Day 11 – Batemans Bay to Castle Hill via Braidwood, Tarago and Goulburn

We got going at 8.30 this morning in fairly cool and cloudy weather. After winding our way through Nelligen to Braidwood we headed cross country to Goulburn before opting for our run home via the Hume Highway. We arrived home at about 2pm after a 350km run today.

Overall, we did 4,024 Kms and our dear old Honda ST1300 again performed faultlessly all the way.

What a great bike!!!!!

This is roughly the track we took on our trip (although there were a few obvious variations) but near enough for you to get the idea.

 Probably our next major trip will be to the Ozstoc National Rally which is being held at Wooli NSW in October this year.

See you then

Ros and Dick

Day 10 – Bairnsdale to Batemans Bay via Bruthen, Orbost, Cann River, Eden, Bega and Narooma

Getting ready to head off after lunch at Eden

Eden Harbour

We set off at a leusurely 9.30am to We left at a leisurely 9.30am this morning to give Brad time to get a few chores done prior to riding to Orbost for morning tea in warm weather around 30c. We said farewell to Brad who returned home after Orbost as we wound our way up the very picturesque and pleasant riding coast road. We enjoyed fish and chips for lunch at Eden.

We continued our ride to our last night at Batemans Bay contending with numerous long stretches of loose gravel road at the many road work sections we had to negotiate along the way.

We finally arrived at Batemans Bay at around 5pm after a fairly long day of 490 Kms.

We enjoyed staying the night again at our honeymoon hotel of a bit over 35 years ago although we were a trifle disappointed we weren’t able to secure the same room making do with the one next door!.

We enjoyed a great dinner at the bistro downstairs before turning in for our final run home tomorrow.

Bye for now

R & D

Day 9 – Mytleford to Bairnsdale via Mount Buffalo, Bright, Bogong, Falls Creak, Omeo, Cassilis, Swifts Creek and Bruthen

We enjoyed a great bacon and egg roll at the Mytleford Bakery before Brad, Ruth, Ros and I set off on our two bikes on a clear cool morning. Brad had suggested we ride to the top of Mount Buffalo to enjoy the spectacular views to be had on such a clear day.

The old Chalet

We wound our way up the mountain around what seemed like hundreds of tight bends before we wheeled into the Historic Mount Buffalo Chalet near the top which was established in 1937. It was undergoing yet another round of renovations so we were unable to check it out inside.

The views to be had at the lookout in front of the Chalet were fantastic.

Part of the great view

Brad, Ros and Ruth checking out the great views

We continued on our upward ride for a short intending to ride to the top but the road turned into a gravel track and I declined to take our 300Kg brute any further up this road so we turned around and wound our way back down again. On both the up and downward trip we shared the narrow winding road with cyclists and runners who were in the midst of some organised event.

Once back down we headed through Bright and took the road to Mount Beauty so we could travel through Bogong and Falls Creek on the fairly recently sealed road. This was another great experience albeit it constantly winding and twisting up and down through the mountains with both our bikes spending most of the time in 2nd and 3rd gear as we threaded our way around the never ending bends.

Part of the road down Mount Buffalo

We had planned to stop at Bogong for lunch but their only establishment was closed so we wound our way along to the ski resort of Halls Creek for a nice but rather pricey lunch.

We headed off from Falls Creek to Omeo where we had a rest stop and fuelled up at their rather chaotic Card operated bowsers before taking the back road via Cassilis to Brad and Ruth’s loverly house at Bairnsdale. I felt like we had negotiated more tight bends today than we had done on the entire trip. A very enjoyable although tiring ride. A highlight of this last stretch was that our dear old bike passed the 100,000 km mark on the speedo.

We enjoyed a great dinner with Brad and Ruth prior to my falling asleep on their lounge suggesting we had better turn in.

Unfortunately, Ruth had to go to work in the morning but Brad had arranged a RDO to ride with us some of the way.

