A Travellerspoint blog

Monday 26th June - Cape Crawford and Borroloola area.

sunny 30 °C

Monday 26th June - Cape Crawford & Borroloola area.

No rush this morning as we had planned a fairly relaxing day. A bit of breakfast, some mtce on the bike & trailer, and plans to ride 70kms to Carribininni Waterhole. The park manager came over to tell us that the service station had run out of unleaded fuel. We all had full tanks, thanks to our habit of refuelling as soon as we reached our daily destination. But we then had to decide if we would make the trip up to Carribininni Waterhole Conservation area and use up valuable fuel, or wait for the fuel truck to arrive, as I would need every drop to make it to Daly Waters Pub tomorrow. We decided we had day's to spare, so did the ride up to Carribininni anyway and would stay until the fuel truck arrived. Maybe in a day or two was the answer?
The ride north to Carribininni was hot and dry (31 deg) but the walk into the Waterhole and the 3km walk up through the sandstone pillars was one of the best short walks I've done. Some spectacular scenery and formations within the pillars. It is a miniature of The Lost City formations.

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Back to camp for a bite of lunch, a swim and a beer, while Clint and Andrew had nanna naps. Over to the Heartbreak Hotel for a few arvo beers and dinner. Ran into a couple of blokes doing the same trip we are only in the reverse direction. They are on adventure bikes and doing some dirt as well as the highways. It was great talking to them and sharing experiences and knowledge.
Back to camp for a couple of reds before turning in.
What a relaxing, easy day. 140kms done.
ZZZZZZZ!
P.S. We decided over a few beers ...... fck the fuel truck, we are gunna have a crack at Daily Waters with the fuel we have. Hope I make it.

Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 05:13 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sunday 25th June - Brunette Downs to Cape Crawford NT

sunny 30 °C

Sunday 25th June - Brunette Downs to Cape Crawford NT

I last visited Cape Crawford in 2014 on my way back from The Alice. We would spend a few days here this time. We packed up camp at The Brunette Downs Races and we're on the road after another canteen brekky.

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10 kms of dust out to the Hwy, then a right turn North towards Borroloola in the Gulf. Lots of caravans on the road, even in these remote parts. I guess 4WDs and vans have opened up most of Australia now. Stopped about half way at the turn off to Wallhollow Stn. for smoko, then the last 1.5 hrs to Cape Crawford. The road (Tablelands Hwy) is a one lane bitumen road from the Barkley Homestead Roadhouse to Borroloola. (376kms - no fuel) If traffic comes the other way, you have to get off the road to allow them to pass. Not much fun on a large road bike with a trailer behind. Sometimes the bitumen shoulder is a 100mm drop which can rip out a sidewall of your tyre. The road etticate is that the small vehicle gives way to the larger vehicle. But we have found most traffic give us bikes the road. Large road trains are different, as it's too dangerous for them to get off the road onto the shoulder. We arrived at The Heartbreak Hotel about 1:30pm and got a powered camp site for $38/nt. The Heartbreak Hotel is the only place in Cape Crawford, and is a service Stn, pub, motel and caravan park. A great spot with huge shade trees and grassed areas. Set up our camp, a dip in the pool, a few beers and we were settled in for a few days. Dinner in the pub was Barra, chips and salad. A great feed! Chatted to a few fellow travellers, mostly fisherman headed for King Ash Bay to chase the elusive Barramundi.
Into bed fairly early after an easy day. 250kms done.
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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 05:02 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Saturday 24th June - A day at the races

sunny 31 °C

Saturday 24th June - A day at the Races

We thought we were in for a pretty relaxing day .... but were proved wrong. We were camped next to the band contracted to provide the musical entertainment for the event. Turns out they were from Cairns and were doing a few weeks on the road. Nice young kids. After brekky at the canteen of bacon & egg sandwiches, we watched a bit of Camp Draughting. Then the races started at about 11:00am. We watched a few races, watched the fashions on the field, had a few beers, I even had a small bet on the GGs. There seemed to be a fair bit of talk around the track about the 3 guys wearing very bright Hawaiian shirts. Yeah! We got a lot of comments.... mostly good. I even got interviewed by the track announcer as I was walking past the mounting yard. Turns out we were the talk of the town.
After the races finished, we had another feed and a few beers and waited for the band to start, but they hadn't showed by 9:00pm so we went back to camp, had a red or two and into bed. It's a bitch getting old!

