If I could……

Talk to the animals……just imagine it!!! Chatting to a chimp in Chimpaneze 🙂
Wouldn’t it be great! I feel like Mrs Dr Dolittle.

A day off together and after years of suggesting this, we finally make it to Taronga Zoo!!! Yippee!!! Karl just says “oh no, what have I done”….LOL

Not even in the gates and the camera on the phone is out and Karl just knows today is going to photographically painful for him…me, I’m like a kid in a candy store.

With map in hand, well Karl’s, I say I don’t want to miss anything…let’s go!!! Catch up with a couple of “old ducks” before entering the bird avery. They have these cool but annoying doors that won’t allow you to open the opposite door until the other one is closed…I get it, don’t want to let anything out.

Some things I remembered from my childhood, like the Elephant Temple but it isn’t used anymore as they have a new enclosure. I did get pics of the elephants they just aren’t good ones.

This little guy was waiting for us as we exited…..nearly missed him.

We meander around the pathways Karl in one direction and me, well off in my little world of wonder and excitement in, another direction at times…oops…. Mrs Dolittle let loose. I’m sooo excited and take photos of nearly everything.

The nocturnal section was pretty cool. Spotted the Australian Easter Bilby and this guy just hanging around…LOL

There’s even this rare species called “The Sweety Bird” which is extremely hard to photograph. Some people say I make it up, others think it is a ghost but “I have proof”!!!

The Sweety Bird

So many amazing things to see. This one caught my eye

What visit to any animal thing is complete without a trip to the petting zoo. Lama, goats, bunnies, guinea pigs and more. My sister and I had guinea pigs as pets when we were young. Ended up with 22 of the buggers…they just kept breeding like rabbits.

Winding our way down and around, we come across the sea life and the seal show (a bit late to enter but watched from the sides). These guys (the seals) are so clever and very cheeky.

These guys are very gracious

Feeding time at the zoo and the cafeteria is exactly that…..a mad house of screaming kids, yelling parents and all manner of human wildlife. We managed to find a quiet place to eat before starting on the second half…YAY!!! Oh, and Karl says there is an Ibis exhibition everywhere…LOl

A 30 minute wait to see the Tigers was a little too much for Karl, so I flew solo to Sumartra to see them..well one that you could get a pic of.

Sumatra Tiger & Giant Tortoise

When I emerged The Sweety Bird was just chillin’ out

The Sweety Bird

Let’s see some more……..follow me he says, “yes Sweety” as I detour to look at something else…LOL
More bird averies and these little feathered friends were very pretty.

It was time to monkey around…… There was one little baby monkey clinging to it’s mum, the rest were just hanging about, lazing in the sun or sitting and observing the strange creatures observing them.

Then it was off to see something for dad. back in the day, dad used to service the aircon unit in the enclosure of the Komoto Dragon…it’s name was Lenny (we named him Lenny the Lizard). Anyhoos, this dragon chased dad up the ladder one day and the only thing that saved him was the keeper enticing Lenny down with a chicken….close call for dad. Remnants on the old enclosure are still there but Lenny has a new one now.

It’s getting on but we have to see the Meerkats. Funny little dudes and dudettes they are. Basking in the sun, no shame about them and very busy fossicking in the sand for no doubt some maggots or insects….yuk.

Well, we saw everything that was able to be seen. Some of the animals are not available at the moment due to new homes being constructed for them and some, well, just didn’t want to come out and play.

After getting an ice-cream to end our Zoological experience we headed home.

Thanks for having us, it was a fabulous day out and beautiful weather for it. I have a feeling I’ll be back some day but it might take another 10 years.

10 Years at Tintaldra

Can you believe we have been coming to this nirvana in Australia for 10 years now…..I have to almost pinch myself 🙂

Well this year I almost didn’t make it. Work got in the way of my scheduled annual leave on Friday and had me “grounded” back in Melbourne on Thursday night with the next available Sydney flight at 2pm Friday….not happy Jan!! This too ended up being late and I didn’t get home til just after 5pm Friday.

Not exactly the start to my holiday and Pilgrimage that was planned and I advised Karl to head on with out me and I would see him there at some point.

Out the door “toot sweet” on Dudley at 5:50pm to fight the horrendous traffic out of Sydney. Plan, slab it to Albury and turn left Clyde and head east along the Murray River Hway. By the time I got to Goulburn I had to stop, eat, fuel in Dudley (unscheduled) and put on more clothes as the night wind had a nip in it. Chat to Karl and changed the plan.