Bye for now

R & D

Day 8 – Healesville to Mytleford Victoria via Alexandra, Mansfield, Whitfield and Milawa

We left Healesville this morning at a leisurely 9.30am after enjoying the cooked breakfast provided by our hosts Ozzie and Donia of the Tuck-in B & B.
As in previous mornings, the day was coolish and the sky somewhat threatening. We enjoyed the 70k ride along a winding road through the beautiful Victorian countryside to Alexandra for a fuel and comfort stop. We were delighted to pass many 50’s and 60’s cars along the way which were all obviously out and about for some rally. There were Minis galore, a couple of FJ’s, Ford Anglias, MGs, Sunbeam Alpines and many more. When we got the Alexandra the town was packed with old cars of every variety. A great sight. We rode on then to Mansfield again through green and mostly hilly countryside. The road was mostly dry although the odd wet patch here and there kept us on our toes as we wound our way through the hills and dales of Yarra Valley. After Mansfield we headed toward Wangaratta on the C521 road winding through the hills toward the small town of Whitfield. We soon ran into dense fog and spent the next hour crawling at times around the winding torturous road at speeds as low as 15 and 20k. We finally emerged from the fog just before Whitfield where we enjoyed our lunch at the Whitty Cafe along a few other bikers.

The Whitty Cafe at Whitfield

After leaving Whitfield we headed through the King Valley before turning off through Milawa to reach our destination, Mytleford at around 3pm.

287 Kms for the day.

Happy hour with Brad and Ruth

We met up with Ros’s brother, Brad and his wife Ruth at around 4.30pm when they rode in from Bairnsdale, where they live, to accompany us on the ride tomorrow back to their place.

After enjoying a social drink or two we walked next door to the Mytleford Savoy Sport Club for dinner. Another great day of riding.

Tomorrow we will be heading up over the mountains so we are hoping for a clear day which, on average only occurs about 30% of the time.

Here’s hoping.

R&D

Day 7 – Apollo Bay to Healesville via Lorne, Geelong, Queenscliffe, Sorrento, Frankston, Dandenong and Emerald

We headed out this morning to threatening skies and a cool ocean breeze. We travelled along the best part of the GOR with a fantastic run all the way from Apollo Bay the Anglesea without having a single car either in front of behind us. It was if we had the road to ourselves. It was cloudy and cool all the way but a most enjoyable ride and probably never to be repeated. After fueling up in Anglesea, we headed for our 12pm rendevous with the ferry that departed Queenscliff to take us across Port Phillip Bay to Sorrento.

Waiting for our ferry at Queenscliff

We off-loaded at Sorrento 45 minutes later and headed up the Mornington Peninsula to Frankston before branching off to Dandenong then Narre Warren, Belgrave and Emerald arriving at our B&B in Healesville at around 4pm. Navigation was a challenge at times but good old Mr Google Maps controlled by my amazing pillion saved the day.

A modest 290km for the day but lots of slow riding still made it a longish day.

The Proprietors of our B&B recommended we try the Healesville Hotel for dinner so we took up their recommendation. “They have the biggest wine list in the district” they said (which they did) what they did not say was that the cheapest wine on the list started at $40 and went right up to $500. !!
We decided to splurge again and ordered a seven course “tasting plate” By the time we reached the third course we were almost at capacity. By the time course number six appeared we were sliding off our chairs, To our amazement, out came a slow cooked lamb dish complete with side dishes that would probably stop us even as single a meal in its own right. We decided in the end that the “tasting plate” meant you got served a full serving of each of the meals on the menu!!!!

Bye for now R & D

Day 6 – Halls gap to Apollo Bay via Dunkeld, Hamilton, Port Fairy and Warrnambool

The skies were dark and threatening as we set off this morning to track South along the eastern side of the Grampians after having crossed from the western side through Halls Gap yesterday. The road was dry and the riding coolish but comfortable. The rain stayed away and the weather gradually cleared as we fueled up at Hamilton and headed to Port Fairy through very pretty dairy country. We enjoyed a coffee stop at Port Fairy then headed to Warrnambool. We passed through more dairy country before stopping to marvel at the Bay of Islands, the first of our Great Ocean Road sights.

Fish and Chips

After enjoying a late fish and chip lunch at Port Campbell we tackled the last 100k or so along the coast to our overnight stop at Apollo Bay. All up a very pleasant 383 Kms of riding for the day.

