Kati Thanda and Beyond – A Songline Journey

Kati Thanda and Beyond

Adventure Bikes to Central Australia

A Songline Journey

 

Strzelecki Desert, Flinders Ranges, Kati Thanda/Lake Eyre, Oodnadatta Track, Painted Desert, Uluru, Kings Canyon, Mount Sonder, Alice Springs.

5,700 km         DR650 (2)    KLR 650           20 days               Self-supported

Some of the best adventure motorcycle touring in Australia

“The sky was big and empty
My chest filled to explode
I yelled my insides out at the sun
At the wide open road

It’s a wide open road
It’s a wide open road”

“Wide Open Road” The Triffids

Big sky country. Goats, Emus, a pig. Small hills and dips. 90kph – an easy slow pace while we settled in and got the feel of the heavy machines loaded with too much fuel and water and stuff. In a blur we passed a white and rainbowed piano on a rise overlooking the stretched flatness of wide open plains. For the next half hour images of Coldplay occupied my mind. The rattle I thought had been sorted back home returned.

Broken Hill to Packsaddle 225km – Day 1

Mixed dirt and bitumen to Tibooburra. Flat gibber desert. Then the granites. Supermarket, internet, last phone calls. Into Sturt National Park, the Jump Up Loop was sensational – like a wildlife park. The first soft soil on the journey had us fishtailing into small furrows. Paul parked his souped bike, like a black stallion, at a lookout over lunch. We followed the Middle Road through the guts of the park. In the western section the track crossed dune country. We learned fast how to keep momentum up, stand up and let the bikes find their way. At the top of each dune I watched out for Chris’s headlight, relieved each time that he was still upright. My own lead-up to this adventure bike trip of a lifetime had been percolating for 35 years, Chris’s for 4 months. He had bought a postie bike, became hooked and jumped into this trip, purchased a bike, learned to ride, sorted camping gear, all with a determined single-mindedness of purpose and deep desire. Here he was living his favourite song of all time.

Several groups of huge wedge tailed eagles tore at roadkill and lifted without hurry as we neared.

In the centre of a black hole where a gravitational singularity exists time and space bend and shift. Occasionally time seems to intensify and become focussed with events and action, emotions and thoughts cascade and crystalise. Riding the low dunes on the narrow winding track into the fading light of the desert I concentrated, hypervigilant, used every sense and skill – in the flow.

“I want to fly like an eagle, to the sea
Fly like an eagle
Let my spirit carry me
I want to fly (oh, yeah)
Fly right into the future

 “Fly like and Eagle” – Steve Miller Band

 330 km. 8.15am – 5.15 pm. Packsaddle to Cameron Corner – Day 2

Up early. I spent an hour and a half checking everything, tightened every nut, adjusted and lubed the chain. Found the Safari tank stabiliser bar a little loose so fixed that.

Deep into the Strzelecki Desert the parallel dunes lay across the track. Sandy rise, crest, slightly firmer descent, relax across the long flat swale, switch on and focus for the next rise. 60km in we rested. Chris (KLR 650) noticed some green fluid on his left boot. Then on the fairing. Then pooling on the sand. Ugh! *#?! Hot. Jackets off. Nothing was going to happen fast now. Tarp. Tools. Thermos. Snack. Fairing off, radiator guard off. Fluid dribbled down.

3 other bikers stopped going the other way. One had hit a sheep on their first day out of Adelaide on the way up. They had done two tyres on the Birdsville Track and another’s rear suspension had failed completely (he was still riding it). They carried a spare rear tyre. We had prepared well. Good bikes, recently fully serviced, good tyres, heavy duty tubes, lots of spares and tools. As they roared off I contemplated whether their speed had been a contributing factor.

Metal putty was kneaded firmly into the parts of the radiator we thought were the possible sources of the leak. (In retrospect we should have drained then removed the whole thing and inspected it more carefully). Satellite phone call to my mechanic at home for any more tips. We also called Kim, who had dropped out of the trip days prior to departure due to health commitments, and he searched out repairers. Chris topped up the coolant with water. We considered pushing on but then took the safer option of turning round back towards civilisation rather than getting extended into the remoteness. Back at Cameron Corner Chris made arrangements with a repairer in Broken Hill. We then pushed on towards Tibooburra in the late afternoon. Back across dunes and sandy sections. In the gloaming, the time when the sunset glow turns into evening gloom, we rode through gibber country. This was the second day we had ridden in low light animal roadkill conditions. I didn’t like it. Nerve wracking Russian Roulette. I accepted the self-proclaimed title of “old man” and just slowed right down. Once I had accepted what we were doing it felt like being a rider in the Dakar race pushing on into the darkness. Alone in the massive space. Songs drifted into my head and stuck there like earworms, giving rhythm and a soundtrack to the flow.