Next stop South Gundagai 10:16pm as Dudley and I barrelled down the highway fuelled with anger at having missed a ride with my Sweety and being late. More fuel which would see me through and I had to have sleep….the poor old body had been deprived of it for 2 days and it was catching up on me. Messaged Karl and let him know where I was and how I was travelling. “Should arrive approx 12:30am”, I say. The rickety old wooden table opposite the Shell served the purpose and I grabbed a 15 minutes cat-nap.

New plan – Tumut, Batlow, Tumbarumba, Tooma, Tintaldra. Roads works on Gocup Rd heading to Tumut held me up in total for 30 minutes but otherwise was feeling ok. I’d love to do the road to Batlow and Tumby in daylight (it’s been ages since I last did it) but in the dark with the wind whipping around and wildlife galore wasn’t exactly ideal conditions to be scooting through the twists and turns.

I saw everything tonight, foxes and cute baby bunnies to Tumut and the rest of the way was wombats, lots of roos and can you believe sheep…even that one took me by surprise. The concentration it takes to ride through the night is all consuming, trees look like roos and everything, the slightest move in your peripheral has your eyes darting ensuring you have safe passage.

A little disorientated until I saw the sign to Southern Cloud Lookout (one of my favs) but you couldn’t see shite in the dark, so no stopping. However that feeling of euphoria started to wash over me as I then realised that I wasn’t far from where my heart sings. A few more kays, twists and turns and I spotted the familiar sight of the poplar trees – standing to attention as if to greet me “home”. Dudleys lights “lit up the Tintaldra” town sign like a beacon guiding a ship to shore and we rounded the corner an into the driveway of the Clearwater caravan Park – Tintaldra…….ahhhh!!!!

Yedi was the only one awake at 12:56am on Saturday to greet me but honestly I was just glad to make it. I stumbled into our cabin like a baby elephant trying to be quiet and was greeted by a “Hi Sweety, you made it” from Karl before he rolled back over to serenade me with his purring. My head sank into the pillow and reckon I was asleep in less than a second…zzzzzzzz

7 hours solid sleep….YAY!!! the most I’d had in a coupla days. Tintaldra you never disappoint me.

Morning Tintaldra

Everyone was surprised but glad to see me and likewise….think I was surprised to see me too!!! 🙂 As I was in no state to be making decisions the group decided we would go to Dederang Pub for lunch today. So after a hearty breaky we geared up and headed out.

I nice easy run through Granya, noticing how low the water is in the river. Karl’s waiting for me at the T-junction with Rick in his historic car and Bubba and Karen.
Into Tallangatta for fuel and a regroup.

Tallangatta
Karen, Bubba, Karl & Yedi

Down the Cow Rd and some zig-zagging to avoid the highway and Mr Plod on a beautiful riding day and we arrive at Dederang Pub.

On arrival at the pub you are welcomed by this bronzed statue of a man. He is apparently “The Storyteller” inspired by Banjo Patterson. There is something about him that actually gives you the impression that there is more to this place than meets the eye or more to him….might have to do some research.

There is a really nice relaxing beer garden out the back where we all had lunch and soaked up the sun. But I’m getting tired so Karl and I leave the crew early and decide to head back to Tintaldra. I decided to head into Corryong so Karl waved me off at the Cudgewa turn off and on my merry way I went. Nibbles and some drink for tonight and fuel which I had to back to the Mt Mittamatite Caravan Park for as the BP in town now closes at 1pm…WTHA!!!

Time for an afternoon nap before socialising.

most of the 2019 Crew

Eve, Karl and I take the dogs for a walk, well I ended up on a tangent talking to some other people who were camped at the closed pub and eventually ended up going for a walk on my own. That’s OK, I still enjoyed the walk and the view from the bridge. The new sculptures commissioned by the council popping up around the various small towns in the area are great. Tintaldra’s Murray Cod spins in the breeze and has glass green eyes when the suns hits them.

Tintaldra Bridge looking west
looking east

And as the sun goes down on a sleepy little town…..

Back in time for a wonderful dinner and catching up with and reminiscing about the 10 years of adventures that we have all shared converging on this town.

The time goes too quick or maybe just maybe we are all getting just a little bit older and before 10pm the dining area under the wonderful weeping willow is silent…..everyone in their own world of slumberness.

Another great breaky and the realisation that we all have to say “see ya later” for another year.

Sunday breaky

It’s a fabulous morning again….when aren’t they but it’s time to go. Karl & I head out through Tooma but take a turn that has up at Holbrook where we slab it up the Doom Highway. Gundagai for fuel and then Gunning for lunch. The skies aren’t looking fabulous and I’m hoping the weather holds off.

