Track on previous post
We parked here to check out the tiny scale railroad lines
Two friendly girls are driving it. I ask for a ride.
These trains (and the entire network of lines) are set up for transporting sugar cane for the huge plantations along the coast. These girls work in the yard organizing the cars at this central yard. Karla is the engineer and she’s a gas
At the end of the valley we rode up the best set of switchbacks we’ve ridden in a long time. So severe that coming into a corner you can see the road going the other way at your shoulder, and incredibly steep. You rounded an impossibly tight hairpin to see the road rising like a wall in front of you. You had to gas it because if you stalled you’d crash. Awesome. Only about 20 corners, rising maybe 1000 feet to a ridge
These rider-designed fast sweepers on this narrow track went the whole way across the valley and through low hills. It was lightly corrugated so you skipped along the surface. If you click the pic you’ll see the first series. We laughed
Eventually onto the paved road into Nebo.
I stopped at the side of the road back at the dirt/paved junction to look at the map and appreciated that in remote areas in Australia the cars stop and check you don’t have a problem. The extreme case of this was Texas. When we were riding the dirt roads in Texas hill country every
car truck would stop. And chat. And ask you if wanted anything or if they could get you anything. You had to hide from Texan country generosity or surrender to it. We surrendered and stayed in Junction a week
Tomorrow we decide to get a small road towards Rockhampton because we have a little problem.
Lucinda has been in need of a major overhaul since South America. We did some of the work in Tauranga, NZ, but the big work has been waiting for a well-known shop in Melbourne here in Australia. She’s not far off 100,000K’s into our trip. About 1/2 way. We don’t want an epic in Asia or further down the track so we’ve been anticipating this for while. We’ve already had parts shipped there and the shop’s waiting for us.
But it looks like we’re not going to make it. We have a problem. We’ve had 4 in two years, 2 here in Australia.
We go over Lucinda, think we know what’s going on, and make some calls. It’s serious. No, I can’t happily do it myself: it’s more than parts replacement. We go to the major shop in town (who carries multiple brands) to talk about helping with the fix, and like the KTM dealer in Santiago, Chile, it has strong opinions about BMW’s, broken-down or not, and anyway are intimidated by the issue. So no-go.
We decide to take the highway to Brisbane. But it’s so bad we can’t get out of town. So after thinking through the options we decide on the least dignified: Lucinda’s getting her first ride on a truck.
This is no big deal. Nothing mechanical is. We just fix it, one way or another wherever, however. But the one thing we can’t fix is time. We spent too much time goofing off up north, burning into our contingency, not allowing for this. This is going to take a while, but we have a plan.