”Look at the sun
Falling from the sky
And the sunset\Takes my mind
Back to my homeland
Far away

It’s a story
Planted in my mind
It’s so clear
I remember
Oh my
Oh my sunset dreaming

Wo Djapana
Wo warwu
Wo rramani
Wo galanggarri”

“Sunset Dreaming” – Yothu Yindi

Cameron Corner into the Strzelecki then back to Tibooburra 290km – Day 3

On the delightful cruise back down to Broken Hill the KLR ran well with a constant temperature and a few refills. Rob, of Rob’s Dirtbike Repairs, attempted a repair over the metal putty which didn’t pass a pressure test. It seemed like we’d stumbled into a real motor biker’s fraternity of country goodwill. He phoned a client and asked if he would donate his KLR radiator to Chris if he was later given a new one fully installed. 10 minutes later the bike was dropped off and the radiator installed.

“Oh I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm gonna try with a little help from my friends”

“With a Little Help” – Lennon and McCartney

Tibooburra to Broken Hill 335km – Day 4

The retreat back to our stored car and trailer enabled us to drop off some of the stuff we had decided was unnecessary – my down jacket, Chris various items. Having lost a few days the full planned circuit ride was cut down a little. At the border on the Barrier highway three fellers on 2 KLRs and a DR who had been on the Oodnadatta Track stopped like comrades for a yarn. Springsteen, like an anthem from my youth, drove me along the blacktop into South Australia. Further down we bumped into a ducati drag racer who had driven his van all the way from WA to do a 10 second race in QLD before returning back across the country (YEEHAH was his number plate).

“In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through the mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages out on highway nine,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected, and steppin’ out over the line
H-Oh, Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we’re young
`Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run”

“Born to Run” – Bruce Springsteen

Broken Hill to Peterborough 280km – Day 5

We rode up through small country towns towards the Flinders Ranges, Orroroo, Carieton, Hawker. Song verses went round and round inside my head as the miles got eaten up. In two places old timers sauntered over for a chat, wistful and envious of our adventure, sharing some of their own past riding stories. The bikes seemed to act like a magnet for people to approach. Saltbush studded low foothills. Soldier settler homestead ruins stood forlornly at regular intervals on the dry earth.

“Round and round up and down
Through the streets of your town
Everyday I make my way
Through the streets of your town”

“Streets of your Town” – The Go Betweens

Strong sunlight reddened the high crags of Moonarie as we rode beside the Ranges and up to our camp at Wilpena Pound.

Peterborough to Wilpena Pound 200km – Day 6

The steeds remained behind while we hiked up St Mary Peak. All around the view was stupendous and the light beautiful as we ascended. Sinuous, shadowed valleys curled north into the Northern Flinders and Gammon Ranges. To the north-west lay the brown, arid, flat vastness of the dry Lake Torrens and beyond to the region we were heading for. I caught snatches of Chris and Paul talking deep philosophy. I mulled slowly over things beyond the concrete that I had experienced. From the summit the Pound was ringed by cliffs. Grass trees. Enormous space. I felt an unfolding sense of connection – adventuring into magnificent, wild places, being in touch with the spirit of the landscape. A childhood spent exploring the bush had laid down a network of neural pathways enabling me to find comfort, excitement and attachment in places of remote solitude. And a working life of regular periods of hyperawareness in natural places – being closely attuned to changing conditions, terrain, direction, the weather, has led to an intuitive knowledge and fluency. Core parts of my psyche are centred in the earth, wild places, adventure and the cosmos.

“Visionary mountains
Above and afar
Like answers to questions
On life
Love
And the longing to survive”

“Visionary Mountains” – Joan Armatrading

Late in the day I worked on my bike. Methodically. I put a rubber spacer between the tank and the frame to lift it a little. To try to remove the rattle.

