March 25, 2012 GMT
Day 5 - Putty Rd into Sydney

Day 5 Port Putty Rd Grey Gum Cafe to Sydney
KM 220

After camping over night at the Grey Gum Cafe and an excellent breakfast at the cafe there was another 60km's of Putty Rd remaining heading south towards Sydney. I was staying with friends in Sydney that night so had a few hours to spare.

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

I decided to take a look at Wisemans Ferry which is another popular spot for Sydney motorcyclists. If you are heading south on the Putty take the turn off left to Sackville. This runs through some nice country side and then onto the first of two barges that take you across the Hawkesbury River. The ferry services are free so you just roll on and roll off.

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

The road then runs directly to Wisemans Ferry where the second barge is which connects to roads heading west. Just before the township its worth stopping at the lookout overlooking the Hawkesbury River. The road down from there into Wisemans Ferry is short and steep so watch out, there are a couple of sharp hairpin corners waiting for the unwary.

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

There is a decent pub in the township and a good coffee shop further down on the same side. It was a nice ride and I had a relaxing afternoon before preparing myself for the ride into Sydney.

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

The ride into Sydney was a nightmare. I don't know Sydney very well and trying to get through Friday afternoon rush hour traffic was character building to say the least. I came back from Wisemans Ferry through Glenorie and then Hornsby and finally arrived at Bevan and Jan's in Wahroonga. A few wines and the woes of the traffic were well and truly forgotten. Thanks Bevan !

Posted by Graeme Andrew at 12:44 PM GMT
Day 8 Corryong to Bairnsdale. Tuesday 20th March

KM 255

I left the camping ground around 8:00 am this morning and rode through the beautiful Murray Valley. It was a cold morning as the sky had been clear and there was lots of fog and mist around the hills. Stopped at Tallangatta for some breakfast and topped up with petrol.

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

From Tallangatta I headed down south to Mt Beauty. The road was good and the weather once again was fine. Not sure why the weather gods are playing ball at the moment ... Perhaps they have something special waiting for me in a few days ! From Mt Beauty I turned right and climbed up over the hills towards Bright and what is called the 'The Great Alpine Road'.

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

The Great Alpine Road runs from Bright in the south down to the Victorian town of Bairnsdale which sits on the edge of Lake King and two other 'Lakes' (Lake Wellington and Lake Victoria if you are curious). Not sure on the definition of a 'Lake' (always thought they were not part of the ocean) but these ones are filled by the sea at the aptly named town of Lakes Entrance. All very confusing for a simple motorcyclist !

The state of Victoria seems to have a thing about 'Great Roads'. To the west of Melbourne is the 'Great Ocean Road' and now I am riding the 'Great Alpine Road' - I think I will start calling them GOR & GAR from now on.

Hmmm .. too much time to think about things. I stopped at the little town of Harrietville which sits at the bottom of the mountains for lunch. Its a nice enough spot and a good rest spot for what follows. What follows is over 100 km's of motorcycling madness winding over well sealed roads through spectacular alpine scenery. There were quite a few bikes on the road even though it was a week day and I can understand why. The bike loves this sort of road with lots of low down torque making things easy for a quick climb to Mt Hoffam.

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

Omeo is the next stop after the mountains however the Great Alpine Road keeps on going and follows a gorge by the Tambo river for 30 odd km's which is all good road with very little traffic.

I finally stopped in Bairnsdale on the coast for the night after another good days ride.

Posted by Graeme Andrew at 01:34 PM GMT
Police and a bad Day 9. Bairnsdale to Melbourne. Wednesday 21st March

KM 282
BEAR RIDES - sadly none !

What a shitty day ! The stuff I wrote in the earlier entries about the weather gods treating me well came back to haunt me today.

I awoke this morning undecided about what to do. I had intended to head south west around the coast and take in some of the scenery by the Tasman sea. However the weather forecast was not good with wild southerlies and rain forecast.

So instead I opted for plan B, a quick trip to Melbourne and on to the Tasmanian ferry and Tasmania for 5 days.

I had checked the weather and it looked much better in Tasmania. What I didn't consider was how fast that weather front was moving and how flat and exposed the road was to the town of Sale. I have ridden bikes for a long time but I don't think I can remember feeling quite as battered and dumped on as I did today.

Leaving Bairnsdale the wind picked up and was gusting 60 - 100kms an hour with driving rain. The gusts were coming from every direction meaning I wasn't quite sure whether I would have a head on with oncoming traffic or be blowen off my side of the road . The latter was my preference so I favoured the left as I rode along at a 45 degree angle one moment and the opposite 45 degree angle the next. It must have looked hilarious from behind but from behind my visor I can tell you I was not laughing. The road was wet and I was effectively doing some pretty hard cornering going in a straight line !

Just to add to my misery a police patrolcar stopped me about 5kms out of the town of Sale and advised me not to go any further as it was too dangerous for motorcycles. Ha ... sure tell me something I didn't know. I agreed it was dangerous and carried on.

I had a booking on the 7:00 pm sailing of the ferry so I battled on till closer to Melbourne where the weather finally cleared. I stopped on the M1 highway about 50 km's from Melbourne and took a well earned break and let the nerves return to normal.

The rest of the ride in to Melbourne was fine (only 50kmh winds and light rain) except my GPS inexplicably turned me off the highway and through the central city so the last few km's were spent in rush hour traffic avoiding the city's tram tracks and trams. I have to admit having not being to Melbourne for a long time I had forgotten how it looked around the city. Cafes, old buildings, trams and leafy streets.

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

Anyway after a long day I am now on the ferry to Tasmania where the weather looks better, ha now theres a joke !

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

PS. Turns out the GPS's route really wasn't that inexplicable. I had in the peferences menu 'Avoid Toll Roads' set to 'Yes'.

Posted by Graeme Andrew at 01:50 PM GMT

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