Bye for now

R & D

Bay of Islands – Peterborough Vic

 

Day 5 – Barham NSW to Halls Gap Victoria via Kerang, Wycheproof, Birchip, Warracknabeal and Horsham

We took our time getting going this morning on the basis that, yet again, it was raining and, we had a fairly comfortable days ride in front of us. Fortunately, the steady rain cleared almost as soon as we re-crossed the Murray into Victoria and set off across the open Western Victorian rural countryside. This featured vast, sometimes irrigated fields. Overall a very pleasant vista with mostly straight roads.

We took our first wrong turn for the day after reaching a small town called Bort headed for the quaintly named Wycheproof. The next town we hit was Quambatook so we crossed the railway line and continued on the road (we thought) to Wycheproof. After about 20Km the sealed road suddenly turned into a very minor gravel road before we realised all was not well in the navigation department.

Oh! Oh! the wrong way we think!!

After stopping roadside and studying the map we discovered we had taken the completely wrong road out of Bort. To make matters worse, we had taken the wrong road out of Quambatook (don’t you just love these quaint Victorian town names!) and ridden about 15Km before we tumbled something was amiss. All good in the end though as we backtracked and got ourselves back on route for our lunch stop at a cute little place called Birchip. After sampling the delights of the Birchip Burger Bar for lunch (thoroughly recommended)

Birchip Burger Bar, Yum!

we headed out of town (we thought) in the right direction. Again after about 10Km and no sign of our intended turn-off we discovered we were heading for a place called Sea Lake which was not our road. (Victorian road signs leave a lot to be desired). After another mid-highway U turn,

Going my way?

we headed back through Birchip and then on to our intended turn-off to Warracknabeal.

After reaching Warracknabeal we carried on to Horsham for a quick break prior to tackling the final 70Km or so up into the Grampians for our overnight stop at Halls Gap. The last 30k or so was a tight wind up the mountains with frequent motorcycle warning signs attesting to the problems previous foolhardy riders had experienced. Certainly not a road for motor bike heroes!. Here is a little Helmet-Cam video of our run up the hill to Halls gap   As we approached our destination, clouds came over dark and threatening but, fortunately held up for our trip. Certainly not a ride I would like to do in the rain.! 476 Km for the day (A bit more than the we envisaged!)

We booked into our motel for the night and enjoying a couple of beers/wines before splurging on a restaurant dinner.

Tomorrow we will continue our Southward run until reaching the coast then tracking along the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay.

Cheers for now!

R & D

 

 

Day 4 – Wodonga Vic to Barham NSW via Rutherglen, Yarrawonga, Echuca and Cohuna

Heavy rain greeted us this morning forcing us to commandeer a nearby carport to enable us to load up out of the downpour. The owner returned whilst loading was proceeding and good-naturedly sanctioned our unauthorised use of her carport.

After a short hop in the rain to the nearby Maccas for breakfast, we headed down the Hume Freeway in very heavy rain prior to turning west off the Freeway toward Rutherglen. The 100k ride to Yarrawonga via Rutherglen was  shocker with 80km/hr max possible speed in the atrocious conditions although a semi trailer had no trouble passing us at 100k+ presumedly helped by his far better view of the road ahead.

After we left Yarrawonga the rain started to ease as we rode toward Cobram and had cleared completely by the time we reached our lunch stop of Echuca. By this time the temperature had soared to a sticky 30c. We chose to suffer the hot conditions and ride on in our wet weather togs rather than take them off and go to the trouble to pack them away. Just as well, as we passed through the little burg of Gunbower, enroute to Cohuna, we copped another downpour out of an otherwise fine sky. It only lasted for 10 minutes or so but enough for us to justify putting up with the heat and keeping our wetties on. It soon fined up again as we headed toward Barham crossing the Murray via their Historic bridge into NSW to check into our motel around 3.30pm.

The Historic Barham Bridge across the Murray River. Currently undegoing renovations

We took a pleasant walk along the banks of the Murray before walking next door to the Services Club for dinner.

350km again today, about half of it in rather trying conditions the other half proved to be very pleasant, albeit mostly pretty straight roads.