“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn’t any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it’s right. If it disturbs you it’s wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”  Robert M. PirsigZen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

No travel on the bike  0 km – Day 7

Overnight we reprioritised our plans for the trip – Lake Eyre, The Painted Desert, Uluru. To make up some time we departed camp as the sun rose. It seemed we had settled into a pattern of arriving late and packing up next morning in the dark. Sunlight hours were short. The back road along the Razorback was sensational riding – a narrow twisting spine backdropped by high ranges. Along the creekbed track through Brachina Gorge we travelled thru sediments and bands of rock from an array of geological time periods. Ridges and cliffs towered above. Eagles soared the thermals. Red gummed stream, pools in shining smooth water worn rock. Tricky track – stony and gravel. Weaving, winding. I gaped upwards in quick snippets through the chasm. Every bend was sided by stone hundreds of millions of years older or younger than the last. Our lifetimes are so fleeting. Concentration.

“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.”

“Time” – Pink Floyd

Leigh Creek, Lyndhurst, Farina, Maree. Fast smooth dirt – endless horizon. I followed the distant dust trails of the other two bikes. Paul’s bike seemed hard to slow down, airbox opened, carbie jets changed, high performance exhaust system – hard mouthed and headstrong with its big black tank full of 98 octane fuel. The view over Lake Eyre South was dramatic. Again we rode on into the sunset after a stop at some springs. Stuart had linked these springs along this same route (later the Ghan, telegraph, and Oodnadatta Track) as he white-man explored into the interior more than a century prior.  And for millennia Aboriginal people had followed their songlines that linked these water sources through the desert country. We dinnered under a huge canopy of stars. In the winter sky the “emu” lay clearly in the dark parts of the Milky Way. I thought about all the Aboriginal elders who had passed and were up there sitting by their fires along the river of stars. And my own Mum and Dad, up there somewhere too, maybe waiting by a fire, watching.

The day of adventure riding had been an absolute cracker. It had been long anticipated. Through early years of riding an old smoky Suzuki Hustler 250, a CT 90 in Africa and then a series of trail bikes and others for commuting. Through BMW dreaming I had finally settled on the DR as a simple, lightweight, reliable machine, uncomplicated. Years of poring over maps. Practice rides and camps with Kim. Rolling back decades to exploring the bush fire trails on my bicycle as a kid.

Wilpena Pound to Coward Springs  360km – Day 8

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We motored north–west on the Oodnadatta Track, past derelict railway sidings and stations of the Old Ghan Line. More dune country led us in to William Creek. On a flight over Kati Thanda/Lake Eyre Chris and Paul were gobsmacked by the “incredible natural designs in the salt visible from above” and “the vastness of it all that you could not see the end of”. Squiggly sand surfaced much of the Halligan Bay Track. Remote! Not a place for a breakdown or fall. I felt nervous and daunted. Slowed down another notch. Black hills near the lake had a Mordor appearance – desolate with nothing growing at all. A white horizon beckoned us further. The last section alongside the salt was exhilarating – smooth, fast, flat.

We walked out onto the flat, endless, white salt. Stark. Hostile. Textured. I planted my feet firmly on one of our country’s psychic/cultural/mythical centres. Sunset lit up the western sky with golden fire and the east coloured with mauve that pinked then purpled. The breeze dropped with the dusk.

Dry, empty. Quiet. Still. Waiting for a flood.

Under the stars, beside the brooding white, I wondered at the angle of the disk of stars that make up our galaxy, at the centre point and our orientation to them both.

“Stars, they come and go
They come fast or slow
They go like the last light of the sun, all in a blaze
And all you see is glory”

“Stars” – Janis Ian

Coward Springs – William Creek – Halligan Bay Kati Thanda/Lake Eyre  170km – Day 9

Venus and the moon predawned the sunrise. Grass tussocks caught early light. We returned through the mini black hills and excitedly over the sandy parts. I felt relief on regaining the main track. The ride north up the Oodnadatta Track was exhilarating – fast and smooth sections alternated with dunes and corrugations – all through magnificent landscape. Gibber, saltbush, dunes and swales. Historic Albeckunga Bridge and then coffee at the famous Pink Roadhouse.

Into the sunset yet again we rode. This time through the psychedelic hills of the Painted Desert. Colours in the earth were burnt orange and red by the fading light. Away from the glow the sky purpled.