We reach Goulburn and it starts raining and poured on us the entire way home. Quick stop for fuel at Pheasants Nest before the unpleasant fight to get through the Sunday afternoon traffic heading into and in Sydney.

Finally in the dry of the garage and a warm shower.

BIG Thank you to Clearwater Caravan Park hosts Rick & Ailsa who are part of our extended family and looked after us again this year as they have for the past 10.

Tintaldra Pilgrimage for 2019 done and dusted for another year.
I might add…..some of our usual suspects were unable to attend this year which is a shame…the 2019 Crew pic just isn’t the same without you!!!

Tintaldra Pilgrimage Crew 2019

FRE #54 Bermagui

WOW, the first FarRide I’ve organised and the nerves were a little high. Would the event work, would people turn up, how will I manage check-in? All good questions and as it turned out all ones I didn’t need to stress about. People turned up (on time) well most of them, the venue was better than I imagined and YES, I had help from our larger than life friend Hackle. But how did it start…..

Friday 12:32pm from the local Shell servo (a new guy on the counter now and just didn’t get the whole “what time does your machine say” importance and I’m off. Getting out of Sydney is always a testing experience so headed through the back roads of Dural and popped out Windsor Rd and high-tailed it for Richmond, Bells Line of Road and into Lithgow with some annoying traffic…oh well

Freeway to Bathurst and a coupla laps of the Might Mount Panorama to make up some kays.

Mount Panorama

Out through Manildra when I had to get fuel (91 unfortunately) and a quick snack / comfort stop as I wanted to nail as many lays while I still had good light and the wildlife decided to coma and play.

Manildra

Through Parkes and Forbes then travelled a road I don’t think I’ve done before…The Henry Lawson Way. Very picturesque, calming in fact but not calming enough to left my guard down for those damn hopping rats. Grenfell a nice little town came and went, time marches on and the sun starts it’s slow descent.

Between Parkes & Forbes

Young to Cootmundra and the sunset is truly leaving me to the mysteries of the dark….but I’m still smiling (inside my helmet…LOL)

Not far down the road though, my heart was in awe of the sight before my eyes…..

Sunset on a never ending road

Cootamundra for fuel and it’s well and truly dark proper now. I check the new Tuturo oiler we installed on Dudley and it seems to be using (flinging) a lot more oil than I would’ve thought. Oil on the tread isn’t good so I do my best to remove what I can and make a note to keep an eye on it and rectify further once I get to Tumut. Needless to say the trip down Muttama Rd (one I haven’t travelled before was tense). Too afraid to lay Dudley over and nowhere to pull up. Just before I reach the Hume highway though there’s this pub on the right with good lighting so I pull up stumps there and access the situation. More oil in the oiler and dial the thing down, wipe off the tyre and head for the Hume Highway.

Turn off at South Gundagai – Gocup Rd and on the final leg now to Tumut. That last bit seems to take forever, but I realised that at the last stop my vertigo had kicked in somewhere along the ride in the dark….not ideal, I just need to take it easy. Roadworks on Gocup Rd and “gravel” in the dark not my idea of fun. Followed the cages in front at a nice easy pace under the speed limit and eventually we all arrived in Tumut.

Tumut Golden Arches for dinner, a quick call to Karl for some technical advice and then off to the Amaroo motel to hit the hay for a bit.

Saturday morning the alarm is yelling at me….get out of bed you lazy cow, but mmy head hurts and no drugs on board to assist. Over to the servo and address the oily tyre situation is the priority today and then head off. Bit chilly, fresh I’d say but maybe I shudda put me cardi on.

Ah, The Snow Mountains Highway should be on every ones list of roads to ride or drive, I just wish I could see it. The fog is so thick it’s like a fluffy doona wafting down to embrace Dudley and I. A short stop at Blowering Dam and I think I’d like to come back here and camp….looks lovely and not too far from town.

Blowering Dam

My head isn’t playing fair this morning and the world is moving in it’s own dimension so I just have to take it easy. It’s hard to believe that when you can see views like that, that others things can occupy your mind but it is “vertigo” and at Perry’s Lookout not too far down the road I have to stop again. I know, I hear you all….you should’ve stopped, rung in sick, something but this isn’t new to me. I’ve dealing with this for over 10 years now and know when enough is enough. Anyways, Perry Lookout provided a lovely vista for me.

Perry Lookout

Not far to Kiandra and the fog is just getting thicker. Parts of it was like some one got a bread knife and carved a perfect rectangular block out for Dudley and I to venture through before closing the end of the loaf for us to slowly weave our way through. But the fog isn’t the only thing happening this morning, the Brumbies are out. Lots of them if the poo on the road is any indication. So it’s eyes wide and hearing alert for these majestic creatures.

