BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

White line fever. Ceduna to Balladonia.


The dawn bought a perfect riding day. A bright blue sky with lot's of sunshine, but cool, and with no wind. Bloody fantastic.

About to roll down the road.

On the way out of Ceduna we rode past these huge wheat stockpiles which came from the area we rode through yesterday.

Ceduna jetty in daylight.

After a quick breakfast we were heading west. Once again it was a very long, straight road in front of us, but joy of joys, we actually had a tail wind. For some reason that rarely happens when riding. It was great, and felt like we were just cruising because the wind in our faces was reduced dramatically. It was also unusually quiet due to the lack of wind noise on the helmet. We made the most of it. 

These big trucks were pretty common out on the road.
We gave them plenty of room.

Before long the vegetation got sparse and the terrain was very rugged. It's not pretty, but it still has it's own kind of beauty. I probably appreciate it more now after travelling in Europe. The closest I've come to this sort of terrain was riding from Estoril in Portugal to Barcelona Spain. That run was about 1,200 km (about the same as this road) but only part of it was like this, not every kilometre.

Our next stop for fuel was Yalata at the Nullabor roadhouse. Here we found Kondole...

Kondole is a whale that features in Australian Aboriginal mythology. The story goes that Kondole was a rude and mean man. One night the tribe needed to keep the fire going and Kondole was the only one with fire. He hid it from the others, an argument ensued, and one of the men threw a spear into Kondole's head. All the men then turned into animals like wombats, kangaroos, and possums, but Kondole turned into a whale, with the hole in his head turning into a blowhole.

There, a nice little bed time story for the kids.

In the shop at Yalata we met a German traveller who told us how much she loves being in the middle of nowhere. She's been working at the shop for six months, and "only" has another eighteen months to go before she can apply for Australian citizenship. Apparently if you agree to work on a remote area for two years, you can apply for citizenship. Wow, that's commitment. What surprised me was when this young girl said "There is nothing I like about Germany and I want to live in Australia". Ouch!

On the way out of Yalata there is this warning sign.

It's obvious that kangaroos and camels could be an issue on the road, but wombats? Oh yes! Wombats grow to about a meter long and weigh between 20 and 35 kg, and they're all muscle. You do not want to hit one on a motorcycle, although what a wombat would be doing on a motorcycle I have no idea.

You can catch up on the wombat gossip here:

We made the most of the tail wind and rode on, past the tourist lookouts on the cliffs, and into Border Village, where we found Rooey...

I know there are some big 'roos out there,
but this is ridiculous.

Lunch and fuel were consumed, and a waitress made to blush, and it was time to go again. We were making good time.

Back on the road we came across a motorcyclist's nightmare sign...

Motorcyclists nightmare.

Ninety miles in a straight line, at 110 kph. That's one and a half hours riding non stop in a straight line. Yeah right! Like that's going to happen. Apparently some motorcyclists and drivers exceed the sped limit on this stretch of road, not that we would ever do that of course.

We had been making good time. An early start, the tail wind, and short stops all combined to have us further down the road that we expected. We also picked up a couple of hours with the time change at the WA border so we cancelled our room at Caiguna and pushed on to Balladonia.

With just over 1,000 kilometres under our wheels we parked the bikes at our luxurious, five star accommodation in downtown Balladonia. Well, the room had a TV at least.

The average was up a tiny bit.
Must have been the tailwind.

We were now only 950 kilometers from home.

We enjoyed our meal at the bar, that was served by another traveler, a young lady from Sweeden. She must have been here for a while because she'd picked up an Aussie accent.

Over dinner I told the boys I was going to leave early in the morning. It gets light here at a quarter to five, so I'd like to be on the road by six at the latest. If they wanted to ride with me, that would be great. If they wanted a late start, that was fine too, but I'll be on the road.

We'll see what happens.

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