November 01, 2008 GMT
Great Central Road! Laverton to Uluru

In Esperance we heard about a great scenic loop road that passed many of the beaches in the area. Even though it was raining the morning when we left, we still did the loop road and they were right. Some of the nicest beaches and prettiest water I had ever seen.

We made it to Kalgoorlie, a historic mining town. It is straight out of the Old West. Lots of classic hotels and buildings.

Kalgoorlie also has on of the worlds larger open pit gold mines. We drove up to a lookout point and took a few pictures. It was incredible. 3.5 Kilometers long and 1.5 wide, 330 deep (will be 550).

To really appreciate it, you would have to see it from the air. We checked Google Earth for the satellite picture. It was even more impressive. A fellow we met said they were starting another mine that was going to be three times as big (of course we were all on our 4th rum and coke by then). :=)
On to Laverton where the “fun” begins on the Great Central Road. Out of the three major dirt roads I was going to ride in Australia, this was the one that concerned me the least. After all, it was called the “Great” and it was a BIG red line on the map (even though it was “dashed”). How wrong I was. More than enough sand/bull dust to make riding treacherous. It was totally unpredictable as it constantly changed very quickly from fairly nice hard gravel to sandy corrugations, red dirt and bull dust holes.

And before you ask, “Yes”. We each had a “get off” and HUNDREDS of skivvie soiling near misses! :=)

We did have some interesting company on this road every now and then!

Occasionally there was a stretch of road with a good surface and even a little scenery!

We even camped out one night at one of the several Road Houses along the way (figured we would make it a REAL adventure). See, Julia, all that time shopping with me for the perfect tent and sleeping pad wasn’t wasted after all! :=)

And again, before you ask, “yes” the flies were BAD!

4 days and 700 miles of fun and torture (mostly torture) all at the same time but the BIGGEST torture for the entire 700 miles was …… NO BEER AT ALL! It is illegal in the aboriginal areas along the entire road. :=(

We finally made it to Uluru/Ayres Rock

and tarmac, which we both really appreciated! :=)

Then straight to the BAR for a few beers that we really deserved!
I rode a bit over 10,000 miles to take a picture of Ayres Rock.

Yes, there are a LOT of pictures of "The Rock" but I DID ride a long way. Everyone (employees of the area hotels) kept telling us how fortunate I was to get pictures with it raining on "The Rock" since it NEVER rains around here! I didn't quite see it that way. :=)

More pictures here if interested! The new ones start on Page 81.

Posted by Rick McDermed at November 01, 2008 12:34 AM GMT

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