TravellingStrom

Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

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Day 453 – 7th March, 2010

Posted by TravellingStrom on March 7, 2010

Sunday – Norseman, Western Australia

My longest day for a long time and it felt good. And just for the record, this post is being posted from the middle of the Gibson Desert, a strange place to find free wifi internet, but this is where I am at this moment, but soon to ride away east to Uluru, or Ayres Rock

Because I went to bed early I was up early, also a bit confused by time zones again. So, after a cuppa I decided it is no point hanging around waiting for daylight, over here in SA they have a stupid daylight saving time and that could be hours away. I rode away slowly wishing I had HID lights and it was cold and I was hoping there were no skippies around, until the first road train went past and I tucked in behind him for a while 🙂 Once it was light enough to see I passed him and gave a wave and went on until the next fuel stop

I did not need fuel but Lithium Ion batteries, but they had none either, no luck so far. The reason I need these is because my SPOT is flashing red suggesting low batteries even though they are relatively new and I am unsure if they are working because I have no internet to check 🙂 I will have to keep on looking at each stop until I find some which is the only way to test it, a new set of batteries. I started off again with some nice sunrise shots on the clouds ahead of me, which probably meant rain, nothing unusual then eh!

Having the sun behind was real good, as long as the semitrailers heading east can see I should be good. A field of windmills on the way and more rainbows ahead, which meant it was not long until I pulled over to add my full wet gear at a shut down servo where there is a sign saying there is nothing here!

This is where I noticed one of the stainless steel straps holding one of my tool tubes was missing!! That was strange, it must have snapped, I thought they were stronger than that, good job I had cable ties!

I kept on going until my first fuel stop at a place called Nullabour, here I spotted the beemers from yesterday, they had passed me a short while back and this would be a common theme during the day, they would ride faster and chew more fuel and I would catch up at each fuel stop and ride away first, then they would pass me again 🙂

From this point on it is the Nullabour Plain, it is supposed to have no trees and pretty much is a treeless desert, but there are some along the way, cos I took photos of them 🙂

After a number of hours I was real close to the cliffs overlooking the Great Australian Bight, but as I had seen these views last time I came across I did not bother to stop, I was in “head down, bum up” mode 🙂 It was not that long after this that I came to the Quarantine station at the SA/WA border, this is mainly for fruit and veg to stop bugs and stuff, but is mainly based on an honesty system, with big fines though if you go against the law.

Not a great difference on the other side of the border as you would expect, although there would be cattle around from now on apparently 🙂

This is a common sight on the road, dead kangaroo with a covering of crows, and sometimes eagles, they can be a bit worrisome when they are late leaving the feed!

New things to look out for were camels and emus, although I have still not seen a live kangaroo, nor any cattle, hopefully I won’t see too many of these on the road, but I would like to see a wild camel one day 🙂 I started to pass a lot more riders heading west, small groups of them riding a bit slower than the speed limit, but being on cruisers, then need to economise their fuel capacity.

I met some more riders at the next fuel stop, these two were heading east rather than west, nice to meet you boys 🙂

On the map at the top of the page are a couple of notations, Nullabour East and West, they are the beginning and end of the longest straight road in Oz at 149km long. It is not flat though so there is a bit of up and down through rolling hills.

My goal for the day was going to be Balladonia, but now that I had entered WA I had just gained 2 hours or so and because the sun was now ahead, I would have heaps of daylight, so I decided to see how I felt at Balladonia and maybe continue on to Norseman. I was a tad worried by my rear tyre as I was running out of tread, but I had heard that in Norseman a tyre chappie had imported some bike tyres just for Ulysses riders, so maybe I can pick one up there and as tomorrow was Monday, it seemed like a good place to try 🙂 As mentioned, there are trees out here and once again I was passed by the beemer boys 🙂

Look out ahead, there is a corner, I was at the end of the straight and soon to catch up with the boys at the Balladonia servo 🙂

One of the chaps gave me a loan of some lithium batteries and I tried them but within 5 minutes down the road the red light on the SPOT was flashing again, but I did not know once again whether these were brand new or not, I had forgot to ask 😦 Anyway, I had decided to go to Norseman as it was the middle of the afternoon here and only another few hundred kms to go, with some wide loads heading east and then through some nice red Salmon Gum groves of trees.

Not long after this I reached Norseman and booked into a local hotel where I bumped into a couple of other riders, one a Vstrom. I also found I had gained another ¾ hour, so now I am totally confused, but it was not yet 6pm!

We had some pizza, the only dish on the menu on Sundays and some beer, always on the menu and chatted for a while about this that and the other 🙂


Day –1,225 km and 771 miles
Trip –3,766 km and 2,340 miles

Cheers
TravellingStrom

WORLD

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10 Responses to “Day 453 – 7th March, 2010”

  1. GrahamD said

    Good one Richard!

    Check that wet weather gear m8, you seem to be attracting a cyclone ! 🙂

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/20/2851349.htm?section=justin

    Cheers
    Graham

  2. Ted Rees said

    TS, It is “Nullarbor”. Derived from Latin; null arbor = nil trees. The Eyre Hwy traverses a very small section of the Nullarbor Plain that’s why one sees lots of trees, albeit small ones.

  3. Kevin said

    Hey just wanted to give a shout out from your friends over in the USA

  4. Art Wallace said

    G’day Rich. Good to see you’re still traveling! Those are some sparsely populated areas for sure. BTW, congrats on completing your North & South American adventure! Just curious, what’s the animal depicted on a couple of those signs between the camel & roo?? My uneducated guess is wombat?!

    Cheers!
    -Art

    • Hi Art, thanks m8.

      If the animal is a short fat round blobby thing, then yes it is a wombat 🙂

      They are a very effective speed bump, try to miss them at all times 🙂

      I am currently relaxing at Yulara, the resort at Ayres Rock, after completing the first section of the dirt and only dumping it in the sand once more.

      Cheers TS

  5. Ted Rees said

    TS, The rider of the blue cruiser appears to be “hanging on for grim death” and looks extremely uncomfortable. It looks like a sheila to me, I can’t see how one could possibly ride for any more than 20 minutes in that position. You mentioned about the group riders travelling below the speed limit. I agree that groups are a pain in the neck but the speed limit in WA for a vehicle towing a trailer is 100 km/h.

    • Hi Ted

      Yep, the wind was a bugger, so she was hanging on a bit.

      It is OK to be below the speed limit, but allow enough space between bikes, so impatient 4WDs can pass and not run you over when they need to get back on the right side of the road because of oncoming traffic!

      Cheers TS

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