Trip Odometer: 7593km
Daily total: 479km

The start to day was a bit later, the brief scheduled for 8:00am. Departure was a bit late, but eventually we got moving. Compared to the last 2 days, it was a relatively short run to Port Augusta, however we had a few engagements along the way so it still took a full day.

Ceduna Jetty

It was a fairly brisk morning, 5 degrees to start with, but it soon warmed up. In preparation, I decided to suit up in my wet weather gear in attempt to stop the wind chill. It was only a short hop to the first fuel stop, a ‘splash and dash’ in Wirrulla for the cruisers since the Poochera Roadhouse has shut down in the last few weeks.

Wirrulla General Store

From there it was off to the Wudinna and Districts Men’s Shed for a lunch and chinwag.

They put an an awesome barbeque with enough food for double the amount of riders we had! In return for the generosity, there were presented with a Winston.

After a quick refuel at Wudinna we headed for Kimba. After the crusiers refueled, we headed off to the Kimba Hotel for a free coffee. Kimba is my normal stop over point when doing Nullabor crossings. I typically camp at the free camp (which is currently being upgraded) out the back of Kimba and then head into the pub for a feed. The pub even offers a courtesy bus from the free camp. I was happy to see them support the Black Dog Ride, and there was also quite a few local supporters as well.

Kimba Hotel

The coffee was hot, and the company was good, but all my camping gear was wet. I was keen to get into Port Augusta whilst there was still some sun in the sky so I could dry off my gear. After a quick hello and goodbye, a couple of us took off for the Port August camp. We arrived with a good amount of sun still shining and promptly unpacked and rolled everything out to dry.

Whilst there was not enough time in the day to fully dry everything, it was certainly a lot better than when I packed it all up this morning. Tomorrow is a ‘rest’ day, so the gear will get a full day in the sun to dry.

Tonight’s Dinner was hosted by the Lions Club at the West Augusta Football Club. Once again, the locals did a great job at feeding us, and then proceeded to make a $200 donation.

Even though tomorrow is a rest day, we have things to do, including a ride and lunch organised by the local Black Dog riders in South Australia. It will be a short day though, which is good given the last few days of riding in the rain whilst being sick.

Trip Odometer: 7114km
Daily total: 677km

Warning: Unedited – may contain offensive grammar. I need sleep.

Forgetting there was a time difference of 45 minutes, I nearly missed the briefing. I did miss out on breakfast and morning tea which I caught up on at Mundrabilla. I am still stick, but feeling a lot better than I was yesterday. The departure from Madura Pass quickly turned into a mixture of rain and fog. Because of the cloud resulting in limited sunlight, the Kangaroos were still out and about. One ended up running in the the tail end charlie which resulted in a snapped foot peg and an injured ankle.

After a coffee and a bite to eat, it was off to Eucla for a refuel. Winston is now halfway through the Nullabor crossing.

We all got stopped at the WA border for an RBT and a licence check. The police are monitoring all people crossing the border, not sure why. The were all friendly and we got a few fun photo’s in.

The next refuelling stop is Nullabor Roadhouse. Finally the rain had departed, and has not been back thankfully. A few quick snaps with Winston (who competed his first Nullabor crossing) and its time to bid the Nullabor plain farewell and head to Ceduna.

I opted not to refuel at Nundroo thinking I had enough fuel to get all the way to Ceduna. Turns out this was a dumb idea, as the pucker (fuel) light came on with about 80km to go. I rolled into Ceduna with on bar of fuel on the guage and 13km to go showing on the trip computer.

I rolled straight into the servo at Ceduna and refuelled, then went off to find a caravan park with the others. The first place was booked out, but the local Big 4 felt sorry for us and put us up for the night. Cheapest place I have been to as well, and its only 2 blocks from the local pub.

Trip Odometer: 6437km
Daily total: 731km

I have not been feeling 100% the last few days, and today I got struck down by a head cold that has also developed into a chest infection. Probably the worst day for it also, as its the longest distance on on the Southern leg of the ride. Just to add insult to injury, it rained overnight, and continued to rain on and off for most of the day. All of a sudden this ride has gone from what should have been a walk in the park for me, to a solid challenge.

