Duk-tales: Townsville Thunder – Day 2
Snake eyes to the East ! Sunday 29th April, 2018
After 2 coffees it was time to hit The Barkly Highway. The bushes on either side were a shiny 50 shades of green but some dead wood was bent to 70 degrees indicating the cross winds to come. That and the “Warning Cross Winds” signs every 10k or so.
Breakfast at Barkly Homestead was served by some very lovely looking young chickie babes to which Froggie shared that it may have been a better proposition to camp here the night. Grey nomads were out in some numbers at this end of the Barkly and when one vigorously flashed headlights the immediate thought was coppers but the real surprise on closer inspection was the 4 metre Python crossing the right hand side lane. The bastard was as thick as my arm and would not have been pleasant wrapped around my legs.
As the countryside opened up to flat fields of the Lake Eyre Basin the Barkly cross winds lived up to expectations. Jolting the bikes from the south east and causing some drift off and on. About 50 k’s from fuel up a shadowy patch in the distance warned of some livestock crossing the road as good as my eyes could make out we needed to slow down. My mistake, 7 original Australians were walking on either side of the road in the middle of know where. The explanation came shortly after when we passed a white Commodore wagon with the passenger front wheel sheared off. That sucks!
Marty’s explanation on the rough ride did not transpire with one moderate buck out of the seat near Avon Downs followed by corrugated bitumen for a few clicks. (He and Jigga had left a few days ago with Neverready taking the mantel for “Duks’ Uncle” to write Duncles’ Short Passages on their ride). Much of the tarmac through the Queensland border showed a layer of lighter gravel meaning the top dressing was indeed lifting. A bit of skilful riding guided the bike between the cracks and we all continued at Qld approved slow 110kph.
After the second meat wagon triple trailer double decker came at us the thought of getting high on methane crossed my mind and then another 3 passed. My luck is holding, no shit overboard, hope them behind me didn’t cop any. Next sight that did cross my view, a large Droughtmaster Bull in an open paddock of some 100sq kilometres. “Wanna play Slap the bull fellas?” With the strong head wind still blowing the next 260 k’s to Camooweal sucked up almost every last drop of fuel to the point where the Softail Heritage gave a splutter and appeared to die on the bridge into town with just 400 metres to the service station to go. I leaned the bike to the left to “splash” fuel to the left side of the tank. The fuel pick up line clutched at this last opportunity for life and we pulled in. Pumping 17.96 litres in must have rolled into town with fumes in the chamber.
Lunch at the Camooweal Pub was excellent. Just 13 bucks for a Chicken Wrap with chips that was twice the size of a Red Rooter meal. The interesting point in this hotel is that the men’s Urinal has a chest high safety rail to stop a drunk falling in. Bahahaha!
At about 4:30 after being stopped and split up by every traffic light in Mt Isa the 3 Amigos pulled into the Burke and Wills Motel. With one call to Tony Malone of Mt Isa Chapter the conclusion was made that we needed to walk the 2k’s to the Ovie (Overlander) Hotel for dinner but just ½ a K down the road a Mazda 3 pulls up and calls out “You good looking boys want a lift?”. It was Tony’s missus Cheryl – no wucking flurries. With dinner ordered Baz n Bill from Darwin Chapter mozzie on in, great to see the 2 old buggers still cruisin’’. With us and Russ Holdsworth & Johnno Davies the last to leave a great day ended. Thanks for saving us the walk home Johnno.