5 Kiwis - 30 Days - The Australian Outback Tour (page 14)

With the Simpson Desert Crossing lined up, I was up enthusiastically early and ready to sink my teeth into the day. After I’d finished brekkie, a coffee and a visual check over of the bike, I headed towards the first destination of the day; Mount Dare
Reaching Mount Dare started to cement that I was about to do the Simpson crossing. Yeah, bring it on! I purchased a desert pass (required to cross the Simpson), filled the bike with 42 litres of fuel, filled my water bladders with 14 litres of water, then set off
Most of the bore water I drank in Australia was cloudy and didn’t really taste all that good. However, it did keep me alive :)
Departing Mount Dare and heading towards the start of the Simpson crossing had a mixture of well-packed smooth tracks plus some sections with pretty brutal corrugations
Finally, I arrived. The start of the Simpson, let the good times begin!
From the Mount Dare side of the Simpson, the track starts out fairly tame. A mixture of well packed tracks and a few sandy sections
Now I knew the Simpson would be good, and even just a short way into it I was loving it. What topped off the morning was the fact I bumped into a mob of camels; or a caravan of camels as they are supposedly referred to. Quite a novelty for a Kiwi to see these up close :)
As the track progressed, the riding got better and better
Reaching the start of the French Line, this is where things changed a bit. Since departing Adelaide, we spoke to many 4X4 drivers who said the French Line was really chopped up. Many advised us not to ride it
This is a typical stretch of the French Line with constant undulations. Within the first 10km of the French Line, I encountered two 4X4 vehicles. Both drivers had only gone into the French Line a few kilometres but they turned around and were heading for the K1 instead as they said the track was doing their head in.

I could see why, the undulations where out of sync on the left and right track. As I watched the 4X4 vehicles drive away they were being aggressively thrown left and right. It would have been an utter nightmare to endure.

As for the bike however, carrying speed, I quite happily skipped over the top and it was a hoot. There were times that the undulations got really deep and I did have drop the speed right down or I’d be airborne, but it all made for good fun riding
On some of the dunes, 4X4 vehicles that failed to get to the top of the dunes had dug big holes. Some of the holes were thigh high which made for a few interesting moments when hitting the dunes at speed
After a simply spectacular day of riding, I made camp on one of the dunes just before the sun was about to disappear
I encountered a bunch of these super spikey seed cases littered through the sand. They would have made very short work of my inflatable sleeping mat so I had to spend a bit of time clearing an area for my tent
As the sun dropped over the horizon, the orange glow was something else. Numerous times I’ve heard people say that the sky is so big in Australia.

This never made sense to me until this trip. In New Zealand we have so many mountain ranges that often limit our view of the sky. In Australia, the flat landscape provides a massive window to the sky and when the stars are out, it is certainly an impressive sight
As I sat in my camp chair with a hot cupper, in awe of the glowing sky, I ran the day through my head and compared it to my expectations.

To be honest, the riding was easier than many of the reports I had read and the videos I had watched. I knew I needed to reserve full judgement however as this end of the desert has the smaller dunes. It was the next day I would encounter much bigger dunes with the biggest sand dune named Big Red being the grand finale.

As for the enjoyment factor, this blew right off the charts. It was this day that I fell in love with desert riding!
Later on in the evening I saw the lights of two 4X4 vehicles crawling over the dunes. Earlier on in the day I stopped and had a chat to this group further down the track. They had just had the Mount Dare mechanic sent in to replace a driveshaft. This issue saw them out of action for two days so they had to make up time and decided to drive through the night.

As their headlights faded off into the distance, I retired for the night to get a good night’s sleep for the next leg of the Simpson the following day
Author of this article: RMOTO