Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 48: Come to Alice they said. It never rains in Alice!!

Dick took me out for a belated birthday dinner last night. At his suggestion I tried the game medley: grilled camel, roast emu, pan-fried barramundi and a nice pie stuffed with little Skippy. It was delicious as was the bottle of Margaret River Shiraz.

We had planned to get up early and go up a local hill to look over Alice Springs at sunrise but in the event it was raining so we stayed in bed! Then went down the mall for a cafe breakfast. We went round to the Flying Doctor museum for a look and went inside leaving our jackets, helmets and gloves on the bikes. While we were in there the heavens opened and there was a huge deluge. The sky just opened and emptied water. Bugger. Dashed through the rain and rescued our gear as best we could and then dripped our way around the rest of the display and tour.

Back on the road at about 11am heading for Marla. Still wet so we were pretty soggy as we pootled down the Stuart Highway. Up in the distance I could see two road trains heading towards me. Then I noticed a silver band between me and the trains. Too late I realised it was a band of water right across the road. I hammered on the brakes but too late! The road trains and Helga and I all hit the puddle at the same time. Each road train had three units so six drenchings later I was up and out the other side. At least I could see the funny side of it!

Then a few k's later on we were getting flashed by traffic coming towards us. We soon found out why. A long line of cars stopped at either side of a 80 metre stretch of water across the road. According to the markers it was 40cm deep. We went up to the front of the line and had a go. Dick went first, got 2/3 of the way across and Olga died. He stayed on the bike pushing with his legs as I took Helga in. At almost the same place, she died too. I got off in thigh deep water, put her on the side stand and pushed Helga to the other side. Man I was stuffed by the time I got there.

Pushed her to the side of the road and had a go at starting her. Tried again and the motor turned over but didn't fire. Tried again and then again. Then got a whole bunch of kids to stand around the bike with their fingers and legs crossed and bingo! Away she went. Phew.

A bit of a marathon then into Marla with a really strong side wind (which gaves us both sore necks) and organised our accommodation.

I think there is something amiss in Helga's starting mechanism. When she fires up there is this terrible brief clatter. Will see how it goes tomorrow. May be a direct trip to Mr BMW in Adelaide.
Cheers all.

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