Birdsville to Alice
After a rest day and a good cleanup (ourselves,clothes,bikes and truck) in Alice, I have had time to sit and savour my special memories of the Simpson Crossing. After an uneventful first 120km, which included the deviation around the flooded Eyre Creek, we were getting into the first pans which had by now turned into a clay pit, fun if you are a kid, but definyely not if you are trying to get a fully laden vehicle(not even mentioning a Ford F250) through or around them. Each pan created it’s own challenges – like a military operation, send out the scouts either side looking for a safe way around. or just give it a go and run straight through? Being a single vehicle with bikes , there was no second vehicle to snatch us out should we come unstuck. or rather stuck – this added a certain intensity to decision making!! At approximately 150km we had skirted Poeppel Corner pan. the track ran close to the pan. the wider track left the inside wheel line and there we were. bogged. With a bit of advice from the bike, Rudi got the vehicle out. Further along the off-camber started and very close to the pan – the weight high and to the rear pushed the tail down to the pan and we were bogged good and solid!! Out the first time with a fair amount of digging and we were bogged again – this time going nowhere, After digging for a while the others returned and eventually we were able to successfully bury the spare and winch ourselves out (this was only after we had unloaded the roof and bike off the back ). We camped right there – buggered !! Andy built the most fantastic fire pit in the dune, and Rudi cooked another stellar meal. A beautiful night, a great fire and a good sleep. The following day we had a great ride, enjoying the dunes and the track, meeting great people along the way and savouring the wild flowers and birdlife along the way. Then one little mud patch took us back to square one!! Two days and a night of digging, puzzling, stressing, more digging, laying branches, winching, and we were still going nowhere. Fortunately, traffic arrived on day 2 to share their knowledge and snatch us out. By this time Paul had practised a few more free dives and he suspected broken ribs and had to contact Dave at Mt. Dare for a cassevac. We camped another night and completed the crossing the following day. We arrived at Dalhousie hot water springs and jumped in, clothes and all – never has a natural spring felt so good. After a swim and a setting sun. we finished the 330km ride for the day at Mt. Dare. A good feed and a bed had us rested for the final 320km via Fincke to Alice Springs. After Andy and me did a quick tube change for Morgan. we were ready to roll. BUT. more drama! The front shock absorbers and mounting bolts on both sides had failed and the shocks were hanging in mid air. Rudi. Andy and I . with Dave’s input. spent the day removing all. bending and fitting one good shock either side. We were not getting any support from the ARB dealer in Alice on the satphone(or when Rudi arrived in Alice) – a poor show. All ready the next morning we headed to Alice via Fincke and the Fincke Desert Race route in freezing conditions. One flat wheel (Andy) and a quick tyure change had us arriving in Alice after lunch. A great ride and bikes serviced by Race Motorcycles on Saturday had us sorted. Thanks to Woody for giving up his Saturday to do the bikes. Good on ya mate!!
Great update, thanks Hein. Wow so far your trip has been filled with events – excitement?? NOT!!
So happy no injuries to persons at this stage so keep up the safe riding!! Sad that the dealers are not as helpful as could/should be but great to hear local people are so willing to help. Keep on keeping on and having fun – sounds really beautiful out there! Gaye
Bloody hell! Seems like everything but the kitchen sink has been thrown at you. Certainly makes you appreciate the simple things (like a cold beer and good shower). Great update!! We’re all thinking of you all – out there in the middle of somewhere. Will, Toni & Lucky.