Motorcycle Explorer Issue 17 - Page 28

Travel Story: leigh wilkins - australia

A quick bite to eat at the famous Pink Roadhouse, we decided to stay at the camping ground at the back of the roadhouse. We could’ve pulled off the track further down the road and camped but this was a chance to experience more of the community. The history and tales of community from all aspects was encouraging. I felt enlightened, seeing the change, witnessing the progress.

Waking the next morning the wind had dropped a little. Perhaps this meant greater heat. Perhaps it meant just a more comfortable ride.

Refuelling at the roadhouse wasn’t too bad, AU$0.20 cheaper than in Marla, despite the remoteness, and 95 octane too. We couldn’t complain.

The road out of Oodnadatta gave some indication as to what was to come. Corrugations, with sand drifts but at this point at least no bulldust – that talcum powder type stuff that weirdly has some of the properties of water and is treacherous to any bike rider. The 200 or so kilometres to William Creek in roughly a southerly direction were the most remote; in some ways, the most challenging, and yet the most interesting.

Tying in with our 50km then stop rule we came across the Algebuckina rail bridge. The impressive structure built for the old Ghan is over half a kilometre long to span the Neales River when it floods. Here we found signs of life, a number of animal tracks; mostly cows and dingoes. This was because the Neales still had water in it, quite strange in one of the driest parts of Australia, what was even stranger was the croaking of frogs. It defied all logic.

Is a sign really necessary?