I dragged my self out of bed after an ordinary nights sleep. Thankfully the overnight rain started pretty light, so I had time to get the fly sheet set up over the swag. Its not needed, the swag is waterproof but its a light easier to dry a nylon sheet than it is to dry out a canvas swag.

Esperance Camp – packed up and ready to depart.

After the departure, it was time to eat up some miles. Not much time to stop and take photos. First stop was at Noreseman for fuel and a quick bite to eat. It was here that all but one of the WA 3 day riders left our company. They managed to introduce us to some wonderful WA roads.

I decided to depart before the main pack with a couple of the slower bikes. Being sick, I just wanted to get going and the day’s ride over and done with. The next fuel stop was Balladonia, where we had a quick lunch. Thankfully the rain departed for a while and we were able to dry off. That wasn’t to last though.

Balledonia

Next stop was Caiguna for a quick top up of fuel. Of course it was raining here as well, so the stop was brief and off we went again. We rolled into Madura Pass for the last fuel stop. A group of us had decided to free camp that night, but the $15 price to camp at the Madura Pass Oasis Caravan park was too good to pass up. After a cold wet day, the hot shower was welcoming.

It was dark by the time I set up camp. There was no rain forecast, but I set up the fly sheet to dry it out. I had a couple of shots of rum which made me feel a lot better.

Once camp was set up, we hit the road house bar for dinner and a couple of beers, the went back and started up a fire.

One of the goals of doing this ride is to get out, talk to people and start a conversation. The was a bloke camped out by himself, so I called him over to have a yarn over the fire. Bob was heading for retirement and had a couple of months off so was heading off the Queensland. Turns out Bob was also mates with one of our WA riders brother-in-law. After a few hours of chewing the fat, and I had to head to bed.

Trip Odometer: 5706km
Daily total: 483km

The updates are a little light on at this point. There is not a lot of time to stop for photos, and by the time we arrive at camp, set up, have dinner etc, it does not leave a lot of time for posting updates. I have notes, so I will come back at some point and add more detail.

A late start from Denmark meant time for a decent coffee before an 8am brief. Gertrude from the local chamber of commerce turned up to see us off in her usual bright clothes.

We rode out at 8.30 for Breakfast at Albany. The local Woolworths at Albany provided an awesome breakfast. They also made up a new name badge for Winston.

Departing from Albany, it was time to cover off some miles. The first fuel stop was at Jerramungup. Lunch was leftovers from breakfast. We had a good chat with some of the locals from the Kokoda op shop.

Pushing on to Ravensthorpe, we had out first victim of the ride. The problem remains diagnosed at this stage, but will be heading off to a motorcycle shop in the morning. We had a bit of time to have a chat to some locals whilst we were waiting for the victim to get loaded onto the the iron stretcher. Once the cruisers had refueled, it was time to depart.

The lasts push to Esperance had as arriving at about 4.30pm. After checking in at the caravan park, I headed off to refuel for the morning. I also took the opportunity to get out and have a look at the beach and take a few pics. Thinking I might drop in here and look around a bit more on the way home.

Tonight there is not organised formalities, so its a free night to chat with the other riders. I tried a new delicacy, pepper steak and onion in a tin. Not for me, so I cracked open a tin of sausage and vegetable!

I am still stuck on Brisbane time, so I crawled out of the swag just after 4am this morning. I didn’t take long to pack up, so plenty of time to talk to the other riders and get to know their stories. Just before 7am, we all headed to Georgiana Molloy Anglican School for the riders brief and breakfast (hosted by the school).

We hit the road at 9am, heading to Dunsborough via the Caves Road. Morning tea stop was at the Karridale Roadhouse and Tavern.

Then it was off to Pemberton for fuel and lunch and a group photo.

After lunch, it was time to push on to our final destination for the day. After a good run into Walpole through some awesome country, we had a brief stop where the local Police met up with us and provided us an escort out of town. Another 65km and we rolled into Denmark for the night. The campers headed out to the Riverfront Caravan Park and set up camp, then hitched a ride on a local bus into the Denmark Tavern where we met up with the local Lions club for dinner. The local Lions club had done an absolute wonderful job at training up 160 mental health first-aid people. Not bad for a town of 6000.

Only a relatively short day today, but a good day nonetheless. The rides get progressively busier and/or longer from here on in.