Online: steelo
  • steelo
    steelo
    1 month
    Friends
    Got a call from forum member Wade Wilson about 3 weeks ago suggesting a ride up north. Afters some negotiation as to route and days away we headed off Thursday a week ago.
    I met Wade (not his real name) (he's a dentist so I cant show you his face) on his beautiful Burgundy M8 Ultra at the Bolivar Caltex and we headed to Port Wakefield where we caught up the third member of the crew, Steve on his Triumph Tophy.
    From there a short trip to our first nights destination Wallaroo on the Yorke Peninsula. We dropped off our bags and did a quick trip down the coast to Port Hughes where a brew was enjoyed overlooking the jetty and calm sea.
    A great country pub meal was had at the attached hotel in Wallaroo and we headed off early Friday morning for our days destination, Woomera.
    We had a slow meandering 5 hour trip up the coast taking in Port Broughton, Fishermans Bay, Port Pirie, a roadside diner specialising in pickled seafood and on to Port Augusta where we had lunch.
    From there we covered the remaining 180kms in a little under 2 hours as the roads were long flat empty and no towns of note to visit along the way except for a brilliant lookout overlooking a huge lake with a hat like island in the middle. The scenery otherwise was spectacular, green but desolate. Boy, did I enjoy the Ultra on the open roads with cruise control and tunes piped into the helmet
    We continued past our turn off at Pimba on to Lake Hart where the boys walked some distance to the salt lake (now covered with water) after the rains.
    Back to our accommodation at Woomera, a comfortable 3 bedroom unit in the dorm blocks of the old Woomera military base.
    Dinner on the balcony at the Eldo Hotel. Wade had organised for a visit to the Woomera Observatory and volunteers made their way from home to show us the facilities. It was a shame that it was completely overcast and raining so we didn’t get to use the telescope however we organised to catch up with them again in Opal mining town Andamooka.
    Saturday we headed to Andamooka, the weather was threatening to rain. The skies were black, country flat and roads straight. It looked like that last scene out of Terminator where heroine Sarah Connor heads off into the unknown. Andamooka was like nothing I’ve ever seen, with hundreds of mine shaft dotting the ground. We met our volunteer friends, watched opals being cut and polished, went on a tour of the town (three burly blokes jammed into the back seat of a Toyota 4wd. I was scared to cough)
    We visited a local stonemason, interestingly known as “Cal the Stoner” who is building a brilliant stone mosaic striped tiger. We got to do some noodling in a huge open pit and got a lesson in distinguishing opal from stones.
    We had a look at the Post office and Opal Museum. Most of the opal and jewellery items were outside my price point (even as much as I do like my wife).
    We left Andamooka late. Had dinner again at the Eldo. The road seemed shorter somehow on the way home and I tried out Steve’s Trophy for a hundy or so K’s. Damn those Triumph 3 cylinder engines are turbine smooth and the ride was actually better than the Ultra with its electronic windscreen.
    Sunday involved a quick trip back to Port Augusta where I said goodbye to the fellas. They continued back inland for another couple nights and I came home.
    South Australia is a great place to live in at the moment. It was nice to be able to get away for a couple days. Thanks for organising Wade.

  • steelo
    steelo
    1 month
    Some more pics
  • steelo
    steelo
    1 month
    Some more pics
  • Chester
    Chester
    1 month
    Nice pics steelo, that's quite a stretch going that far north.  That tiger sculpture is cool!
  • steelo
    steelo
    1 month
    Thanks Chester. The tiger was very Cool. The stripes and patches are actually made out of different multi coloured stone. Nothing painted. Has taken him 2 years so far.
  • Soapbox2627
    Soapbox2627
    1 month
    good story cheers for sharing
  • brucefxdl
    brucefxdl
    1 month
    looks to have been a great trip steelo.thanks for sharing
  • Krash Kinkade
    Krash Kinkade
    1 month
    Thank’s Steelo !!
    Enjoyed the pic’s & adventure story!


  • Far Canal
    Far Canal
    1 month
    Good on you Steelo.
    Nice to see folk still getting out on adventures.
    "Damn those Triumph 3 cylinder engines are turbine smooth and the ride was actually better than the Ultra with its electronic windscreen."
    Ha ha! that's a bummer when you have the full noise Harley tourer, oh well never mind.
    Hope "Cal the stoner", has not quit his day job.
    Just can't imagine there would be a huge market for mosaic striped tigers in Andamooka.
    But what would I know?.
  • Jay-Dee
    Jay-Dee
    1 month
    Great story and pics steelo, it sounds like you all had a good time.
  • Jay-Dee
    Jay-Dee
    1 month
    Quoting Far Canal on 23 Oct 2020 10:04 AM

    Good on you Steelo.
    Nice to see folk still getting out on adventures.
    "Damn those Triumph 3 cylinder engines are turbine smooth and the ride was actually better than the Ultra with its electronic windscreen."
    Ha ha! that's a bummer when you have the full noise Harley tourer, oh well never mind.
    Hope "Cal the stoner", has not quit his day job.
    Just can't imagine there would be a huge market for mosaic striped tigers in Andamooka.
    But what would I know?.

