Day 13: Cockburn rest area to El Questro Station - A happy ride around Australia (third attempt) - CycleBlaze

June 8, 2022

Day 13: Cockburn rest area to El Questro Station

Start: 4:45am
Distance: 60 km
Ride time: 4 hours
Average: 15 km/hr
Max: 45km/hr
Finish: 10:30 am
Temp: 32 degrees

I was up early to beat the heat. I need to get used to getting up early.

After maybe 8kms, I turned west on to the Gibb River Road. It was still dark so there is no road sign photo. The road is still bitumen too.

I took many pics of this range. This is my favourite.
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The bright colours are sheer cliffs in the morning light. 

I rode toward this range for about 20kms. It was kinda breathtaking. 

King River.
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Another great range.
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A wild dog. (Not a dingo)
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This one was walking down the road probably looking for roadkill. Wild dogs are a big pest in Australia. They usually run away from humans.

Stunning scenery.
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After about 40kms I reached the turn off for El Questro Station.
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A kind tourist took this pic. Can you see the salt stains on my top?

El Questro driveway is about 16kms.

It is a rough dirt road although a grader was working on it.

A smooth section.
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After bouncing over the corrugations I noticed my front rack and pannier was hanging loose.  A near tour-ending experience. 

Closer inspection revealed a bolt had come loose.
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It must have only just happened as the bolt was still sitting loose in the rack. I was lucky not to lose the bolt.

This is another rookie mistake I made. I had to remove the front rack to fit it in the airline box to fly to Darwin. When I assembled it, I did the bolts up tight enough to almost strip the thread.

What I should have done was pack some Locktite and apply that to all of the bolts.

Moonshine Creek, about 50m across.
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This is my first water crossing this year. I guess there are no salties. The water was above my knees. 

Doing a water crossing involves taking off my panniers and walking them across. Then I go back and get my bike and carry that across.

So I end up crossing the water 3 times. Easy prey for a hungry salty.

I have to carry my bike, which weighs more than 20kgs across the water as I can't submerge the hubs. This will cause them to break with time which is all bad.

This is time consuming and annoying. Especially when I have to wait for 4WDs rushing through creating waves.

Mostly they will wait for me but some just charged on past. From now on my plan is to walk in the middle of the water, hopefully discouraging car drivers from drowning me.

If they persist I will throw my expensive bike at their very expensive car. I know I will lose but I will have 3 seconds of triumphant victory. 

Pentecast River. About 100m wide. And thigh deep.
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Looking back after crossing it once.
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Lednar De NallohSmart move carrying your bike over the water. I've just returned from a wet tour of Queensland and water getting into hubs is a big problem. Don't squirt water with the hose around your hubs to remove the mud.
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5 months ago
Vince McCarthyThank you Lednar.
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5 months ago

I shouldn't hate on car drivers. At least  5 cars stopped to ask if I needed any help. Very kind people.

This river was hard to carry my bike across because it was so wide. And I'm wearing my bike shoes which slip on the big river rocks. I'm sure I will drop my bike in the water before this trip is over.

I then arrived at El Questro Station. I think it is only here for tourists. It is very busy. They sell food and beverages here. 

There are many gorges and walks to do. Some are arduous and require a 4wd to get to the start point. I could do some if I was staying here for longer. One could spend a week here to visit all of the gorges.

If I had an endless amount of time, I would stay here a week. I must press on. Although I have weakened and will stay here a second night. This place is a Gibb oasis.

I'm currently drinking white wine with a glass filled with ice. This is the custom in the top end. I am classy.

It's 26 degrees at 7:30p.

This place has many accommodation options.

I see a unicorn in the desert. A tent with aircon. It blew my mind.
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Unpowered tent site plus a park permit equals $33.
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Today's ride: 60 km (37 miles)
Total: 651 km (404 miles)

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Sandra LawnEnjoy your two days at El Questro Station wasn’t expecting to hear from you for two weeks??? Great all the information your putting up.
Still enjoying your journal what an achievement

Iced wine, when in Rome do as the Roman’s do, bet it goes down well in the heat

Cheers
Sandy
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5 months ago
Vince McCarthyHi Sandy, yeh I was happily surprised to find reception out here.
Thank you.
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5 months ago