Thursday, October 27, 2005

day 4

punsand bay to moreton telegraph station. today we cover about 320 km, including two sections of the northern telegraph track.

first stop the jardine ferry. then hanging around in the sun as everyone leaves at 2 minute intervals. as today is a big day and the first section has lots of painful sand, even worse they say than i've already done, i'm taking the easy way around, with one of the guides as a nursemaid.

i end up riding his ktm435, '04 model, while he rides an xr650. he figured that seeing i was comfortable on the ktm, i might as well stay on it. the reason no-one but him usually uses it, is because it's his own bike, and it has a tendency for the front wheel to turn in. it did that to me too, but he wasn't confident in my ability to ride the xr650.

i survived the road section ok. if you could call it a road that is. the others turned off after 20km to do the first section of the track. by the time i went past, they were already gone. the road was easier than deep twisty sand, but i still had my fair share of sand, corrugations, and big fucking corrugations, then big sandy corrugations, and occasional bulldust.

the speedo on this ktm didn't work, and i ended up cruising at about 110kph the guide later said. any slower and the bumps were attrocious. he reckoned at around 140 it was even better. i waited for the others at fruitbat falls. a very cool little spot. the water apparently comes from somewhere in papua new guinea, wells up from the ground, then flows to the sea. you can swim here so we did. then lunch under the shade of the trees before setting off for the second section of the northern telegraph line.

i went with the others for the next section, i was going ok for a while, but went bush and did an endo over the bars. the guide following me was most amused. i was getting very tired after that and had to stop a few times for a rest, including one crash/stop where i simply fell over in the sand. into gunshot creek then we climbed out a way that the 4wd's can't follow and subsequently wreck, which was quite fun.

then some more sand, and some easier tracks, before getting back onto the road to moreton telegraph station.

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