Sunday July 24
It’s up early to make the last really big ride into Port Augusta. We get up at what should be just before dawn to be greeted by the thick fog that is still hanging around. After Breakfast, we decide to head off anyway, it’s cold, wet and very poor visibility, and I can count no more than four white lines before they disappear into the mist. Black shadows of road trains are grey nomad caravans loom out of the mist. Despite this, there is a small window of opportunity as the mist rises to catch a glimpse of the Great Australian Bight at one of the lookouts. The obligatory photo here and at the WA SA border, we move on.
The first 250 kilometres are covered accompanied by the thick fog which keeps us on our toes. After that, it’s just a splash and dash fuel stop at Nundoo road house and then onto Wudina for the same and then Ceduna. We have a longer break here for a bight to eat. We sit in the sun and rest our tired bodies with some fish and chips -health food on the road! Georg makes a call and finds out that a dear friend, best man at his wedding has lost his battle with MS and passed away. We sit for a while before mounting up and making the final run into Port Augusta. It’s been a long day so we break for fuel at Wudina and then hit the road again. There are few travellers at the sun sets quickly at this time of year. Road trains and a couple of intrepid travellers and that’s about it. We come across one road train with smoke pouring off a nearside tyre. We smell it before actually seeing it – the joys of motorcycling. We try to call up the truckie on the UHF radio, another truck behind hears out call so hopefully the message is relayed. We pass through thick scrub, I want to try and get a photo of Iron Knob with the sun setting on it but we are too late. We continue on in the dark, I lead with the extra lights with eyes peeled for wildlife.
We make it into Port Augusta and contact SA Wall to wall co-ordinator Det/Sgt Peter Hore and meet him and his lovely Penny for dinner.
We have covered 980 kilometres today, traversed the Nullarbor Plain, something everyone should do at least once.
Monday July 25
We take out time this morning, up late, leisurely breakfast in town and then ride the 300 kilometres into Adelaide. It’s windy coming down the East side of Spencer Gulf and my headlight globe blows, the yellow hazard light driving me nuts flashing at me from the dashboard. We find our way through to our hotel in South Terrace no problems and then meet up with Police Association of South Australia Mark Carroll, Andy Dunne and make our way to SAPOL headquarters, catching up with Peter Hore there. We meet with Commissioner Mal Hyde with several members of his Executive. They are all most welcoming with Mr Hyde stating the baton will hold pride of place at either their new Police Headquarters or the Academy. The members of Police Legacy present are most grateful for our efforts, although I imagine they think we are slightly mad! After a great afternoon tea, that reminds Georg and me that we missed lunch. Mr Hyde and I discuss the old days when he was in Victoria Police before taking up his current position.
Peter Hore is meeting some of the registered riders but before that I take off to get a new globe; the first bike shop doesn’t have a dual filament glove and directs me to BMW. A new globe $50 – bugger, they sure know how to charge.
Back to the meeting and we share a few laughs and ideas about travelling to Canberra and what to expect. They are a good bunch and a re really looking forward to the adventure.
Back at the hotel and in the fading light I try to fit the new headlight globe only to discover that the wire spring retaining clip had broken away from its plastic mount, making the globe lose in its fitting and probably causing it to blow. Georg and I fiddle around and I pack it out and hope for the best.
Dinner with our hosts Mark and Tania Carroll, Peter and Penny Hore and Georg’s son who is in Adelaide on business we most pleasant.
Only 300 kilometres today.