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Day 5: Charleville – Longreach. Monday 3rd May 2010

Today was a big day so we got started early, leaving the campsite around 7:30am. It is still cold in the morning so I have to layer up. I was a bit lost in my thoughts once we got on the road. I think riding is rather like life. It is very much about the journey – not just the destination. Anyway, riding provides a great opportunity to think and ponder the meaning of life. The roadside was lined with soft lush grass and in the morning sun it was bright pink. At times the road is paved with red asphalt, and with the blue sky and the green vegetation it is just beautiful.

A long, straight road

A long, straight, red road

We had morning tea in Tambo and it was already 26 degrees at 10am.
Now the terrain was changing and the vegetation becoming more sparse. We rode through the Eyre basin catchment area. Here there were hardly any trees, but lots of grass. For some time the road was covered with basketball sized tumbleweeds gently bouncing across the surface.

We were making good time, arriving at Barcaldine at 12:30pm. Only 100km to go from here to Longreach, so we were looking forward to a swim and relaxing for a few hours. We filled up with fuel and went to find some lunch. It was a public holiday in Queensland so the only place open was a small bakery (and they only opened because someone warned them we were coming.)
Doug had pulled up a bit before the rest of us and was about a hundred metres down the road. He finally came over and told us his bike had stopped and he couldn’t get it started. It was turning over but stalled straight away.
He started taking gear off the bike then taking bits apart. There was much discussion about fuel injectors and blocked fuel pumps, or dirty fuel. The ride organiser was called and the support/recovery vehicle looked like being an option. The RACT roadside assist is a wonderful service and when called from Queensland it goes to the RACQ. They sent someone out who arrived about half an hour later and quickly diagnosed the problem. He had just filled up before the bike stopped – with diesel.

The jokes started immediately. Diesel Doug had just become infamous, and it will be a long time before he lives this down. With the help of the RACQ guy they drained all the fuel out, flushed it and refilled. Doug was getting the bunny ears tonight for sure.

Doug had to remove all his gear…

Draining all the diesel out

Now a push to the servo to fill up with the right fuel

So we finally arrived at Longreach at 4:30pm, about 3 hours later than expected. It was 30 degrees when we got here. We had a swim, went to the Longreach Club for dinner then to the organised function (which was a karaoke night.) The place erupted when Doug walked in, and he was awarded the bunny ears straight away.

Hand over of the bunny ears

Today’s distance: 517km

Posted by Jo vanEmmerik 21:26 Archived in Australia

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