Stuck in Mt Isa….

Yes….I’m stuck in Mount Isa

I’m sorry to report that Azulo has broken down and there are no parts in Mt Isa so I have to wait till they are flown in from somewhere!

The problem is that the sprockets and chain are stuffed. The chain guide is also missing. The the bike is unrideable. Not a serious problem in the scheme of things but it’s well and truly stopped me in my tracks..

This shouldn’t have happened as they were all replaced before the trip.

The difficulty is that there is no Kawasaki dealer in Mt Isa and the parts are not interchangable. They have to be flown in from somewhere.

I spoke to the Yamaha dealer today, Friday 30 June, (They have been very helpful). They have ordered the sprockets and chain, but unfortunately there is no “chain guide” in stock in Australia so the mechanic says he’ll have to make one…….. Perhaps this is no big deal but my mechanical expertise doesn’t stretch that far.

I arrived here on Thursday 29th around 4.00pm. Azulo was going beautifully until 50k before Mt Isa… then he started jerking and making a terrible noise.. It didn’t take me long to see the problem. I limped into town and found a motorbike shop.

I suppose the silver lining is that he didn’t break down 300k from the nearest town and the problem should easily be fixed when the parts arrive.

When one is having a bad day it only gets worse…

I checked into a place calling themselves “serviced apartments”. It was horrible. The room smelt and clearly this was a well used smoking room…There was no blanket and it was very cold overnight so I didn’t sleep much…..  and my dinner was awful.

Luckily I had some brandy and ginger ale left over from our Darwin  holiday. That disappeared very quickly.

It was not my day!!!

Today, Friday…I immediately checked out and have booked into a proper hotel. Hang the expense!

So, in summary…I have no idea how long I will be here….hopefully the parts will arrive on monday or tuesday….maybe… so hopefully I’ll be on my way again on wednesday…????…fingers crossed.

Now a quick update of my ride from Darwin

The journey from Darwin to Mt Isa

The journey from Darwin to Mt Isa is about 1500k. I did it in 2.5 days.

I stopped for a drink at Daly Waters about 650k from Darwin….At Daly Waters there is the “Stuart Tree” and a famous Pub and not much else.

The explorer John McDougall Stuart is meant to have carved his initial in the tree here. It’s just a dead stump now but tried as I did, I couldn’t see any “S” carved in the tree.

The Pub is more interesting.! It’s a tourist trap really but good fun.

Daly Waters Pub

A long way for a Big Mac

My stop that night was near Tennant Creek at a Roadhouse called Three Ways.

You meet some strange characters in these places. I was sitting on my own having dinner and was joined by a rather tubby bloke. He started telling me about his diet. He must have talked non stop about his wretched waist line for about 20 minutes.

The Bar…not many women…

Next came a nice couple of Grey Nomads. They talked about how they had experienced a hold up where she worked. She claimed she had been shot in the head. They both then went on about their various healh problems.

He had lost a tooth; she had damaged her hip and both their dogs have been sick on their trip….. Really interesting dinner conversation don’t you think!

One thing I’ve noticed everywhere is how all these places depend on the foreigh backpackers. You hardly meet an Aussie serving in the shops, bars, restaurants etc. There are Dutch, Germans, French, British, Irish, Chileans…

Apparently by working in the NT for some months they get an extension on their visa.

Next day was the fateful thursday….. I headed for Mt Isa totally unsuspecting any problems. I always check Azulo before I leave and everything looked OK

It was a long and very windy road. It was the worst cross wind since Patagonia. I saw one caravan and 4 wheel car turned over on the side of the road.

Queensland at last.

So here I am…stuck in Mt Isa

One piece of good news is that my old mate Kevin and his wife Janice have just arrived in Mt Isa in their caravan. They are here for four nights I believe so I have some good company..

I met Kevin and Gordon (my friend in Perth) on our motorbike trip through Nepal, Bhutan and India about 7 years ago.

I’ll let you know what happens when i know myself!!!


14 thoughts on “Stuck in Mt Isa….

  1. Hi Geoff
    Hope your enforced rest is as good as possible
    If you haven’t done a mine tour I thought it was quite good
    Your comments on people at dinner I found interesting I think it happens the world over Carl and I have decided some people like the sound of their own voices
    Hope you are on your way again soon
    Marg and Carl

  2. You have made our enjoyment of Mount Isa greater, Geoff. For a while we didn’t think our paths would cross on this trip. Wishing Azulo a speedy recovery!

    • Thanks Kev and Janice
      It was so good seeing you again and it couldn’t have been better timing. I really enjoyed your company and we had some good fun didn’t we? Can’t stop thinking of those little birds in the nest seeing the snake coming over. Glad I’m human!
      I hope I see you again before long … maybe Isle of Mann in 2020?

  3. Hi Geoff, hope things are improving for you as you sounded uncharacteristically down. Poor Azulo, maybe a few days rest will do him good. Tell the mechanic he has to fix that bike as it is famous throughout the world!! We raised a decanter of sherry to your good health, and we’re enjoying the view from the balcony! We’re sure you can guess where we are! The Condor Ferry just went past. On a brighter note, your pictures of the amazing Aboriginal art and the artist were shown to the class of children and much appreciated. Good luck with the repairs. Alan and Wendy

    • Hi Wendy
      Thats great to hear the Aboriginal Art was shown to the school ckids. Lovely thought
      I wish we were with you in the Channel Islands…wasn’t that a lovely break…almost a year ago now!

  4. Oh dear Geoffers, what a shame. Azulo had been such a sturdy friend!
    (If you had not swanned off when at the British Oxygen stint in the workshops, you might have been able to make a chain guide – I bet Chris could!)
    Truly sorry about all this.
    But, as you say, you seem to have met some quite extraordinary people whilst you are kicking your heels – quite interesting really. Good job we’re normal, isn’t it !!
    Hope the bike parts arrive soon and are not too expensive.
    Best wishes,

    • Funny Vic…I’ve always regretted swanning off on my welding and engineering courses at BOC…what an opportunity missed. Yers it would be a piece of cake making a chain guide…if only…

  5. Oh deary me Geoff, what a pain. Poor Azulu too. Well at least you are somewhere (reasonably) civilised, and they can help you both get mobile again.
    We will be sending you lots of good vibes – not much else we can do I’m afraid!
    Val and Nev

    • Thanks Val
      I need all the good vibes you can send….get all the family “vibrating” for me please!

  6. Bad times. One wonders if Azulo (and you?) might be reaching his limits with travelling. The need for parts, and especially the manufacturing of a chain guide on the road brings the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” to mind. Have you ever read it?
    Francis – Barrington, NS

    • Hi Francis
      Nice to hear from you. How is beautiful Novas Scotia?
      No I havent read Zen and the art of Motorcycle maintenance…I’ll look it up…
      Yes, youre probably right that Azulo and I are probably nearing retirement…
      Howis your writing going…any new books?

  7. Oh dear…….as you say when you are having ” a bad hair day’ it just gets worse.!
    Good that you still have your sense of humour. Sounds like a few good days coming up with your friends…
    or at least I hope so…….well deserved.
    Its freezing in Melbourne…….sunny but very chilly.
    Hope all goes well for the rest of the trip. Stay safe and enjoy the rest Geoff!

    • Thanks Margaret
      At least I’m in a nice hotel now with a good bar and restaurant and it’s beautiful weather here.
      Hopefully the parts will arrive on monday…

Leave a comment or reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *