“Down the boot”- Ride around Yorke Peninsula

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limeyduffa
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“Down the boot”- Ride around Yorke Peninsula

Post by limeyduffa » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:14 pm

I've been meaning to do this trip for a few years and the season/weather was perfect. Slipped in before the Easter dash to the peninsula by holiday makers, my trip started two Sunday's ago at 8:30am and ended 9:15pm with a distance of 710km covered.
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For the English members, this will give you can idea of the scale of things.
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Adelaide to Port Wakefield. Boring :(. I got to Port Wakefield about 10am and saw the amount of traffic. I didn't stop to eat as planned due to the crowds, and so pushed on. I filled up my bike and filled up a 5L fuel can I was storing in one of my panniers.
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Turning off onto the Copper Coast Hwy, I saw how busy the traffic was onto the peninsula. Being a Sunday, the peninsula was emptying out with campers and surfers heading back to Adelaide. The plan was to do the peninsula clockwise, and head down the east coast first. But where there is congestion, there is cops, so decided to do it anti-clockwise. Unfortunately, I had setup my action camera for a left hand side view in order to be able to scan the coastline.
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Note: I didn't like the idea of mounting my camera on my lid. This is red neck cop country. It's best not to be an example.

Heading up the twists to Kulpala which was okayish. Turn left at Kupala and head to Melton. Very bumpy road, but no cars so given it the berries.
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Stopped at Arthurton for a wee-wee.
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Next Maitland. Road straightened out a bit, but still bumpy. No cars/cops, so kept the foot down.

Maitland (the administrative hump of the peninsula), was a ghost town. Probably due to it's non-reliance on tourism. Near the IGA (supermarket) I saw people walking out with boxes of groceries. Probably farmers in town for their weekly visit. I had ridden up and down the main drag looking for a servo, but none avail. So I asked a farmer walking out of the IGA. He gave me a big long stare before answering my question.
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I think it's a good thing this area doesn't rely on tourists. Leave them to do what they are good at. I respect them for that, but I will probably never come through this way again.

Next stop. Port Victoria. A straight road going down hill, over looking the Spencer gulf. It was very scenic. Again. No cars, so continued giving it the arses.
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So, I'm now in Port Victoria. Completely different crew. People here are mega friendly, coming up to me and asking where I was from and nice bike etc. The fishing looked awesome. Every time I looked at the fisho's, they were getting hits, and there is a pub here called “The Victoria pub”. Who would have thought ?(Australian's will laugh at this)
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Next, Minlaton. The road was nice a twisty road through some fairly feral salt bush. There was a Wombat sign at the start of this leg, so that scared me a bit and took it easy. I've never seen a wombat is real life, but legend has it that when cars hit these things, complete wheel/suspension assemblies are torn off.
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Fueled up at Minlaton. This town is alive (like most bush towns). I setup camera for the right side (should have just left it how it was), and then headed to Hardwicke Bay.
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Time was about 12:30pm. Again, no cars, so again giving it the... in fact I'll tell you when I took it easy instead of mentioning it all of the time hehe :P
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Hardwicke Bay is beautiful. Clean sand and water. Time was getting on now, so basically was a quick 15 minute stop.
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A tractor in every garage.. hehe :D
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Next, it Warooka. The road there was fairly interesting. Windy roads along big sand dunes (About 2-3 stories high, the action cam's wide angle makes them look smaller and further away). I bet this place gets smashed by winter westerlies.
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Got to Warooka and the garage station had just shut up (at 1pm). This pretty much rooted things up, because my trip around the bottom bit hinged on fuel being at Warooka. 'Fuck' I thought (or as James May would say - 'Ball-Ball')... I decided to take a risk and head to Corny point.
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People in this area operate on country time and so with fuel I could not assume anything except that Point Wakefield servo would be open. So that was my train of thought when planning what to do. As I was going there, I noticed a road going to a place called Point Turton. I hadn't planned going here or even knew about it. Anyway, off I turned..

