Day 26

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Mt Isa to Augathella
I’d been a little suspicious about my back tyre pressure since changing it over yesterday. I’d pumped it up, but hadn’t checked the pressure with a gauge. I gave it a kick before bed, and it seemed to be the same pressure as earlier, so I assumed it was OK. Naturally that was a bad idea that was bound to come back to bite me.

We rode into town this morning for fuel, and I noticed that the tyre pressure was not what it should have been – 2PSI, to be exact. I pumped it up, but it was a reasonable bet that it was not going to hold pressure for all that long. I picked up a can of Slime from Repco, hoping that that might at least see me out the day. While I was in the store, a guy outside started talking to Marco and looking at the bikes. He had a KLR of his own, and he also had a mechanic’s workshop across the road, and offered me the use of his facilities. If you’re ever in Mt Isa and need to hire a 4WD, make sure you talk to Graeme Drew at Sargent Four Wheel Drive Hire. Top guy.

We stopped for fuel in Blackall, about 240km down the road, and a few kays out of town the back tyre gave way. I’m not sure where the original leak was, but by the time we stopped, the valve had torn loose from the tube. Within about 15 minutes we had the tools out, had the wheel off, and had a new tube in place. It seems that you shouldn’t leve the valve nut on the inside of the rim, even though that nut had been there for the past 8000km. Lesson learned.

We’d hoped to get to Charleville tonight, but it was always going to be a stretch, and with the amount of wildlife appearing in the evening shadows, we decided to stop in Augathella. Mandy and Marco have got themselves a motel room for the night, much to the amusement of the rest of us.

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