“Purple haze all in my eyes
Don’t know if it’s day or night
You got me blowin’, blowin’ my mind
Is it tomorrow, or just the end of time?”

“Purple Haze” – Jimi Hendrix

We glimpsed homestead hospitality at Archaringa. Camp kitchen and showers.

Halligan Bay to Archaringa   350km – Day 10

A morning of bad karma started by being woken by a loud fart from the tent next door which was answered immediately by a yelp from a passing cattle dog. We had been eating a lot of beans and rice. I lost it over breakfast with the others over something minor. Then my rear tyre was flat. I had practiced for this. Had the spare tubes and tools. Had watched the youtube videos and done both tyres at home. We used a large stone as part of the stand. The wheel came off ok and eventually we managed to break the bead on the tyre. The old tube came out easily but inserting the new tube and the valve stem through the rim under the tyre proved problematic. Eventually we got it in, lubed the edge of the tyre and reset it successfully. On pumping it up I felt proud that we could fix all this ourselves – even though it was pretty much a minimum skill level for such remote travel.

Back out onto a less used track we negotiated gravel creek beds and large bull dust holes. Then like some grand American western the black stallion led us across wonderful hill country where the dusty yellow brick road changed through red to brown then back to yellow and grey and rust.

Pirsig had summed up the pleasures of riding through the landscape years before…………

“In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.
On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.” Robert M. PirsigZen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

……………..on the dirt, in the desert, miles from anywhere this is even more pronounced. To be just riding for days and weeks into the landscape was bliss.

I dropped my bike while stopping to take a photo. The other two cowboys helped lift it back up. Eventually we joined the Stuart Highway and left the dirt behind for a few days.

On the way north I started anticipating Uluru. At a roadside stop I plugged in the speaker and cranked the music.

”Standing on solid rock
Standing on sacred ground
Living o-on borrowed ti-i-i-ime
And the winds of change are blowin’ down the line
Right down the line”

“Solid Rock” – Goanna

At Kulgera we watched the State of Origin in the roadhouse pub. A few keen guys took over the closest seats to the telly and a large group of Aboriginal people chatted by a fire in a tin outside. When the game started they all trooped inside and watched and drank and socialised happily and at ease. Everyone was friendly – Queensland winning probably helped.

Arckaringa to Kulgera  350km – Day 11

On the way to Yulara we chattered with other biking groups, tourers mainly.

From an isolated lookout near Kata Juta we were immersed in the changing afternoon light between that range of rounded rocky massifs and the Rock itself. Uluru seemed to float on the horizon above the goldening spinifex. Powerful. Mesmerising. Captivating. Like a massive ship landed from outer space. Coloured layers filled the sky. “Pictures can’t capture the sublimity of it,” Paul.

Desert oaks, honey grevillea, everlasting daisies. Meditative music washed through my head and my heart overflowed in the almighty grandeur of the scene.

In the dark we rode back to our “unpowered lawn” campsite.

Kulgera to Uluru 330km – Day 12

A quiet throng surrounded us at the sunrise viewing before we walked round the path at the base of the Rock. Caves, overhangs, art sites, canyons, and some sacred places where photos and access were not allowed. Cool damp glades, flowers of all colours, hot red dirt.

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And above towered the enormous red cliff faces with giant holes and featured formations like huge mouths and waves.

 

 

 

 

 

At the Mutitjulu Waterhole the stone seemed alive, radiating its own light through the open forest above the still pond.

In the afternoon we worked on our bikes. Checked and lubed the chains, tightened all the bolts, cleaned the air filters. Two number plates had gone missing.

At sunset we entered once again into the presence of the Uluru as it glowed through changing hues. The other cultural and symbolic heart of the country.

”Black fella, white fella
It doesn’t matter, what your colour
As long as you, a true fella
As long as you, a real fella

All the people, of different races
With different lives, in different places
It doesn’t matter, what your name is
We got to have, lots of changes

We need more brothers, if we’re to make it
We need more sisters, if we’re to save it”

“Blackfella Whitefella” – Warumpi Band

Uluru – Day 13

Blacktop to Kings Canyon/Watarrka National Park. Camp on soft grass. Around some of the rim walk we followed a small group of indigenous people who were first time visitors on an outing from a community nearby. Their musical language and happy laughter filled the gullies and added a merry atmosphere to the magical landscape. Red stone domes. Sheer, colour streaked cliffs. Spinifex tussock textured hills and ridges. Cycads. At a billabong I looked deep into the cold black water and wondered at the stories the place could tell of Aboriginal people and their dispossession from places like this.

