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 need send out a huge thanks to my sponsors and the individuals that kicked in money for the Black Dog Ride. I thought at first my target might have been a bit ambitious given the time frame. The Black Dog Ride around Aus was capped at 65 riders, and I thought that I might not get a shoe in given I have only done a single day ride. But numbers are down a bit this year, so I got start. This did not leave me much time to fundraise, but the support I have had to date has left me almost speechless.

Glenn from Marine and RV Systems was the first to commit. A loose chat at the local (Full Moon Hotel) and he jumped on board straight away. Glenn’s contribution also motivated me to get out and start looking for more sponsors.

The Full Moon Hotel then committed to making a donation. Thanks Toby and Lucy, I am sure it wont take you long to get that back from me!

After some publicity in the local rags, Bayside Star and Sandgate Guide, there was an influx of donations which totally blew me away. Network Solutions owner Thomas (a Sandgate resident) kicked in big donation.

A former neighbour also kicked in a the biggest personal donation which just blew me away. Thanks Janine, I wont have time to catch up between now and the end of the ride, but I will see you when I get back. It took me a while to figure out who you were, because I realised I never actually knew your surname the whole 12 years I lived across the road from you!

And of course, I give enough thanks to all of my friends and family who have donated money. Like many of you, this cause is close to my heart. Most of us have either have seen or had to deal with the depression and mental health issues either directly or indirectly.

Last but not least, there is a lot of people supporting me on this ride that cant afford to give money. Your support and encouragement means just as much, if not more.

If you are reading this, please support those who are supporting me.

Marine and RV Systems Australia.

Full Moon Hotel.

Network Solutions

Madman Marine

Distance
Day 1: 493km
Day 2: 872km
Day 3: 785km
Day 4: 880km
Day 5: 1000km
Day 6: 370km
Total: 4400km

Fuel Cost
$412

I kept a log of total fuel spend rounded to the nearest dollar, but neglected to keep fuel prices and amounts. I’ll try my best to keep a more accurate log during the full lap.

Flights
Perth to Brisbane: 40800 points (Velocity)
Brisbane to Perth: 30000 points (Velocity)

I opted for business class! It would be less points flying economy. In hindsight, I would fly economy. It really is a waste if you don’t eat and drink the free booze (which I didn’t do on the Perth to Brisbane Leg). If you are flying Virgin, the Economy X seats are much better value for money. Then again, you get your own toilet at the pointy end, which is very nice on a 4+ hour flight!

Accommodation
Moree: $10
Wilcannia: $26
Kimba: $5 (donation).
Mundrabilla water tanks: $0
Southern Cross: $12
Perth: $100

Moree: I stayed at the show grounds. This place is nice, and the care takers are friendly. I only stopped here because I didn’t have enough time to find a free camp before skippy time.

Wilcannia: I cringed at the cost of the camp. It was nice, but expensive considering you are only rolling out a swag. In hindsight, I would have free camped, as the advice on this area being dangerous is totally unjustified in my option. The place might have had a bad rep, but now its a ghost town.

Kimb: This is a free camp. Donations are accepted. I have stayed here before and its a good little spot. They have a hot shower (I think $1 for 2 minutes) and a clean toilet block. Its walking distance to the local pub who will also pick you up on the courtesy bus. They are currently upgrading the site and increasing capacity.

Mundrabilla water tanks: This is not an official camp, its just a place on the Nullabor maybe 50km west of the Mundrabilla roadhouse. Its a good spot, and one of the few places on the Nullabor that is free from rubbish and toilet paper. There is water, but I wouldn’t drink it without boiling it. The local swallows were flying in and out of the water tanks so its probably full of bird shit.

Southern Cross: Recently upgraded caravan park. I stopped here because I needed a shower and I needed to charge the laptop. I highly recommend this place. The camping area is not great, its small, but its clean and tidy and the showers are hot!

Perth: This one was due to lack of experience in the area. I could have stayed at my aunts place, but I was unsure about travel times to the airport. My aunt and uncle own a house in Perth, but live on a cattle station in the Gascoyne area, so they were also unsure. I decided to play it safe and spend the night somewhere near the airport. End result was a night in the Ibis Budget Perth Airport. The place reminded me of budget hotels in South East Asia, but it was perfectly ok! I would stay there again.