On a cliff overlooking Hardwicke Bay. Beautiful. The water is so clean, typically what you expect in the Spencer Gulf.
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Note: A windsurfer got taken in this bay about 15 year ago by a Great White Shark. This still haunts many windsurfers at my local. The movie makers filmed a part of Jaws in the Spencer Gulf, but that was on the other side of the gulf.
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Time was marching so, I was off again. .. however, Point Turton had a garage servo that closed at 6pm.. and epic. I fueled up there and headed to Corny Point.
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It's about 2pm now (at Corny Point).
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Next stop was Marion Bay.. but there was a risk of running out of fuel. I was getting a bit over it by now and was going to skip Marion Bay.. but I thought, “I'm down here, so might as well do it”.. so to save time, I turned off onto Stenhouse Bay Rd and headed to Marion Bay. If there was no fuel at Marion Bay, then I was have to draw on my 5L jerry tank (ie: to get back to Port Wakefield if need be).
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Apart from the road from Port Victoria to Minlaton, this road too was wild. Again, past experience kicked in with the wild life, and so took it easy. During my ride their, I saw a small flock of Currawong birds. I've only ever seen these birds in Brisbane, so I was surprised. Unfortunately, I accidentally switched my camera off during this leg, so anything interesting as been missed :(

Windy at Marion Bay with an onshore wind. Water was very weedy and murky.
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Yes there was fuel, so I filled up and headed back to Warooka. The time was about 3:30pm (yeah, pushing it for time)... so gassinit.
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Going through Warrenben Conservation Park.
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Stopped at Warooka for a wee-wee. Spoke to a bloke with a young family with a flash Commodore. Looks like he got caught out with Warooka not having fuel too. His bingo light was on and he said he had about 20 clicks before he ran out of fuel. I offered him my 5L of fuel, but he declined. I told him about Point Turton and that's where he headed. He was originally going to go to Yorketown, which is where I was heading next (if he did, he would have been fucked).

This was salt pan country. Twisty enough to keep you interested, although I was very shagged my now and had to be mindful of that.
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It was getting late now, and needed one more fuel stop (as you can see, I was just stopping at every fueling opportunity). At this stage, I was planning for the worse and assuming that Stansbury and Ardrossan fuel stations were closed. I was almost ready to skip going to Edithburgh, and head straight for Stansbury, but then I thought, “I'm here now and will die wondering if I don't go there”, so off to Edithburgh I head.

Here is Edithburgh. Nothing that exciting. Fleeting visiting. I didn't get to look around.
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Heading out of Edithburgh, the road follows the coast. You can see Kangaroo Island in the distance.
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Okay, I see my first cop car for the whole trip, and there are a lot more cars now. Looks like the local Edith cop. It's time to take it easy for the rest of the trip. It's about 6pm.

Coobowie. A closed bay outside of Edith..
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Really nice roads now. Not bumpy. Riding along a moderately twisty (sweepers) road on a scenic coast line. Across the gulf I could see the Adelaide Hills (Lower Lofty Ranges).

Stopped for fuel at Stansbury. Servo attendant recommended I have tea at Port Vincent pub.
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The stress was off now as I had the fuel to get home and I was on a road that was busy and had a low chance of hitting Kangaroos... but by this stage I was over it and just wanted to get home. I actually rode past Port Vincent turn off, but stopped and U-turned (“I'm here now” etc). I'm glad I did. Port Vincent it beautiful town and I'll definitely visit there again.
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As per the tip from the attendant at Stansbury, I went to the pub. Pretty average place. There was nobody there, the meal was $30 of a pretty average beef schnit'y and the soup nazi made a fuzz over where I had to sit inside the pub “because of the rules”. I reckon that fuel attendant got plugging money hehe :)
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The rest of the journey (the longest) was on dark, straight, boring roads. My back was aching and I couldn't wait for the trip to end now. Nothing worth noting, except in Port Wakefield, I emptied the 5L jerry into my fuel tank. The fucking nozzle of the jerry can slipped out of the tank splashed fuel over my bike. I was expecting the bike to catch fire, but it didn't, but the bike now ponged of fuel :(

So that's it. The next day at work. I was tired, had ringing my my eyes from the wind, and my eyes were like two piss holes in the snow. All I wanted to do was sleep, but it was a nice buzzy feeling. You all know what I mean :)

J

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Re: “Down the boot”- Ride around Yorke Peninsula

Post by Windblown » Mon May 26, 2014 1:03 am

That's some mighty pretty country you passed through. Thanks for the pics.

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