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Old 20-05-2013, 09:43 PM   #1
-Macca-
Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Endeavour Hills
Posts: 86
Default It's flat, and there's nothin' there..

Sooo..

I was an official at a 4x4 event at Cobar last week. I had considered riding up, as I didn't really need a 4x4 because we've got The Junker (unreg'd, highly modified 4x4) living up there, but the final straw was when I realised I really didn't want to change the wheel bearing on the Patrol before I left. I rang my old man, and he was keen as mustard to go for a ride. My decision was made.

Packed the bike, and excess gear was relegated to the Missus' X-Trail as she was heading up too as a massuer a few days later.



I forgot to turn the GPS logger on until we got to Heathcote, so that's where the track log starts (I'll post up the track when I unpack the panniers and get the laptop out later in the week!)



We cruised up through to Echuca, and then on to Hay. We all know what there is around Hay don't we? Bloody nothing:



Apologies for the crooked horizons - must remember to lengthen the lanyard on the camera a bit..



Anyhoo, there's only so many photos you can take of nothing, so there's no more pics until we set up camp.. Half way between Hay and Booligal, we hung a left (at One Tree) and headed out to the Lachlan river to set up camp under some trees:



Great place to camp, except for the fish jumping out of the water all night! In the morning (after a few coffee's), we headed the back way round to Booligal:



We headed into Ivanhoe for a fuel stop before the "long" leg of the ride. As a note, fuel is available at Ivanhoe at both the servo, and the cafe. The cafe also does $5 coffee and cake, and the cafe girls are much better looking than the bloke at the servo..

Last edited by -Macca-; 20-05-2013 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 20-05-2013, 09:53 PM   #2
-Macca-
Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Endeavour Hills
Posts: 86
Default Re: It's flat, and there's nothin' there..

On the advice of a few people over at ADV, we didn't take the direct route from Ivanhoe to Cobar (although there were a few blokes leaving Ivanhoe at the same time as us who did go that way). We headed east out towards Trida alongside the train lines, and then headed due north back to the Cobar road for something different. I'd done some basic checking and according my calculations I should be right for fuel range. Worst case, I'd spend some time sitting on the side of the road while my old man (with the bigger tank) rode into Cobar to get me some fuel..

We found a whole lot more nothing, but at least this nothing wasn't on bitumen:



We started to get more trees after turning north, and there was more scenery to look at. Cattle grids are something to be wary of. 99% of them are fine, and they can be taken at full noise (KLR full noise, not fast bike full noise!), but some of them are good supercross ramps..



After some time dodging emus and roos and cattle and sheep and goats and pigs, we stopped for lunch in a bit of shade:



The further north we went, the redder the dirt got, and the more sand there was. I had a few moments, but the old "lean back, power on, relax" adage worked for me..

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Old 20-05-2013, 10:06 PM   #3
-Macca-
Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Endeavour Hills
Posts: 86
Default Re: It's flat, and there's nothin' there..

We popped out onto the Cobar road, which obviously sees a bit more traffic (not that we saw anyone for the entire ~320km leg) as it had rock laid down:



Just as we hit the Barrier Hwy, I had to flick over to reserve. Planned to perfection.. Went into town, took the obligatory photo:



and then stocked up on supplies and headed out to base camp for the 4x4 event (~70km west of Cobar).

Spent a week watching stuff like this:



Got a bit of rain on Monday, so the navigators got to do some work pulling out winch ropes:



..and the more high powered cars got to do skids:



Small noisy child was in awe of it all. The big V8's, the big diesel turbo whistles, the motorbikes, and the quad:



I think I'm in trouble when he's old enough to ride..
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Old 20-05-2013, 10:21 PM   #4
-Macca-
Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Endeavour Hills
Posts: 86
Default Re: It's flat, and there's nothin' there..

So, the plan was to ride home using as little of the same roads as possible, while still heading relatively directly home. We topped up at Cobar again, and then followed the long straight Barrier Hwy out to the Emmdale Roadhouse. I'd heard that the old owner was a right old bastard, but the backpackers that the new owners had working the counter were polite and friendly. Thumbs up for Emmdale.

A little further down the road my GPS decided not to play the game anymore:



Cheap chinese shit.. Anyone recommend a GPS that runs WindowsCE as a base OS? (I run Oziexplorer for bush as well as iGo8 for streetnav)

About 13km west of Emmdale we turned south back onto more dirt heading back towards Ivanhoe. Funny how ~160km of bitumen seems to take so long, but ~160km of dirt seems to flash by. I had a couple of close calls with wildlife along this bit, but emerged unscathed at the turnoff to Ivanhoe:





Had another coffee at Ivanhoe, and headed southwest towards Balranald. We knew it was ~240km to Balranald, but we only wanted to ride for another hour or so before the kangawallafoxemus came out to play chicken. Looking at the map at Ivanhoe, there didn't seem to be a lot between Ivanhoe and Balranald, so we resigned ourselves to probably camping on amongst the saltbush..



We managed to get about 130k's down the road before the swarms of wildlife were getting too thick, so we started looking for likely place to stop. We popped over a hill (well, what passes for a hill out there!), and came across the abandoned Hatfield pub..



Rode around the back and straight into the shed. Had a bit of a poke around, and the back door of the pub was open, so after checking the place was relatively safe, we rolled out our swags in the main bar. Not often you can say you had a good nights sleep on the floor of a pub!

Watched the sunset:



..and marvelled at the absolute lack of anything. There was NO noise. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears. No crickets. No frogs. No animals. No wind. Was actually a little spooky. Looking around, I couldn't even see any lights. You'd expect to see a light on the horizon from a homestead wa-ay over there somewhere, but nothing.. Oddly enough, there was a Telstra phonebox out the front of the pub still, and I reckon it'd still work, but I didn't have a phonecard with me (card only phonebox! )
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Old 20-05-2013, 10:23 PM   #5
-Macca-
Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Endeavour Hills
Posts: 86
Default Re: It's flat, and there's nothin' there..

More when I download GoPro, get track logs together, and get photos off the other camera..
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