I discovered the other day, after planning what I thought was a good trip a couple of things.
- I wanted more adventure and was a little scared spending all the time with my extended family, having every stop planned
- I needed planning to that level to ensure accommodation was available through the busy areas (Alice gets very busy this time of year)
- The GAHN no longer takes motorcycles
- Bikes Only (the motorcycle shipping place) only picks up every 2 weeks and I have to drop in a bike when they are there
- Storage for bikes is hard to get on a Sunday (when I was to arrive in Darwin)
So, it turns out that all this extra planning had become too hard, expensive and ruined ‘idea’ of the trip.
The solution, which I am very happy about, is to not stop in Darwin. I have decided to do the trip as planned till Alice, then ride with no fixed distances or stops until I get home. Of course I have a path in mind. Most of the southern part has been well worked out to a high level of detail but after Alice, its more of a guide than a plan.
I’m quite excited about just being able to ride every day until I get sick of it, then find somewhere to stop. I will have a tent and all required camping equipment so I can either find somewhere to stop off the side of the road ,stop in a hotel or anything in between. I have allocated 2 extra weeks for the return part of the trip and it should be easily do-able. Now the trip has almost doubled in distance (from the original version where I did lots on a train) but it seems very exciting.
It also means that I need to service the bike at some point in the trip so I think Mt Isa (if there’s service available) would be a good place. I have lived there briefly for a while years ago so it should be good to be able to spend a day or so there again. Last time I was there, I was too young to do an underground mine tour. Now age is less of a problem :-)
I will have a mapping GPS with me so any changes in destination for the second half of the trip shouldn’t be a problem. I would still like to head to Cairns (I don’t know why) and would also like to visit Longreach. I guess I will just have to see how the time is going and how I feel if I get there or not.
Having just finished the book ‘Long way round’ and am currently reading ‘Long way down’ I am really in the mood for some adventure. The only downside is being alone which has its good and bad points. I also have both of these series on DVD as well as the Charlie Boorman ‘race to dakar’ series. All very inspiring stuff.
Good things about being alone on the trip
- I can go when I want and stop when I want
- No worries about accommodation
- Lots of time to ‘think’ and just put distance on the bike
- no worries about any personality clashes (apart from my own, very special personalities)
Bad things about being alone
- If anything happens you’re alone (no-one to help)
- Travelling is more fun in a group
- sometimes its nice to be able to talk to people about the trip
- Sharing gear (we only really need one camping stove per group)
I’ve been doing lots of touring reading lately and the basic rule seems to be that the longer the troup, the smaller the group you would be able to tolerate. Maybe its good to go alone but I still think if one of my friends wanted to come along, it would be much more enjoyable.
Anyway, heres some details about the trip now…
Duration 38 days
Leaving on Friday June 27th 2008
Returning Sunday Auguest 3rd 2008
Average distance per day 239km
Max riding day 539km (Port Agusta to Coober Peedy)
Estimated cost of fuel (4.9L/100km @$1.60/L) $714.00
Estimated cost $1500.00
- exclude food (have to pay weather at home or not)
- exclude most of first 3 weeks accomodation (with family who wants more expensive style)
- exclude cost of bike (If i included this, its the most expensive trip I have ever had)
- include $50 per day camping style (most camp sites are only $20 per day)
- cost of time off work (This is a killer. About what the bike costs)
Things to be seen include (but obviously not limited to)
- Lakes entrance
- Great Ocean Road
- Port Augusta
- Coober peedy
- Alice Springs
- Kings Canyon
- Tennant Creek
- Mt Isa
I will have good internet access for most of the trip so hopefully I’ll be updating this site. I also will be able to do work if required. I will have good comms (mobile phone) for 90% of the time on the road so work is less of a concern now. After having a discussion with some people at work, they assure me that I’m not needed anyway :-)
Link to google map
This is the planned route.