(Australia) A short hop over the (QLD) border.......
......down mexico way....
Started off on Saturday morning, at the crack of 8:30!
I've been doing nightshift and long stints, (last one 9 shifts straight ended 7am the friday morning).
So as you all may have guessed, I was looking forward to getting away, but I just couldn't manage to get my shit together, so 8:30am on Saturday morning, I finally shook the lethargy, hopped on the bike and took off.
Out through Canungra, stopped for a coffee, and then cut along from there, to Nerang, where I thought Penguineer might be having a tyre fitted.
Turns out that wasn't the day for it, so his loss, he didn't get to have a chat.
Turned back from Nerang and went for a bimble down one of my favourite rides, the Numinbah Road, then Uki to kyogle, and back to Uki, then across to Mur'bah, to get on the Burringbar road (old highway), finally stopping for a break Just south of byron. (Are ya's getting the idea it's not about the destination?).
With the tracks on the GPS looking like random snail trails, and a late start, and having booked a room at Long Flat for the night, I opted to go the highway the rest of the way to Port Macquarie, otherwise with my random meanderings, I wouldn't be there till sunday.
Arrived at long flat just before 7:30pm, and the publican looked after me like I was part of the family, within 20 minutes of arriving, I'd had a nice hot shower (needed), unpacked the bike, and was sitting down to a steaming plate of Lamb shanks and mash, (the veggies had to go on another plate), Magnificent!
The Wallabies lost again!
6 am'ish Saturday morning came around and I emerged loins girded to do battle with the famous Oxley Highway!
Thick as a bowl of porridge!
Thick as Devo's skull! (well not quite that thick).
I left Long Flat in the pea soup mist, and picked my way through the corners of the road where people come to crash. By the time I got to Gingers Creek it appeared to be clearing, a little further along I got sun dappling through the trees, and as I had had a (by necessity) very slow trip up this famous road, I decided to ride back to Long Flat and do it again!
By the time I got back to the flat, the fog had all but lifted, a muted sun showed through and it looked like being a glorius day!
I took the run up to Gingers Creek at a much better pace this time, stopped there for a smoke and a sip of water, before continuing up to Walcha, and then, in one of the coldest rides I have ever done, continued on to Bendemeer for a great coffee.
To be continued.......
I think I mentioned in my original post that Walcha to Benndemeer was my coldest ride to date.
While I was having a smoko at Bendemeer next to the swollen river, this rig turned up.
So I took the opportunity to snap a couple of pics.
I think that Dubbo to Sydney on Tuesday night may actually surpass that.
From Bendeemeer I headed down to Tamworth, before cutting out and across to Coonabarabran, and then on to the semi-famous Gilgandra.
Now I think that most will agree that Gil is not the largest of towns, and thus would be hard to get lost in, but, try finding Rob's house when he gets his left and right mixed up! Anyway, that's my excuse.
Had a pleasant evening with Rob, Heather, Mum and the kids, several cats, a dog, a few chooks and a rooster.
The Pizza was a treat, and many cups of coffee before having a well needed sleep.
Woke up reasonably early the next day (I think I may have kept the household awake with my snoring), and after coffee and a bit of a chat, Rob escorted me to Dubbo to show me the best place in town to get a motorcycle tyre.
They didn't have exactly what I required in stock, which necessitated and overnight stay in the fair city on the western plains.
Before Rob left to return home, he introduced me to what just may rank as the finest pie emporium I have ever visited! (AB, i can see another Canetoads tour in the formation!).
Dubbo's Yamaha dealership is an absolute cracker! If the sold Kawasaki's, and I was in the market, I would travel all the way from Qld to do the deal with them, such is the thoughtfullness and enthusiasm with which they run the show.
Although, they didn't have what I needed in stock they ordered it in overnight, and fitted it the next day.
I've lost count of the number of cuppa's that they offered me while I was there, but I can remember it being substantial.
While I was waiting for my tyre to arrive on the Tuesday, I attended to some domestics, namely a trip to the laundromat to clean all my worn clothes.
Tyre was fitted by 1430, and I fueled up, and headed east via Wellington and Orange (where it had snowed the previous day, I am led to believe), then on through Bathurst, Lithgow, arriving in Katoomba, at around 10pm, which I considered to late to bother my sister with an accomodation request.
