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Thursday, 26 January 2017

Day 23, Home Valley Station to Windjana Gorge Campsite..

Sunday 21th August, 2011 Day 23…
Odo start, 11,386 K's
Odo end,  11,895 K's
Distance Travelled.  509 K's
Accommodation, Windjana Campground, $11.00 for a one night permit…

I woke at 5:45 to try and catch sunrise over the Cockburn Ranges. I almost slept in as i had woken at 2:30am due to the moon rising. I opened one eye to see some colour starting to appear behind the range, i quickly dressed and grabbed my camera and tripod..

Sunrise…



My campsite…



Home Valley Main Campsite and Bar…



I was packed and on the road at 7:00am, the riding was great, the corrugations were small enough that if you kept your speed up at about 80-90 Kph, the bike skimmed along the top.

The Durack River crossing was easy, though it did catch me by surprise, you come up to it after cresting a rise, there is a slow down sign, but it doesn't mention why, i crested the rise at 90kph and was confronted with a relatively steep sandy entry into the river!! I braked hard and pulled up. I got off the bike, and walked half way through, the bottom was relatively smooth and it was about 300mm deep.

I had a great morning riding, some nice twisty sealed bits as  you rode over the Jump Ups, then back to fast hard packed gravel. 

My day changed when i hit the Kalumburu Turn off at 10am. The road became sandy and covered in thick scree, about 5 K's down the road, this scree formed the worst corrugations i had ever riden on!! 

About an hour after hitting this section of the road, i hit a bull dust hole about 100 metres before a creek crossing, i lost my right hand side pannier. After getting the bike back together, i rode through the creek crossing and then got a flat front tyre!

When i got off the bike i noticed this..



When the rim was damaged a bit of air must have escaped, i assume that when the rim got wet doing the creek crossing, the tyre must have spun on the rim, causing the flat.

I parked the bike up and dug out my compressor, after about 30 seconds the tyre wasn't inflating, i had to try and get all the weight off the front end. I left the bike on the side stand and heaved the front end backwards using the stand as a leverage point, i was able to just clear the ground. Luckily the tyre started to inflate, then my compressor died…

A young family pulled up as i was trying to sort out the problem, they had a big compressor and offered to help, they also handed me a cool drink as they could see i was a little hot, Thanks Rod and Jacinta, you really helped, cheers.

I rode on to Mt Barnett Roadhouse. The road conditions got even worse, the corrugations and scree were 5 and 6 inches high, it was absolute murder to ride on. I couldn't ride at 80K's to get on top of the corrugations as the depth of the scree had me constantly loosing the front end, so i backed off to as little as 20kph in places and rattled my way on. I arrived at 12:15pm I filled the bike, she took 14.956 Ltrs @ $2.06/Ltr $30.81. I grabbed a pie and drink and decided to have a short break and figure out where to head to…



Windjana Gorge looked like a good place to camp, it would be a long day, but i just wanted to get through this awful road. I arrived at the campground at 4:30, just in time for a sunset. I grabbed a few shots and rolled into my tent and collapsed, every bone in my body was sore, i didn't even use my mattress, i curled up on the tent floor and slept…. I still have to figure out what my feelings of the Gibb are, in a few days when i have had time to reflect, hopefully i'll have an answer.

Windjana at Sunset...





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