Rolling out of Wentworth and I was greeted by a clear and refreshing morning (it was cold!), and the map showed it was going to be a straight bitumen run to Broken Hill. About 40 km out of Wentworth as the sun rose, the beauty of the vastness of Australia was revealed. Perfect time for the first drone flight of the trip.
If you’ve never used a drone before, they are fantastic, providing an alternative perspective and really enhancing the record of your travels. Within thirty minutes I’m back on the bike, and now allowing myself to focus on the possibility of adding Queensland to my two week adventure.
It felt like sunrise had the temperature drop below freezing as my thin gloves struggled to stop the numbing of my fingers, then came a very embarrassing realisation… I had heated grips fitted three days prior to departure and had completely forgotten about them.
I smashed that button like a teenager playing Fortnite and went straight to 100 per cent on the heat controller. Within minutes, ahhhhhhh, how I love heated grips.
An uneventful run up the Silver City Highway to Broken Hill followed, with quick stop for fuel, and then onwards to Silverton, with anticipation building for the Silverton Pub and Mad Max Museum. A short thirty minute ride, and you are greeted by the Silverton welcome sign.
Turning into the ‘Main Street’ towards the pub revealed a scene that felt like a cross between an outback pub, an American wild west town and an RSL club. A couple of donkeys meander across the road to the pub where 4×4 tourist coaches are parked.
As I walk into the Silverton Pub it’s filled with merchandise, memorabilia and visitors eager for photos taking shots at the iconic bar. The bartender is overwhelmed with the number of visitors (a common theme I observe throughout my trip) ordering drinks, meals, buying souvenirs and asking her to take their photos.
After a few minutes I place my order, classic chicken schnitty, grab my number and head outside to the beer garden. It’s a huge, expansive area and suddenly the quaint feel of the outback pub is lost, especially when my schnitty arrives served on a small Styrofoam disposable plate.
Next I ride up the road a few hundred metres to visit the Mad Max 2 Museum. I’m not going to spoil the experience, but if you are a Mad Max fan you’ll love it. The museum combines indoor and outdoor displays with everything from original costumes through to replica trucks and cars. An hour wasn’t enough, but I know I’ll be coming back.
Time to jump back on the Tenere as Tibooburra was still the aim for tonight, and that meant another 360 km in the saddle. The road from Broken Hill to Tibooburra has been bitumen for about 18 months so I should be able to punch out some miles pretty easy.
About 100 km south of Packsaddle I came across a group of ADV riders travelling at just below the speed limit, I pick my timing and slowly overtake them, so I also checkout the bikes and give the mandatory wave. A great variety of bikes with everything from a DR650 to a Ducati Multistrada, led by my bike’s predecessor, a 660 Tenere.
A few minutes after I begin fuelling at Packsaddle the group rolls in and wanders over to ask me a few questions about the Tenere 700. They were probably disappointed with my answers as I’ve never taken it on single track, haven’t crossed the Simpson and can’t compare it to ‘other’ adventure bikes.
We chatted for thirty minutes or so, and it was very tempting to join them for a nights bush camping, but I still had my eye on the prize of Tibooburra tonight.
The sun is low in the sky and I still have 160 km to go. Spoiler alert… this has to be one of my most memorable evening rides. The weather was just perfect, wide open plains, and a sunset that literally takes your breath away. A ninety minute ride turns into two hours plus as I can’t help myself stopping to take sunset photos, only to ride a few more kilometres and think the view is even better.
As I ride into Tibooburra it’s well after dark and keeping with my spontaneous theme of the trip, I have no accommodation booked. I head into the pub and sheepishly ask if they have any rooms for the night. I’m initially welcomed with a friendly smile, followed by the curious look and, “You haven’t booked during peak season?”
Thankfully for me a late cancellation meant I scored the last pub room for the night and was then offered the VIP treatment often given to motorcyclists, “Mate just bring ya bike around the back, I’ll meet you there.” The barman comes around, compliments my bike, then insists I park it under the caretaker’s carport. Cheers.
I unpack the bike and settle into my typical looking pub room, everything I need for a comfy sleep. No time for a shower as I don’t want to miss out on a pub feed before the kitchen closes. I ask for a recommendation and am instantly told that you can’t go past the bangers and mash.
Not something I’d chose as a rule, but it was a generous serve and hit the spot. I then spent a couple of hours chatting with three guys that were working on the gas lines, and lucky for me, bike enthusiasts. I was told in no uncertain terms I had to ride to Cameron Corner, I’d love the ride and it was well worth it.
I’d been posting a few photos on Facebook pages since I left, mainly sunset pics (with the bike of course) as I love the lighting. I was blown away by the amount of interest with literally hundreds of likes, comments and questions about my trip.
People were asking about my YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram – of which I had none dedicated to the trip, something I’d need to address as my journey continued.
Day 2: Total kilometres: 680. Highlight: Sunset ride to Tibooburra. Must do: Mad Max Museum.
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