I retired to a servo, for a hot drink and time to consider my options, most of the reasonably priced motels shut up their offices at 10pm, and I could piss away hours trying to find one to put me up, or, I could head down to Wentworthville in the western suburbs of Sydney, where I knew there was a Formule1 hotel, where you can book in by card throughout 24 hours. And so I did.
To be continued..........
I arrived at the Hotel in Wentworthville a suburb near Parramatta just after 11:00pm, and used the automatic computer booking to book in and get an access card, with card in hand, I went back to the bike and gained access to the carpark, unpacked the bike totally, carried everything up to the room, and then went and started the first installment of my ride report, on the internet kiosk.
Asleep by 12:30am, then up at 6:30am, to ride back up to the mountains to go and see my sister.
Brenda's a battler, she has a son Isaac, and a couple of dogs, and runs a Mental Health access centre. We see each other usually about once a year, but it's always a good visit, she's a great sister.
I spent a day and a night with Bren and Izzy, had a nice dinner and a good sleep, and set off the next day, too say g'day to Adam and Kate, and the kids.
West towards Lithgow and take the Bell's line of road to Richmond, then to Windsor, and to the turnoff to Wiseman's Ferry.
When I arrived at Wiseman's there were 2 blokes on Bikes pointing to a sign saying, "Ferry Closed for maintainance". What a pisser!
I decided rather than head back towards Sydney and Up the pacific highway to Wyong, I'd take the road to St Albans and around the other side of the Hawkesbury to where the Ferry would've landed.
So back up through town and down River road past the Ski park where the boys and I pitched our swags last November, and up to the Webb Creek Ferry.
From there the road closely follows the Hawkesbury River to St Albans,(25klms), then over the bridge at St Albans and follow the other bank of the Hawkesbury back to the Wisemans Ferry. There's a bit of dirt road to navigate, but, it's pretty well maintained.
When I arrived back at the Wiseman's ferry, The ferry was over the same side of the River as I'd arrived on!
There's actually 2 Ferries at this point, and this one was running, leaving just a few metres up from where the other was being maintained!
With an attitude of sheer bloody-mindedness, I took this ferry back across the river, then turned around and boarded again, for another crossing! Open yer eyes next time ya mongrel!
Followed these 2 blokes across on the second trip. A yam R1 and an old but recently refurbished Honda 750/4, out for a ride.
Once over the other side these 2 blokes fair took off, and raced away towards Central Mangrove, with me hot on their heels, the northern bank is not as well maintained as the road into Wisemans but, you can punt along at a fair pace, enjoying all the bends and that's what I did, after following the other 2 bikes for a while, I ended up passing them at Gunderson, and continued on until I hit the Pacific highway at Mangrove mountain, then stopped for a break at Ourimbah rest area, so I could send an SMS to see if Adam was home from work yet.
To be continued.............
While at the Ourimbah rest area, I had a bit of SMS back and forth with AJ, confirming that he was home, and aquiring his address, saddled up again and headed over via Tuggerah and Wyong.
Wyong (the town) hasn't changed in the 16 years since I moved away, still a run down sorta place, and the traffic from 3pm on, still sucks!
Got to AJ's place, and a bit of handshakin', manhuggin' later was taken inside to say G'day to Kate, meet his father and father in law, step-daughter and step son.
***(Picture of Kate goes here, but she won't allow it!)***
The junior FarRider was still on his way home from school, and the twins were upstairs asleep!
Boy what a riot that place is, I can't see there ever being any piece and quiet!
It's more like a medium sized village than a house!
While there, Chenzo came around to say g'day!
A few cups of coffee later, having politely declined an offer of accomodation, had a good chat, and all the people in one spot doing my head in, and darkness descending I heade of towads my Mums home just north of Doyalson.
Maybe I should have rung first?
No-one home!! FFS Mum's 71 and Reg is 78, what are they doing gadding about town at 6:30pm on a thursday night? And I didn't give 'em a note!
A bit tired by now, I decided on a reasonable early night, and still being cold I headed up to the Formule1 hotel at Wallsend for the night, stopped for a Subway sub, to keep the worms from biting, and booked in by 8pm, did another part of the RR at their internet kiosk, and was asleep by 9:30pm.
