Day 3 – Bulldust and Heat


Leaving Hillston, we hit our first serious section of unsealed road riding.  The stretch of road was 90 kilometres long, which would take us over to the Cobb Highway. Roads out in this part of the world can change literally in a day, depending on weather or traffic.  This road had a couple of serious stretches of bullldust.  This was helped along by roadtrains that use this section of road.

I hit the first section of bulldust at about 90kms per hour.  The bike just wanted to do it’s own thing. I seemed to be lurching from one side of the road to the other. I just held the bike throttle on, despite the somewhat rough ride.  I knew if I throttled off, the front wheel would dig in and it would be all over anyway, so I thought I may as well just hang in there.  Eventually made it through without mishap. Stopped to collect my thoughts, have a few mouthfuls of water and then moved on.

Refuelled at Ivanhoe; a small town along the Cobb Highway.  A few of us decided to continue along the next unsealed section of the Cobb Highway to Wilcannia.  Word was the original route we were going to travel that headed due west was potholed and very rough.   About half the group went the original route, with the other half of us going the long way round via Wilcannia.  Well, it turns out that the original route wasn’t too bad after all, and the road to Wilcannia having some more challenges in it than expected. But it was a good day, even though it was a long one.  The scenery was just stunning and made up for the extra time and effort it took to ride it. We stopped for a ‘smoko’ at a rest stop literally in the middle of nowhere.  The only sound was the wind in the she-oaks.  Despite the harshness of it all, there is a certain feeling of peacefulness that comes with that isolation. Will, travelling with his brother Dan, made the comment that it’s ‘big sky country’. Couldn’t have put it any better.

Once we got back on the blacktop it was full speed ahead to Broken Hill.  Temperature was becoming an issue.  The guage on the BMW showed 42 Degrees C (107.5 Fahrenheit).  Georgia, our support paramedic, suggested at the outset of the day we fill out CamelBaks with ice, which was an excellent suggestion. Then just kept topping it up all day with cool water.  Lost track of the number of litres of water I drank.

Stopped at Silverton, had a drink at the hotel.  This part of the world is dry and harsh, and was used as the setting for the ‘Mad Max’ series of movies.  There is a local museum and gallery with the appropriate memorabillia.

The bikes parked at Eldee Station,  west of Broken Hill.

The bikes parked at Eldee Station, west of Broken Hill.

Then it was on to Eldee Station for the night.  The property owner put on a fantastic evening meal; and then it was out the back and rolled into the swag for a night under the stars.

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