“M.m Märrma djiawurr näthinana, nambawu larrunana Guwalilnawu rirrakayunmina liyanydja milkarri, nambawu larrunana Murrurnawu

roniyirri rirrakayyu. y.a barrawajayu y.a Mutlwutjna galaniniyu”

“Wiyathul” – Dr. G Yunupingu

 Uluru to Kings Canyon/Watarrka NP  300km – Day 14

The final dirt riding for Chris and I (Paul continued round through QLD later). The Mereenie Loop. Famed as a vehicle breaker. It had been recently graded so corrugations were bearable. Soft sand was our main challenge. Lots of snaking lines. Lots of time standing up. Momentum and confidence. Chris stepped off his bike in the deepest sand after being overtaken by a car only 5 km from the bitumin. A GS 1200 rider reinforced my opinion that they were too big and heavy in the sand. Then at a lookout we met the local Ulysses Club out on a Sunday ride. We camped in the West Macdonnell Ranges on a hill overlooking the entrance to Redbank Gorge.

“Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don’t know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
I look around for the friends that I used to turn to, to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun”

“Running on Empty” – Jackson Browne

Kings Canyon to Redbank Gorge  210km – Day 15

By sunrise we’d hiked up onto the ridge of Mount Sonder into a scene full of drama. Dark clouds, streams of searing first light, rainbows on distant ranges. Like being inside a von Guerard painting. At the summit a blasting cold wind cut short our viewing time of the range upon range of mountains stretching east west. Mt Zeil and Haast Bluff beckoned and planted seeds for a next trip. We hiked back down into balmy still warmth. A final dirt photo then a long ride flanked on both sides by lines of rocky hills. Gorges regularly split the West Macdonnell Range on the left. Civilisation hit with a bang. We got one of the last sites in the campground, thankfully slightly removed from the many camping school tour groups.

“It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
It’s a beautiful day”

“Beautiful Day” – U2

Redbank Gorge to Alice Springs  190km – Day 16

A day in Alice. Two bikes went to the biggest bike shop for new tyres which it turned out hadn’t been ordered (Chris and I had to make it back to Broken Hill on fairly worn knobbies) and two got serviced. Coffee shops. Read the paper. Emails and the digital world. Then a wander through the Aboriginal art galleries – colours and styles of the desert country we had journeyed through, beautiful, restful, a massage for the psyche, hybrid ancient and modern, art interpreting story and landscape. Lots of indigenous people were hanging around the town, some lost and aimless – I guessed that these were the visible folk and the others were probably busy working around town in hospitals, schools, offices or at home. We sorted things for our trips back – Chris and I on the highways back to Broken Hill and Paul pushing on through Queensland on the Plenty Highway and Birdsville Track back past Innaminka. Dinner in Bojangles.

“Out where the river broke
The blood wood and the desert oak
Holden wrecks and boiling diesels
Steam in forty five degrees

The time has come
To say fair’s fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share

The time has come
A fact’s a fact
It belongs to them
Let’s give it back

How can we dance when our earth is turning?
How do we sleep while our beds are burning?
How can we dance when our earth is turning?
How do we sleep while our beds are burning?”

“Beds are Burning” – Midnight Oil

Alice Springs  0km – Day 17

Paul, who had an extra week, headed north and then east towards Boulia while Chris and I did the blacktop, bitumen, followed the white lines. Great country but cold in the morning. Watched the miles tick over. Cold crept through invisible cracks in the clothing. Three days paying for the fabulous dirt tracks. We stopped every 50km for a break, rest from the buffeting. Sit on 95kph. My rattle still came and went. More songlines drifted through my head, some stuck fast. I planned future trips. Calculated endlessly the time left in the day, the kilometres, the roadhouses. Road trains. Caravans headed mostly north. The odd biker waved.