It was a great day in the bush with dirt n' dust and horse shit.

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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 04:51 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Friday 23rd June - Mt Isa to Brunette Downs NT.

Friday 23rd June - Mt Isa to Brunette Downs

As a kid, I had always heard about the Brunette Downs Races and Rodeo. It was something always in the back of my mind and held up there with the Mt Isa Rodeo and Birdsville Races. Well today, I would get there and tick it off the Bucket list.

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We had a bit of a late start leaving The Isa, as Andrew had thrown out his old shorts and hadn't been able to find a new pair in the shops. So it was into K-Mart first thing. Unfortunately, it was a public holiday in The Isa for show day. Even K-Mart was closed. So we gave up on the clothes shopping and went to Bunnings instead. The boys needed new camp chairs, and Bunnings was the only place open in town. 2 new camp chairs for $6.00 ea.
Then the funniest thing happened so far on this trip. A young bloke and his wife were parked beside us in the middle of the street outside Bunnings, loading some gear they had bought onto their ute. Clint ... "jokingly" said to the bloke, "you don't want to sell your shorts mate, do ya?" He replied, "for the right price.... why?" We then explained Andrews predicament of not having any shorts to wear, and not being able to buy a pair anywhere. So the young bloke stripped off his shorts in the middle of the street, promised they were just washed, and gave them to Andrew. Puts a whole new meaning to the phrase "he'd give you the shirt off his back". What a bloody Champion bloke.

With new chairs and 2nd hand shots, we left Mt Isa for Camooweal and the Barkley. Lunch and refuel at Camooweal, crossed the border into the NT,

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and another arvo stop at the Barkley Homestead Roadhouse. Fuel up and a bite to eat. As we were getting geared up to hit the road, a traveller approached us to say there was a guy on a Harley who had run out of fuel about 4kms short of the Roadhouse. So I headed out to help him as I was carrying two 5 litre cans of fuel. Found him pushing his bike along the road in 30 deg heat. I gave him 5 litres and got him back to the Roadhouse. Turned out he was heading to Perth WA.

We left Barkley Roadhouse and turned north towards Brunette Downs. 130kms to the turn off and then 10 kms of dirt road to the races. Paid our admission fees ($55.00ea + $30 for a powered site) then found a campsite amongst all the caravans. Set up a good camp, wandered over to the bar area for a couple of frothies and dinner was Barra burger & chips. We then watched the rodeo for a few hrs. This was Clint's and Andrew's first rodeo event. They were amazed at the skills and horsemanship of the organisers and competors alike. We then hit the sack after a rewarding but exhausting day of nearly 600kms.
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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 04:34 Comments (0)

Thursday 22nd June - A Day in The Isa.

sunny 28 °C

Thursday 22nd June - A day in The Isa.

Today is a rest day, except for a bit of touristy stuff. We had booked an underground mine tour at "The Hard Times" mine.
We slept in for a change, did some maintenance on the bikes and trailer. I went shopping for some sunnies and had the gas bottle filled. Andrew walked, I had a nap before we all headed off to the Mt Isa Outback Experience. We did a 3 hour underground mine tour which was excellent. No photos allowed. Then some grocery shopping as we'll be in the bush camping for the next 8 -10 days.
Dinner at the Irish Club (one of my old haunts in a previous life) then back to camp.
It's up early tomorrow as we head further west and north to the ABC Races at Brunette Downs on the Barkley Tableland in the NT.

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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 05:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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