Woke next morning at 6am, and showered, packed up the bike, and got away at 7.
Back down to Mum's, (had rung and confirmed they'd be there), via the Fuel station/take away at Doyalson, (Bacon and egg roll and a passable coffee), and then went and gave Mum a hug, shook Reg's hand, and settled down to Tea and scones and a good long chat, (we don't see each other very often).
To be continued..............
I'd been getting the "When ya coming home?" questions from the Missus, and #1 Daughter, for the last couple of days of my trip, and I was starting to look forward to seeing them again, and to getting home, and I was tired after a weeks, farting about on the bike, cold from the returning cold front, so I decided, that I would go directly home, via the Pacific Highway once I left my Mum's place.
After riding down from Newcastle that morning, and spending a few hours catching up with the "Olds", I left Chain Valley Bay at 12:35pm.
I had at least 800klms to ride to get home.
I'd already lost at least half a day.
I was already tired.
The cold snap had returned.
I was gonna do it anyway!
I was already fortified with many cups of tea and scones.
Tall Timbers Rd, Doyalson North NSW 2262 to Tanah Merah QLD - Google Maps
I got turned around and missed the turnoff north from Doyalson, ended up on the Freeway southbound and Had to go almost all the way Back to Adam's place, to be able to turn back around and head back north.
So away I went, the kilometres droning away under my (almost) new Metzlers, flattening the middles (again, arrrrgh!).
Had a fuel stop at the "Rock" fuel station/tourist trap/construction zone.
Still reasonably warm and travelling comfortably, I continue.......
The obligatory stop at The National Motorcycle Museum at Nabiac!
After mucking around at Nabiac for a while and (wasting), some more of my rapidly dwindling sunlight, It was time to resign myself to a long boring,(highway), cold, dark ride home.
From Nabiac, next stop was the transit centre at Coffs Harbour for a hot coffee, cigarette, and a bit of bloodflow to the lower extremities.
Droned through and past many towns between Coffs and Ballina, by Ballina I was shivering, extremely cold, and hungry, and probably a bit dehydrated.
I drove straight past Ballina McDonalds, 'cause I think McDonalds is shit, and really a symbol of all that's wrong with the world.
I went through Ballina, without seeing anything else open, and found the Caltex servo on the north side of town. Topped up my fuel and bought a bottle of water, and set off again, feet were freezing, and I was still shivering.
By the time I got to the rest stop near the Byron bay turnoff, it was almost midnight, and I was in a bit of a state. My decision making was a bit off, (as evidenced by my passing a reasonably warm Maccas at Ballina), I was shivering uncontrollably, ( even though I had a perfectly servicible woollen vest in my pannier, I hadn't stopped to put it on), and I should have stopped there for a few hours, rolled myself in sleeping bag and swag, and gotten a bit warmer, but, as I said my decision making was a bit off.
I rummaged through a bin, and dragged out some rubbish, to apply the match to, looking for a way to warm up, the fire lasted minutes, and probably did nothing to warm me up, but the light and the flame, and the few minutes rest probably helped me psychologically, and I remounted the bike, and headed off again.
Within minutes back on the freeway, I was shivering again (had I actually stopped?), and my feet were (painfully) cold.
I eventually (about 12:30am) saw the turnoff to Chinderah Transit centre, and with what was probably the best decision I had made in m y entire journey home, decided to pull in, and get warm, and have something to eat and drink, and get warm, and get a decent rest before the last hour or so of riding, and get warm........
That I did, I stayed there inside hour, and gradually started to feel more human, and hydrated.
The last hour of riding saw me home at 02:30am, I walked in, leaving the bike all packed, kicked off my boots and clothes and got into a warm shower, the warm water made my toes painfull, but eventually I got out and climbed into bed, Christina had woken up while I was in the shower and made me a cup of tea, that's it I was now HOME.
No Idea where any of the places are! other than oz as i only ever stayed in the Northern Territories with the Oz Army, do recognise the bit town names though
loved the photos.
Sounds like a good ride
Hope this helps mate, here's a map of the basic route, without all the mucking about included, but you'll get the idea.
Tanah Merah QLD to Tanah Merah QLD - Google Maps
Mate thanks for that yes helps :thumbup1:
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