The unusual Town Clock in the centre of Barham NSW

Tomorrow, we are heading toward the Grampians hopefully skirting the bad weather currently hammering Melbourne and surrounds :o)

Bye for now

R & D

Day 3 – Cooma NSW to Wodonga Victoria via Jindabyne, Thredbo, Khancoban and Corryong

A foggy start from Cooma

Here we are in Wodonga after another great ride today. We set out from Cooma this morning in a fog which cleared almost as soon as we left town and set off on the Alpine Way toward Jindabyne across the open tableland country. This featured lots of long enjoyable sweeping bends in a modestly cool sunny morning. Great riding!. The open country gave way to a continuously winding road as we wound our way up and down the various mountains before swinging around a bend to a panoramic view of Lake Jindabyne in all its glory below.

Jindabyne Lake

We continued our winding ride after a brief call into Thredbo which proved uninviting to the casual passing visitor. The road narrowed considerably requiring pretty diligent riding for the next hour or so until we finally arrived at the small burg of Khancoban for lunch. I bravely accepted the offer of a ” Snowy Mountains wrap” at Shano’ s takeaway. This proved to contain two fried eggs, lots of bacon, tomato, lettuce and lots of other runny stuff that dribbled out the bottom. On balance though, it was great and definitely to be tried if you are in the area but would definitely not be classed as a ” light” lunch.

An interesting cloud formation over Tallangatta

We pushed on into Victoria just before Corryong with the country opening out considerably as we moved away from the Great Divide and on to Tallangatta where we took a break beside the huge Hume Lake. We then motored the remaining 40 Km into Wodonga just skirting around a violent thunderstorm we saw perking away off our near front right quarter.

Murray 1 Power Station 10 Km East of Khancoban

We checked into our Motel at around 3.30pm and toddled the huge 30 metres to the adjoining pub to enjoy our ” Seniors Special” evening meal. It was nice that they asked us to actually show our Seniors card before they would give us the deal (It must not have been obvious or that is what we like to think anyway :o))

Oh, in case you are wondering, I had the lambs fry and bacon and Ros had the Ham steak with pineapple. It all balanced out in the end though. When buying a couple of glasses of their house Chardonnay I was asked, ” do you want the 150ml or the 250ml size”. (Well I mean to say, what a question to ask a couple of wino’s from NSW !!.) That will be $20 sir!!!
Ouch!!! lesson learnt.
I guess, as they say, there in no such thing as a cheap dinner! or something like that. A comfortable and very enjoyable 340Km for the day.

Tomorrow we will sort of track the border all the way to our destination of Barham in NSW (just) although we will spend most of the day in Victoria.

Bye for now R & D

 

 

Day 2 – Young to Cooma NSW via Gundegai, Tumut, Adaminaby

Hi again everyone,
Well we arrived in Cooma this afternoon after a very enjoyable ride from Young in fine weather all the way. We set off from Young this morning at our usual 8.30am with the morning a bit cloudy and some residual wind, although not as gusty as yesterday. The ride through the undulating sheep and fruit growing areas was picture book stuff. We were not looking forward to finishing the tail end of the road into Gundagai on the Hume Highway so we took a chance on a z grade back road shown on the map which turned off at a little place called Muttama. It turned out to be a one lane sealed road winding through the back blocks and was clearly only used by locals as evidenced by the sheep and cattle we encountered being herded along the road. It eventually led us into the back streets of Gundagai missing the dreaded Hume Highway altogether. A gem of a find.

After saying Hi to Dad, Dave, Mum and Mable during our rest stop in Gundagai

Meet the Rudd family (no, not the Kevin branch!)

 We set off for Tumut then onto the Snowy Mountain Highway for the 185Km run into Cooma. We stopped off and checked out the Tumut 3 Power Station before enjoying a 30 Km burst of wonderful winding road up into the Snowy tablelands.where the temperature dropped from around 30c down to 20c. We had a late lunch at the Snow Goose Hotel at Adaminaby before our final run of long winding bends into Cooma checking into the Alkira Motel around 3.30pm. Off to the local Services Club for dinner tonight after a very comfortable and enjoyable 350Km run today. 
Meet the Giant trout of Adaminaby

Bye for now

R & D