Roadhouse Blues

West from Melbourne lies the Great Ocean Road. For many motor bikers it is the most beautiful coastal road. But just coming from New Zealand with all the windy roads we are a bit disappointed. Or better, we are spoiled! Along the Great Ocean Road are the Twelve Apostles. Beautiful rock formations rising from the blue sea.

Twelve Apostles; track to a homestead

Hot, it is bloody hot in Australia. The hot dry wind in the outback turns our sandwiches in no time into toast. The drinking water we have is also 37 degrees centigrade but still refreshes us. We do the Oodnadatta track. For hours we ride on dusty gravel roads. Roads that goes forever. We can do this forever. As far as we can see there are arid grasslands. We see kangaroos hopping and emu's racing against us. A wedge tailed eagle lands near a dead kangaroo. A thorny devil, a kind of lizard, is sitting on the road and we help the little creature to cross it before it will be run over. We pass a grid in the road and see a sign to a Homestead: 80 kilometers. A homestead is a farm on a huge piece of land. From a few thousand square kilometers till a size as half as our home country Holland. Unbelievable! The families who live here get their supplies by truck every fortnight and the kids follow the school by radio. At night we just pitch our tent somewhere in the outback.



















Australian wildlife












In Mildura we visit some friends from Holland and it is time to change our first rear tire on this trip. We replace the Continental TKC 70 that last for more than 33.000 kilometers. Thank you mister Conti. During the replacing of the tires we notice that the suspension lever of Udo's bike is worn out. Too many vibrations on corrugated roads. It take us a day to fix the problem. And we close the day with our friends with a barbie and a VB. Life is great!

Australia is divided into six states and two territories. They have their own traffic rules and laws. And some parts of the states are fruit fly free zones. To protected the fruit farms it is not allowed to bring fruit or vegetables into the zones. You have to dump your fruit at the zone entrance. Sometimes there are checkpoints and violating the law results in heavy fines. We just bought a kilo bananas when we pass a fruit fly zone. So we eat bananas till we get yellow...
The mining town Coober Pedy is famous for its opal. Just before we enter the city the flat landscape change into a moon landscape full of craters and cone shaped hills. Forty different nationalities are living here to find their fortune. A lot of pick-ups have winches and a sign "explosives". In some of the pick-ups we see a box of dynamite. Just laying in the sun to warm up...In the summer it gets really hot over here and a lot of houses and shops are build underground. Rooms and kitchens are dig out by hand or machine and are transformed into nice cool houses. In one of the underground opal shops they explain us about the different kinds of opal. With this knowledge we dig ourselves a few hours and find a fortune to buy one liter petrol!
We stop at a roadhouse to refill and have a drink. When we want to ride on Harald notice that his bike has a flat rear tire. When we try to fix it we see that the rim is cracked over a distance of 25 centimeters. The spokes are pushed through the rim and perforated the tube. Now we have a problem. The first city is Alice Springs, 400 kilometers away! No worries, first we pitch our tent and make a cup of thee. When the night comes, we enjoy the beaufiful sunset and Harald plays on his mouthorgan the song "Roadhouse Blues". And Udo start to sing: " Keep your eyes on the road, your hands up on the wheel. Keep your eyes on the road, your hands up on the wheel. We're going to the roadhouse, we're going to have a real good time". Roll baby roll...