    You're a hard marker FC, first our photography skills (or lack thereof) and now poor old Cal's ability to make a quid from his stone tigers is under question. You never know, he just might have a multi millionaire in India patiently waiting for it to be finished and Cal will never have to work another day again :).
  • Far Canal
    Far Canal
    1 month
    He might become a millionaire Jay Dee, stranger things have happened.
    Take Piero Manzoni as an example. The following is quoted from the net.
    "Artist's Shit (Italian: Merda d'artista) is a 1961 artwork by the Italian artist Piero Manzoni. The work consists of 90 tin cans, each reportedly filled with 30 grams (1.1 oz) of faeces, and measuring 4.8 by 6.5 centimetres (1.9 in × 2.6 in), with a label in Italian, English, French, and German stating:

        Artist's Shit
        Contents 30 gr net
        Freshly preserved
        Produced and tinned
        in May 1961"
    And the value of his shitty art,
    "A tin was sold for €124,000 at Sotheby's on May 23, 2007;[5] in October 2008 tin 83 was offered for sale at Sotheby's with an estimate of £50,000–70,000. It sold for £97,250. On October 16, 2015, tin 54 was sold at Christies for £182,500. In August 2016, at an art auction in Milan, one of the tins sold for a new record of €275,000, including auction fees.[6] The tins were originally to be valued according to their equivalent weight in gold – $37 each in 1961 – with the price fluctuating according to the market."

    Might have gone off topic a bit here. Oops
  • binnsy
    binnsy
    1 month
    Looks like a good ride Steelo. Great write up and photos, thanks.
  • fatbat
    fatbat
    1 month
    Quoting binnsy on 23 Oct 2020 11:00 PM

    Looks like a good ride Steelo. Great write up and photos, thanks.

    Ditto on that and thanks for sharing 

    Having not met you and Wade before, who’s who in the pics. Triumph guy is easy to pic given he wears a triumph tshirt
  • steelo
    steelo
    1 month
    Thanks for your kind words about the post folks.
    I am in the leather jacket.
  • paulybronco
    paulybronco
    1 month
    Great story Steelo. Thanks for posting.....you got rid of your chaps?
  • wadewilson
    wadewilson
    1 month
    Thanks for the write up Steelo.  Have got my first afternoon off work since getting back and thought I would follow up on the next couple of days after you went home.

    So anyway as Steelo has said previously we left him at Port Augusta and made our way east over the Flinders ranges via the Pichi Richi Pass to Quorn. This is a nice little village steeped in history mostly around the railway line that passes through the town. Over the years it has been a hub for getting grain to the coast for shipping all over the world and during the WW2 it had up to 43 trains a day passing through with troops and armaments for the war effort.
    Since it was only lunch time and our destination for the night was Melrose which was only about 60 km or so away we decided to head down to Wilmington and back over the Flinders via Horricks Pass. This bought us back out on the main Adelaide to Port Augusta road. Turning left onto the main highway we went south along the coast to Port Germain where we stopped to have a look at the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere and if I remember rightly it was once also the longest in the world. Quite a bit of the end of it has been washed away by storms over the years and although it is still an impressively long jetty it is not as long as it once was.

    The jetty here is also home to what is believed to be one of only two known Tidal Clocks or Gauges. Although built about 1800 it was in use right up till 1989. Quite amazing that we used such old technology for so long. Just goes to show how ingenious our forefathers were. I will let you read about it in one of the photos I took of the sign.
  • wadewilson
    wadewilson
    1 month
    From Port Germain it was once again back over the Flinders Ranges but this time it was via Germain Gorge road. This is more of a cutting through the ranges rather than a pass over them as we had done on the previous two runs over the Flinders. I have done the gorge road many times and it never ceases to amaze me at the way the builders of the road have followed the creek through the gorge and built up the road with dry stone walling or blasted the gorge walls where there was not enough width beside the creek for the road. It really is an amazing feat when you think that there was no heavy machinery like we have today it would have all been done by hand.

    Once through he gorge is was a left turn and a quick run up to Melrose for our evening stopover. Well were we in for a surprise the tiny little town of Melrose was full. No accommodation available at the caravan park, nothing at the first pub, so on to the only other pub in town where we got talking to the publican about how full the town was and that there was no accommodation anywhere. He told us that he was also full but he had "these little shithole rooms out back" we could stay in if we wanted to. Given they were at the pub and we were long overdue for a drink we gratefully accepted the offer and parked our bikes around the back of the pub. Well the publican's description of the rooms was exactly correct, but they were clean and as we were only after somewhere to sleep we did not really care. So back into the pub for a great night with the locals of drinking and eating till we were the only ones left at the bar and the publican wanted to close up for the night.

    Next morning was not such an early start as I had a flat battery on my bike. So it was off with the seat, out with the lithium battery pack and a quick jump start and all was good with the world again. Big thanks to Steve on his Triumph for having the foresight to bring one of these little gadgets along.

    So from here it was just a long meandering ride home through the Clare and Barossa valleys slowing for the countless little villages along the way. It always seems to take forever to get home through this way. I think roughly 400km took us about 7 hours or so. But we did stop at a couple of bakeries along the way so this amounted for a fair amount of the time.
  • wadewilson
    wadewilson
    1 month
    Some more random photos of the trip