Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 27: The Puncture Derby

We had an early start to the day but took a while to get Dick's bike organised. He has some cloth straps which we used to hold the broken bracket against the screwhead and another to stabilise the pannier. We put all his heavier stuff into the top box and the other pannier and set off carefully back down the Manning Gorge Road. We were early out so had not too much traffic to compete with and made it back out to the main road without incident.

The road quality was then really variable - sometimes graded smooth where you could sit at 70kph, in other places as rough as a long night on the turps. About 85km down this road we came to the next roadhouse at Immtji (try pronouncing that!) and about another 65kms after that to the section where the road was supposed to be sealed. And it was!! Wahoo off we went at stellar speeds approaching 85kph when all of a sudden the road turned to crap again. And that was really the sum of our day - good road ... yahooo. Crap road ... bugger. We kept our speed well down because we didn't want any more bits to fall off Olga and eventually arrived at the information bays just out of Derby. We stopped there for the obligatory "Yes we did it" photos and a local taxi driver stopped by, having seen the UnZud stickers on Olga. He was a teacher from Timaru who had recently chucked everything in back home and come to Derby to be with his daughter and son-in-law.

We had a good chat and then .... bugger ... nothing happened!!

Nothing happened because Olga's rear tyre was all flat at the bottom.

We wheeled her into the shade and got her up on the centre stand - not an easy job when the rear tyre is flat. Spun the wheel and eventually I spied a tiny fragment of something sharp - still not sure what: a nail, a piece of glass, a sharp stone? We dug out the tyre repair kit and got to work. Just then another kiwi stopped by - he runs a motorcycle workshop just up the road. He could see that we sortof knew what we were doing so he left us to it leaving instructions on how to find him if we needed him. I tried really hard to pull out the sharp but in the end I think I pushed it in. Reamed out the hole, plugged and glued and then sat for 10 minutes with our fingers crossed. Trimmed off the ragged ends and pumped up the tyre and it held. Yes.

Apparently accommodation is impossible to find because the federal government is using motels and hotels to accommodate "asylum seekers" aka "Boat People" depending on whether you vote for Rudd or Abbott. Obviously a sore point with the locals. So we organised a tent site in the local caravan park and settled in. It was T-bone steaks night at the local pub so we went there and just to be different we had T-bone steaks. Not bad either for $12 a time.

We were pretty knackered by now. Again. So we crawled into our little tents and went to sleep. Exciting aye!

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