Problems with the bike and gear
Mechanically, I had no issues. I also had no issues with my setup for the most part. I have done this a few times now, so have everything working pretty well. I did have some other minor problems with gear on the bike though,

Tank bag harness: The 2 plastic clips are broken. The plastic pins that hold the clips to the tank bag harness have broken on both sides. I suspect UV damage. I will need to replace the whole tank bag harness. UPDATE: Now obsolete, thanks Triumph

Top box cigarette lighter socket: One of the pins that feed power to the top box is broken. Not a real issue, and I knew about before I left. I would like to fix this, because it means I can charge the laptop as I am riding. My internet research suggests that a Triumph replacement is only possible with purchasing a new top box, which is not going to happen. I’ll head to the local dealer this week to confirm. UPDATE: Part is not available in Australia.

My Sena bluetooth unit stopped working with my Earmould’s. Also not a real issue, but its nice to be able to listen to music. This was giving me grief from the start because the plug for the headphones was playing up. I suspect that is what the real problem is. I left the helmet in Perth, so I probably wont get a chance to fix this. I can live with out it, I have done many miles without it in the past. If I can fix it, great. If I can’t, so be it.

Daily Total: 370km
Trip Total: 4400km
Distance to go: 0km

It was a late start today. Possible due to some poor choices the night before? I woke up to a lovely morning, although it was a bit chilly.

After fueling up the bike and myself (red bull and bacon and egg sandwich!) it was time to get moving. By now it had warmed up to a 13 degrees. Its pretty easy to find your way to Perth from the East, you just follow the Golden Pipeline which supplies water to gold fields around Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie.

I opted not to head into Northam, but fuel was getting low next servo I found was at Bakers Hill, so I stopped to fill up the tank for the last time on this trip. Just up the road from the petrol station was a pie shop. They claim their pies are the best. The sign also said they are the ‘pieOneers’. Well it would be rude for me to not stop and test the claim. The pie was pretty good.

The highway was closed around the lakes area due to an early accident. This resulted in a very scenic detour through a small town called Chidlow. The trip into Perth was further slowed by roadworks at Sawers Valley and Mundaring. Then finally, its time to drop down into Perth. Finally made it!

I went via the airport to see if I could find a hotel close by. Nothing real close, but close enough. So I booked in, then rode to my aunts place to leave the bike till I return on the 23rd July to start the Black Dog Ride.

Tomorrows destination: Brisbane!

Daily Total: 1000km
Trip Total: 4030km
Distance to go: 370km

Today was a massive day. Whilst I was sitting back at the campsite at Mundrabilla, I did the math on the remaining journey and figured out I better put in a big day to ensure I got into Perth to catch the plane home. I knew Southern Cross, so I decided that I would try to get there and stay at the caravan park. I needed to charge the laptop and I needed a shower, so it seem like a logical conclusion. Because it was a pretty big day of riding, I did not really get a lot of chances to stop and take many photos.

Early morning start, right on sunset. The plain certainly puts on a show at this time of day. There was still a little bit of cloud around, but it was clearing pretty fast.

Next stop was Madura Pass for fuel. I stopped briefly at the lookout also. Not a bad view, but the camera does not do it justice

The next fuel stop is Caiguna, then onto the longest straight road in Australia. Its also the home the Caiguna Blowhole.

Onward to Balladonia for fuel and a quick bite to eat, then another stop at Norseman for fuel, and a final fuel stop at Coolgardie. It was at this point that I decided to push onto Southern Cross. I still had plenty of daylight, and the GPS suggested a 4:30pm arrival. So Back in the saddle and on the road.

Well I made it to Southern Cross. I booked into the caravan park rather than the free camp. This meant I could have a shower and charge the laptop. With the swag set up, I jumped back on the bike and went to the railway hotel for a 6 pack. Once back and freshly showered, I got chatting to a gang of railway workers around the fire. Well 6 beers, a couple of warm Stones Mac’s and many Captain Morgans later, the updating of the blog didn’t happen.

The temperature dropped to -1 overnight. Thankfully I was wise enough to put on thermals before beers. I even zipped myself into the sleeping bag, which is pretty rare for me. The beverages probably helped tame the cold as well!

Tomorrows Destination is Perth! A short day, less than 400km!

