Cameron Corner store - unwelcomed
by Andrew Strickland
A couple of years ago I posted a story on here about my trip up the Oodnadatta on an XR400. Since then I moved up and got a bigger bike and done a few more travels. Unfortunately I had a recent unpleasant experience I'd like to share.
Easter 2012 I was about 30k west of Cameron Corner on the Merty road. I had pushed it too far that day and was buggered. I called what I thought was the Cameron Corner store to let them know I was coming but misdialled and got Omicron Homestead. They offered to pass on the message for me. My message was that I was nearby and expecting to arrive later and if I don't get there something is wrong. You are supposed to let people know where you are right?
I continued on and came across 5 tourists in a Brits Rental bogged to the axles near Bollards Lagoon around 5 pm. I called the same number again and said I had found these people, they were fine but needed a tow out in the morning and that I would stay there that night and not go to Cameron Corner.
Shortly after this, Fenn from the Corner Store, shows up looking for me. It seems the message was passed on that I needed help. Anyway I explained this and as it happened he was able to pull the tourists out of the bog. It's fortunately only a 20 minute drive
On my arrival at Cameron Corner store next morning I was greeted with a mouthful of foul abuse and name calling by the owner in front of other patrons and staff. Not impressed. I apologised and took it on the chin in fear of not getting the fuel and water I needed. He continued to chastise me about "wankers" coming out unprepared and how tough the country is and you need to be self sufficient.
Somewhere in my humble explanation he missed the point that the messages were mixed up. I had been in touch with the store for a few weeks prior as the road had been closed. They said "keep in touch".
Now, in his defence I am sure he is sick of helping out ill prepared people but there was a definite attitude of rigtheousness there.
In my defence, I was very prepared. Had two days of water, food, a UHF radio, sat phone, tools, tyre repair etc. and I'm pretty healthy. The road advice they gave was not accurate either. It is a difficult road on a loaded bike with lots of sand hills and a few bog holes across the road.
Personally, I will never walk into this store ever and now that I have been, there is bugger all to see and would not detour this way again just to see a post in the ground.
I grabbed fuel, left $50 on the counter for his "troubles" and went on to Tibooburra where I stayed at a very welcoming Tooles Family Hotel. I spoke of the arrogant bugger at Cameron Corner with several locals who laughed and said, "yeah we've heard similar".
Even if I had been an unprepared tourist, I would expect a bit of a talking to but not the full on bollocking I got. After all I assume the store does want customers, surely. They'd have got plenty of custom from me that day with a different attitude that's for sure.
I was really disappointed. I had intended to stay a night out there. It's a long way from the Adelaide hills.
Oh and here's a tip, a Tenere 1200 is too big unless you're an awesome rider. Jeez it was hard work in the soft stuff.
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