We stopped for fuel at Marla. While we coffeed a very young couple mooched around a little nearby. A skinny aboriginal girl and a white guy with a large tattoo. She kicked a back tyre of the white stationwagon and said to me that it looked ok and should last, wrapped a thin blanket over her tshirt and hopped in the passenger seat. He drove out. Chris and I pushed on to the Cadney Park Roadhouse and set up our tents sheltered from the biting wind behind the big camp kitchen. The stationwagon pulled in a little later then after it left the roadhouse owner and a staff person stood outside watching it depart for a while. I wondered at what had gone down. 15 minutes later it returned with one dead flat tyre being destroyed on the rim as it drove in. They came over to the camp kitchen and had a short chat – not much money, unsure what to do, did we know where there might be some old tyres? They had come down from Darwin. They were cold. I asked if they had any bedding. They wandered off. A little while later the guy came back and said he’d lost his licence and asked if I could buy him a six pack. I said I didn’t buy booze but offered to pay for them to stay in one of the dongas (cheap roadhouse rooms). They reminded me of homeless people I had worked with at home on Vinnies Night Patrol. In the middle of nowhere with a stuffed vehicle and little money there weren’t a lot of options. He brightened up with the offer and scurried off to return a few minutes later saying that his girlfriend had already paid for a room with her centerlink money. He drove the car round the back of the dongas. Through the early evening they chatted with other campers and 4WDers. The story was that they were in a car that hadn’t been used for a few years and so several of the tyres had blown on the way down and now they had run out of spares. In the middle of this a large school group set up right next to us and busied cooking and eating. By a neighbouring camper’s fire an ex NT policeman suspected the couple were running away from something or to something – he’d seen their type before. Chris and I retired to bed early. An hour later the guy asked around the tents and campers if anyone had a spare jumper. He was gone before I could wake enough to help. Through the night I slept fitfully while I schemed ways to get to Coober Pedy and have a spare tyre sent up or sort them onto a bus.

“Down city streets I would roam, I had no bed I had no home
There was nothing that I owned, used my fingers as a comb
In those days when I was young, drinking and fighting was no fun
It was daily living for me, I had no choice. It was meant to be”

“Down City Streets” – Archie Roach

Alice Springs to Cadney Park 535km – Day 18

In the morning I made up a package of warm clothes and $100 cash to leave on their doorstep to cover another night in the room. However there was no sign of them at all. And the dead car was gone too with no obvious wheel rim tracks leading back to the highway.

I suspected that someone may have contacted the authorities and they had been picked up overnight.

Disturbed I headed out onto the highway. Mist. Cold. Heated grips. We traded lead and repeated the day before. Calculated. Planned. Over a lot of miles I retraced all the parts of the trip and shuffled the memories. White lines. Hours passed slowly. Coober Pedy fuel and tea. Huge space. Flat. Further down were the dry Lake Gairdner and Island Lagoon.

“Wake me up lower the fever
Walking in a straight line
Set me on fire in the evening
Everything will be fine
Wake me up strong in the morning
Walking in a straight line
Lately I’m a desperate believer
But walking in a straight line”

“Straight Lines” – Silverchair

Cadney Park to Woomera 531km – Day 19

Woomera, cold. Every piece of clothing I owned. Wet weather gear sealed out the wind. Port Augusta. As we approached a pass through the southern Flinders a wave of cloud descended blocking all hope of a warming. Small towns. Nice coffee. Somewhere out of Yunta we rode out from under the cloud layer into the blue. Near Broken Hill the roadsides were occupied by mobs of goats which provided a final roll of the dice.

“Ventura Highway
In the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
Than moonshine
You’re gonna go I know

‘Cause the free wind is blowin’ through
Your hair”

“Ventura Highway” – America

Woomera to Broken Hill  598km – Day 20

The playlist

“Wide Open Road” The Triffids

 “Fly like and Eagle” – Steve Miller Band

 “Sunset Dreaming” – Yothu Yindi

 “With a Little Help” – Lennon and McCartney

 “Born to Run” – Bruce Springsteen

 “Streets of your Town” – The Go Betweens

 “Visionary Mountains” – Joan Armatrading

 “Time” – Pink Floyd

 “Stars” – Janis Ian

 “Purple Haze” – Jimi Hendrix

 “Solid Rock” – Goanna

 “Blackfella Whitefella” – Warumpi Band

 “Wiyathul” – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu

 “Running on Empty” – Jackson Browne

 “Beautiful Day” – U2

 “Beds are Burning” – Midnight Oil

 “Down City Streets” – Archie Roach

 “Straight Lines” – Silverchair

 “Ventura Highway” – America

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