Daily Total: 880km
Trip Total: 3030km
Distance to go: 1364km

It was a bit of a slow start today. I needed some food for the Nullabor plain, and the local grocery store at Kimba did not open till 7.30am. I also needed to fuel. I did not hit the highway till about 8.30.

The day started well. I stocked up on food a Kimba for the next couple off days on the Nullabor. It was bit cold and foggy on departure, but the fog soon burned off and it turned into a lovely day.

There is not a lot too see between Kimba and Ceduna. It’s mostly all grain growing country. Arriving into Ceduna gives you the first idea that you are going toward Perth, as its the first place that has Perth on the distance signs. On the way home, I am going to stop at Ceduna and have a look around. I have blasted through this place to many times now. As you roll over the hill and into the town, you get the first sight of the ocean since Port Augusta.

A quick fuel stop at the Nullabor Roadhouse and one has to stop for the famous photo of the wildlife sign.

The skies were starting to look a bit grim. I stopped at one of the look outs on the Great Australia Bight and took the opportunity to pull out my wet weather gear and get it ready. I could see rain in the distance, but was hoping that it might pass before I got there.

It started to rain about 100km east of the WA border. The odd patchy drizzle started to look more solid, so I pulled over on the side of the road and put on my wet weather gear. Not a minute to soon as the rain came in.

Along with the rain, came the wind. Its was blowing 30knots+ from the left front quarter and made riding really challenging. I was hoping to camp on the Bunda Cliffs, but with the wind and rain just wanted to get away from the coast.

Another quick fuel stop at border town plus the standard quarantine check at the border, and I punched on till I found a camp. I chose the old water tanks so I could escape the rain for the night. Looks like the rain has set in too. Unfortunately where I decided to camp, some caravaner decided to run a generator for about 5 hours. Despite that I think I chose a good spot to spend the night. There is nothing quite like camping out on the Nullabor Plain.

Tomorrow: We’ll see. I am not as far west as I hoped to be, so I might push on to Southern Cross. Coolgardie is the likely destination.

This post will lack many photo’s as I am on my phone and the laptop battery is flat. Grammar will also be sketchy. Its also possibly the last entry I get to write before arriving in Perth, as the mobile coverage on the Nullabor is very limited. I’ll sort it all when I get into Perth.

Daily Total: 785km
Trip Total: 2150km
Distance to go: 2235km

Another cold day. Temps did not manage to get over 15 until Horrocks pass into the Spencer gulf.

An early start today. I was packed and ready to go by 6.30, but there was no sunlight. I sat around for a while and finally rode out at about 7.30. It’s amazing how green this country is right now. Apparently they had good rain at Easter. Wilcannia is a lovely looking town, its just very run down and neglected. Everyone says its sketchy, but there has been no one around, so perhaps old history has resulted in the demise of the place.

It was a short run from Wilcannia the Topar roadhouse. After much stuffing around to get the automated fuel browser going I managed to get a full tank of fuel. A quick bacon and egg sandwich and it was off to broken hill. The skies were threatening to dump on me, but somehow the rain was all north and south, and I only copped a very light sprinkle of rain.

A couple of quick photo stops in broken hill and then onward to Port Augusta. Leaving Broken Hill a sign advised that it was 200km till the next fuel stop, so I decided that it was probably wise to turn back to top off the tank. I could have made it, but it would have been a little too close for comfort. Leaving Wilcannia and you know you are entering into proper desert country. The tree are replaced by the typical desert shrubbery. However, when you cross the border, the desert steps up its game.

There is nothing out here. Another very quick stop for fuel at Yunta I pushed on. Finally I get a glympse of the ocean, or close enough to it. Over the hill from Horrocks Pass and the Spencer Gulf appears.

Leaving Port Augusta for the final run to Kimba I missed the turn off. I have done this before, thankfully I realised this 100m down the road when Kimba was absent from the advisory sign. A quick back track and I was on the right path. It was nice to be riding into Kimba in daylight for once.

The time zone change saw me at the campground before 4pm. I set up camp, then walked into the local pub for a meal. Was nice to eat something of a plate rather than out of a tin.

Tomorrow’s destination? Maybe Bunda Cliffs? Maybe Cocklebidy? I am going to make it up as I go now.