In the photo above we are more than happy, it's taken us 2 weeks in Darwin to get to this point where our bikes are being released from the container. We had four bikes in the container, mine, Kevin's and Sylvia and Thomas bikes....a kiwi and three Swiss! After the two and a half week delay getting the bikes out of Timor we faced another 2 weeks in Darwin!!
There were delays with generating the paperwork for quarantine, and we had unwanted hitchhikers on the outside of the container, a whole party of ants, Asian king snails and spiders, this created extra work for quarantine and delays for us. The inspection of our bikes was all done in half an hour and we were all go to go except for another issue with the paperwork which threatened to hold the bikes into the weekend. Fortunately the computer system was overrun manually and we were aloud to take our babies. What a process, the sailing from Timor to Darwin is only 3 days but all up including the cleaning time it took over 5 weeks in the end!!
While waiting for the bikes we took to the road as greybeard's to explore Kakadu!!
After the crowded roads of Indonesia the empty Aussie outback roads were a dream. This was the Tamani Track between Halls creek and Alice Springs.....600km between fuel and not much else for that matter but what a fun ride blasting down this!
|The crater near Halls Creek|
|Sadie the town camel trying to eat everything on the bike|
On the phone to Safari tanks to order a new tank from the middle of the Tamani Desert, I'd already had one attempt of heading off down the Tamani Track with a patched up tank but it leaked so I headed back to the small Aboriginal town of Billuna rather than attempt a 600km run through the desert with a leaking fuel tank. I managed to get a hot spot for the cell phone and get a replacement tank dispatched to Adelaide were my mate Will would bring it up to meet me for the upcoming Simpson desert crossing. The second attempt down the Tamani and the tank started leaking again, this time I carried on and after another patch attempt in Alice Springs made it to Coober Peddy and the new tank!
Was absolutely brilliant to meet up with Will again in Coober Peddy after 7 months....and he had a much needed fuel tank!
Heading out into the Simpson via Oddanata and the Pink Roadhouse. Feeling excited at this point as we are about to attempt an unsupported crossing of the Simpson Desert. It's no easy feat involving a 500 km stretch between Fuel and water on difficult sand riding.
Fitting new Tyre's at Mount Dare station, looking for any help possible to get through the sand!
Will, we're in now, no turning back!!
With 47 litres of fuel and 22 litres of water on board the bike was heavy, a mistake and loss of momentum would result in trouble, with lots of struggling and fuel consumption to get up and moving again. The key was to keep moving as fast as possible at all costs which at times was not so easy!
When I wasn't worrying about what might go wrong out here it was an absolute blast riding in the sand, the challenging riding and the remoteness providing a real highlight and a fantastic last adventure on the way home.
|The French Line in the Simpson Desert is simply a straight line bulldozed across the desert perpendicular to the dunes. Theres over a 1000 that need to be crossed!|
Happy to be on the top of Big Red, the last and biggest dune we crossed...it was an epic ride!
Feeling pretty happy after a successful crossing
Re united in Auckland, I arrived at the airport in the early morning and had the customs paper work and MPI quarantine inspections done and was on my way by 4 in the afternoon, a far cry from Darwin were this process took 2 weeks.
|Calling in at the longest place name in the world|