Day 27 13th June Caiguna to Eucla The Eyre Highway
Today is a relatively short day. Around 400km. A leisurely breakfast is in order. Luke comes in all dressed for the road and declares that he wants to go bush and wild camp tonight and he’ll see us in Streaky Bay. No worries mate. We like to give each other space and we all need that in our own way sometimes. Motorcycle riders are well aware of ‘head space’. That precious time you have to think about all sorts of things. Men need that space. Some more than others. Those of us that know understand – say no more.
Lairdy and I decide to ride back to the Caiguna blow hole to have a look. Yep, it’s a hole in the ground. Clearly formed by water many moons ago out of the hard rock but we’re 60km from the coast. A couple of happy snaps at the 90 mile road signs and we cruise off after the others.
While a little overcast, it’s nice to just cruise along. I get a phone call for Spike from the bike shop where he took the test tyres off in Gladstone wanting the address to send the prototypes b ack to. Next, I get a phone call from Huddo He has Spike’s wallet. I try to call Spike but can’t get through – he must be out of range. I roll into the Madura Roadhouse where Huddo is waiting. I notice a little oil on my back wheel. Sure enough the inner seal on the Final drive differential is leaking. The one Phil my mechanic replaced just prior to this trip. The seal lip mustn’t be seated properly or it got damaged while being installed. I take the wheel off and check that all the inner mounting bolts are tight. I reckon I can nurse it into Adelaide so make arrangements with he BMW dealer there to have it looked at if and when I get there on Monday. I clean the wheel up and wash down the inside flange area. I’ll keep an eye on it. Lairdy will travel behind me, just in case things go wrong. Spike rolls in with Georg. They spent a while searching for Spike’s wallet and then he cancelled all his cards. Huddo hands back his wallet that he inadvertently picked up but of course none of his credit cards work now and they can’t be reinstated! Georg will now financially support Spike for the rest of the trip! Talk about an old married couple!
I head off and listen for any strange noises coming from the diff – all good. I keep a check on the fuel consumption – a sure sign that something is dragging on the poser delivery. No all good there so I keep going. I;s see what it’s like in Eucla.
Meanwhile the road kill count here is very high. I estimate that about every other white post there’s at least one form of road kill be that mainly Roo’s or wallabies. I know there’s emu out here too. I see some in the distance along with half a dozen sheep standing in the low scrub. Coming form the West into Eucla is quite different with the escarpment overlooking the road. It’s not long before you see the brilliant white sand hills down near the old Eucla telegraph station and we pull into the roadhouse. I check for spots of diff oil. None on the wheel but there’s a few drips coming from the inner housing. I cross my fingers and hope it stays that way.
Lairdy and I take the short dirt road down to the old telegraph station and think about the lonely existence it must have been out here providing communication across the country, the sandstone building remains are still there but some idiots have decided to graffiti it! There are some bloody stupid inconsiderate people who don’t deserve to have the freedoms we all enjoy – in my opinion.
Eucla roadhouse is one of the better ones along the Eyre highway. It’s also a little off the road so you don’t get woken up with trucks in the middle of the night. It also has a pretty cook chef so a nice curry and red wine goes down well. Big day tomorrow so it’s early to bed.
Day 28 14th June Eucla to Streaky Bay
We’re up before dawn to see if we can get a nice sunrise photo. No luck, there’s not a cloud in the sky for perspective and the trees shade the early morning rising sun. Ah well, it’s into the café for a toasted sanga and a good coffee. Huddo, Lairdy, Georg, Spike and me head off together into the sun. the left hand has to shield eyes to see anything. At Border village I somehow miss the WA SA border sign…. The others chase me down and we turn around and head back to the quarantine inspection station, park the bikes underneath and take the now obligatory photo.
I’m a bit worried about losing too much diff oil so go over to the shop and buy the smallest gear oil I can get…. One litre. I only need 187mm to fill the diff… ah well it’ll get used in one of the other shaft drive bikes I have in the shed (4)..
I told the others I’d meet them at the first view point over the bight. I roll in there but no sign of them, a few caravans and that’s about it. So I head back out on the highway and go into the next view point. Nope, not there either. Too bad, I take a stroll down and have a look at the magnificent cliffs and waves crashing into them. This is truly a magnificent sight and a must see.
I miss one view point but go into the next. I can’t get enough of this but time is moving on so it’s a 200km haul to the Nullabor roadhouse. Just as I’m taking a photo of the Nullabor Plain sign, Luke rolls in. He camped overnight on the cliff top and loved it… until it got cold, fery cold. Anyway he enjoyed the solitude. I have a bight to eat and tell him I’m moving on if he sees the others. Yatala, the aboriginal community comes and goes and then there’s another inspection for fruit just outside Ceduna. No worries. That’s another 300km so I pull in and have a break, check the diff, yep it’s still leaking but not too much. I decide to leave it alone. I tried listening to some music but the GPS shut down everytime I accessed the SD card. So I’m trying to fix it with no luck as Luke trundles past…. Followed shortly by a highway patrol car. Hmmm must talk to him about that.
There’s a message from Lairdy, they’re a bit behind me. No drama I continue on my solo ride the final 110km into Streaky Bay. The wheat crops have sprouted with lovely small green shoots in the paddocks. It’s still a bit cool, 17-19 degrees but that’s good on the bike. I get to the Streaky Bay hotel and wait for the others. Then it’s atound to our two bedroom accommodation for the night a stones throw from the pub. Lairdy and I throw some washing in the machine, I get the SD card sorted on the computer and reload the GPS and now it’s time to feast on Oysters YAY!