Elizabeth to Underbool

Day One Monday September 3 – 181km - Elizabeth to Karoonda.
I left Adelaide at 6 a.m. on Monday morning. The trip began with an immediate climb up Yorktown Road, and then over Mount Gawler, which was a rude surprise for the legs,  since it was the first time I was pulling a trailer since 2016. I'd forgotten just how much a trailer is like driving a truck! On the flat things don't feel much different, but once you hit slopes, things slow right down! I considered the Checker Hill (18%) short cut to Birdwood for a few moments, and then chose the longer trip (+5-6km) around the ridge to Birdwood via Gumeracha.

01-TorrensI love the Adelaide Hills. River Torrens out near Gumeracha

 02-motormuseumThe National Motor Museum at Birdwood. Some of us travel a better way.

I made slow progress across the hills and came down at Palmer, crossed the river at Mannum, and set off down the far side of the Murray to the Karoonda Road.

01-nearingpalmerPast Mount Pleasant, near the big drop out of the Hills

Going across country, I accidentally turned up the Bowhill Road instead of the Karoonda Road. Around the 100km mark on the large map link below you can see where I should have kept going south before turning up the bitument. This cost me close on 30 km, but eventually I arrived in Karoonda about 9pm that night. I had planned to go on to Marama and camp by the old hall, but spent the night in my bivvie in the main street. between the park and the Viterra facilities. Fortunately, the 2 a.m. sprinklers missed!

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Day Two – Tuesday September 4 – 202km - Karoonda to Underbool
Tuesday was from Karoonda to Underbool in Victoria, a distance of about 202 kilometres.

02-karoondastillasleepThe view from my "bedroom" in Karoonda.

They have a really good little camping spot at Underbool,  and I was able to roll out the bivvie under a roof next to the picnic tables. It was a much warmer night at Underbool than it was at Karoonda, where I had woken up cold a couple of times. At Murrayville you can get drinkable water at the Caravan Park, and Underbool also has drinkable water. Everywhere else is currently (2018) not potable, which is important to know if you are travelling outside of hours when the odd pub or general store is open. And unlike some places, the sprinklers don't spray out the picnic shelters!  Why do towns do that!? It simply means people go on elsewhere and spend their money elsewhere.

02-ducttapeMy shoe covers were pinching the little toe on my left foot, so I used the other time-honoured method for warm feet — duct tape. Blocking the vents in the shoes makes a huge difference to temperature.

You can see my custom Explorer "puttees," too. I cut the feet off an old pair of socks when I was in Queensland. These keep the legs warm during the day, and at night I simply pull them down over my feet.


The traditional border photo. The trailer was tracking beautifully at this stage; this was not going to last. I like my way of taking the traditional border photo-- as some readers will know, this sign is in the midst of a sweeping S-bend across a railway crossing. One car driver came around that at speed, driving with his wrists, while videoing his border crossing— these blokes have the gall to complain about push bikes!


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Next: Underbool to Echuca


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