BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

It's time to start the long haul home. Adelaide to Ceduna.


The bonus leaving Adelaide this morning was the fact that being a weekend, there was no peak hour traffic. We only had eight hundred kilometers to cover today so we did the logical thing and took a detour through the Clare Valley, just to add a few more ks.

The Clare Valley is a part of South Australia's wonderful wine growing region, and riding through little towns along the way we saw lots of signs pointing out some well known wineries, such as Jim Barry, Knappstein, Taylor's, Leasingham, and a whole lot more. I reckon a taxi and a couple of days here could add up to a good time. Unfortunately riding and sampling wine don't make a good combination, and we had nowhere to carry any bottles we might buy, so we rode straight through. 

I love the old buildings found throughout these towns. Some are still in use and well maintained, while others need a little love to be bought back to their former glory.

Unfortunately once we were out of the Clare Valley the soothing green vegetation was gone. The trees and vines were replaced with huge, golden wheat fields.

And the flowing road that rolled up and down hills turned into looooooooooong, arrow straight roads disappearing into the distance. This would be our world for the next three days, riding under a very big sky with only sightings of the odd lizard or snake to break the monotony.

We had a bit of excitement when we arrived in Iron Knob. They were blasting and closed the road to traffic, so we had to detour through the actual mine site, down a dirt road. The boys were thrilled.

The Iron Knob mine was first established in the 1800s and is known as the birthplace of iron ore mining in Australia. The mine was closed for quite some time but has recently reopened and is pulling ore out of the original pit again, and developing two new pits.

Our next stop was Kimba, home of the "Big Galah". I'm not sure why, but here in Australia we have a "Big Something" in a lot of out of the way places. I don't mind the idea so much, but most of these "icons" look like they were made by the local pre school kids.

The Big Galah.

At Kimba we came across a guy travelling in the opposite direction on a Kawasaki KLR650. He was from Darwin and was just going for a ride for his holiday. He had ridden down the west coast, across the bottom, and was about to ride up through Melbourne and Sydney, through Queensland back to Darwin. That's about 14,000 kilometers, without any side trips for sightseeing, or factoring in Tasmania. Can you say "sore bum"?

With Kimba out of the way we had broken the back of the day's ride and only had three hundred kilometers to go.

You know you're getting bored when you take photos of your own shadow.

Just after Kimba the clouds started forming around us. It really looked like it was trying to rain, but we didn't get a drop. The clouds kept us company all the way to Ceduna.

We were welcomed into Ceduna by a Police road block. 

No, it wasn't just for us. They were checking the roadworthyness of vehicles and testing the drivers for drug and alcohol use. We obviously looked like reputable blokes and they just waved us through.

We'd made good progress today and  pulled up at the Ceduna Hotel in time to watch the sun set over the Ceduna Jetty.

A quick history lesson (it's not all fun on these trips you know.)

The Ceduna jetty stretches out 368 meters into the bay and was the main berth for Ceduna until 1920. It was then that a new jetty was opened in Thevenard about ten minutes down the road. This new jetty offered deeper water and more importantly a railway link. In the 1960s bulk grain handling facilities were also built in Thevenard, and that was the final nail in the Ceduna Jetty's coffin. The last vessel visited in 1966. 

The area is now a thriving oyster farming area, and the jetty makes a great fishing platform for anglers.

Here endeth the lesson.

Tomorrow another big run (840km) to Caiguna, back into our home state. Then it's only 1,100km to home.

No comments:

Post a Comment