tent and beds. Perfect.

 

Becky Beetle was happy, she got out to supervise the set up.

It was a great night, chatting to the different travellers, from everywhere, and we had a pretty good sleep, even though it got very cold.

10/04/17 Kimba to Burra 402kms

Everyone was a bit slow moving this morning, it had been a cold night. Will and I had bugger all for breakie, so just enjoyed a nice hot coffee. Phil, a nurse from Perth, let us use his electric kettle, so we let him have some coffee, and we were all happy. More chatting, while packing, and then about 10am, we chugged off down town, and stopped at the cafe for another coffee and a toastie. At least this one was pretty good. Not hard to be the best one this trip, though.

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Downtown Kimba mid morning.

Before heading further east, we took a small detour up to White Knob, great name, to check out some sculptures and small caves. A little bit more gravel, well hard limestone really, and interesting little lookout. Great view over town. Finally after 11am, we were headed to Port Augusta. More and more traffic, as we past Iron Knob, great name…(ha ha ha), and turned left, where the Eyre Highway meets the Lincoln Highway. Lots of trucks and vans coming off the Eyre Peninsula. Luckily, a few kays down, we knew a quiet backroad, away from the traffic, so we turned right onto Caroona road, which runs past the Military Base, and comes into Port Augusta just near the bridge over the inlet. It’s a really pleasant track.

 

There is also a nice walk trail down, closer to town, with more sculptures of Aussie animals.

We only stopped for fuel, then carried on to Horrocks Pass, which takes us over the hills to the farming and mining areas on the other side. There are three different options to get through the range, and we wanted to do one we hadn’t done. It was a fun little ride, with windy turns and lovely views. Really nice area. Will had the GoPro on, but it was having a problem with the audio pack, so we didn’t get the best video, but my eyes got it all.

South east, now, towards Willmington, Orroroo (real name), then to Peterborough. It was tough going, as the temp never got over 18C, and the wind was tiresome. At Peterborough, we considered stopping, but 100kms further was Burra, and we pushed on. Somehow, we’d skipped lunch today, unbelievable! Not like us at all. So with numbing fingertips (we both had summer gloves on), and numbing backsides, we burst into Burra! Yay, great memories of this little place from our cycle trip, and we went straight to the council caravan park, where Wayne was still managing, and sorted us right out. Again, Will did the dump and run to the shops, while I got the tent and beds together.

 

Love these old towns with their restored old buildings.

Two more motorbike tourers rolled in, freezing and buggered, and they headed off to the pub for tea. More chatting to caravaners and campers, while cooking a delicious Thai Green curry, and we even had leftovers for tomorrow night. The bikers returned from the pub, and we met Terry and Ian from Canberra. They too were one week into their first four month adventure. Both have been riding for a long time, but mostly black top, so had gone off and done an off road course. Which they said came in very handy when they found themselves on the wrong road and in the soft sand. They were really nice guys, and we enjoyed talking to them till a bit late in the evening. But it was another good day out and about. Tomorrow, we are heading to Goolwa, on the south coast, to catch up with Rob, a friend who has just cycled from Canberra to Goolwa, following the Murray River. Huge!

 

At Burra, as before, we enjoyed a comfy stay and talked to great people.

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