At the Mt Selwyn turn off though I had to stop again cos I’m freezing – yep shudda put the cardi on earlier. It doesn’t matter I allowed plenty of fat in my plan this morning just in case. When you actually look at where you are, it was mind blowing. The sign was rising behind the cloud cover and fog….absolutely breath taking.

Mt Selwyn turn off

To my amazement though just up the road the Brumby poo was real fresh, steaming fresh so I look around slowly and

Mum, Dad & Colt just off the verge heading into the mountain

Sweeping into Adaminaby and the cloud is starting to lift and by the time I get to Cooma, the morning has been born. Breakfast at the 123 Coffee House (somewhere new to me), fuel for Dudley and lets get cracking.

Feeling a lot better since breakfast and the oiler seems to be better tuned in now so we sit at a nice pace on the eastern side of the Snowys Highway. Compared to yesterday the fields on this side are green and lush and fresh smelling.

Down Brown Mountain but not before another stop at Pipers Lookout

Opposite Pipers Lookout the sign to fun…..

And a bit of fun we had….not too much but just enough to lift my spirits. Get to the end and turn left and head to Cobargo. Now somewhere along here I see another rider (in my rear view) not sure who but figure they must be going where I am….and they were! I sat at a slightly spirited pace and was feeling much more comfortable now that the day proper had emerged into something glorious.

TAH DAH Bermagui!!! and to my amazement nearly everyone was already there 🙂 Being the ride coordinator for this one left my socialising time out the window and my official hat popped on pretty quickly. Had enough time though to find the chemist and get something to get my head sorted.

What a whirlwind checkin was. Everyone is so lovely, wanting to say hello, eager to get their names checked off, enjoy a little piece of Kimmie time…thanks everyone you made me feel special.

Thank goodness, I had Hackle and Clint there by my side to assist me and then the group photo was taken (well several) and everything was done. 6 new members and one of those is a whole 9 years Young – congrats Jett (hopefully grandad will let you steal *cough* borrow one of his bikes when you are old enough and you can lead him on a ride).

The venue was fabulous!!! Bermagui Beach Hotel opposite the park and perched up on the high side of town overlooking the ocean. Those of us who stayed overnight gathered for a little social function back here for dinner and lies *cough* story telling before retiring to our respective abodes for a goods nights sleep.

Sunset at Bermagui

Sunday morning and it’s time to head home to my Sweety. Dudley and I are tired, the hand is sore and the head is in check (well better than it was) and we wave good bye to Bermagui but hopefully we’ll be back again next year 🙂

Easy run up the coast and enough fuel to get me a fair way up the road. Nothing except Macca’s is open on the way up and I wanted to stop at a cafe for breakfast. After 9 I decide to stop at Burrill Lake just south of Ulladulla at a little cafe that you can’t see from the street…it’s round the corner and delightful.

Lakeside Cafe adjoins a retirement village and has a lovely set up and the service and coffee are good. Met a couple fellas and their wives and they both have Tracers too!! Swapped stories but I needed to get home and didn’t want to get too stuck in the 38 degrees that was predicted for the day.

Lakeside Cafe – Burrill Lake

From there it’s home on the tank, so no need to stop unless I absolutely need to. Traffic from Nowra through to Gerringong was a nightmare and I should’ve turned off and gone through Kangaroo Valley, never mind. Up Mount Oulsey and as soon as I got to the Sutherland Shire, the traffic was horrendous all the way home. I was melting and Dudley was getting hot sitting idle in the traffic.

Eventually we made it home, hot, a sore bum and tired in general. Thankfully My Sweety had the air con on….he IS the man!!!!

All up 1418km for the weekend.

Here’s the maps. the long way round to get to somewhere 🙂

Home to Tumut
Tumut to Bermagui

FRE #53 – Eden

So not qualifying for this ride either since the hand is still up the buggary but doesn’t mean that I still can’t attend. Dr gave me the go ahead to start riding but not cranking out big distances…which we agreed to disagree upon….LOL but settled for time in the saddle.

Set off nice an early on Friday since I didn’t require a start docket and headed down through Macquarie Pass, Robertson and Kangaroo Valley beore stopping for breakfast/morning tea at one of my favourite spots Mount Cambewarra Lookout Tea Rooms https://www.facebook.com/thelookoutcambewarra/ . Naturally I had to have the homemade scones with fresh cream and jam with a side of coffee.

A Queens breakfast

The locals here are pretty friendly and like a feed too.

And what a view! It was just a tad chilly this morning but the heated gear does the trick…..some of the best money I’ve spent.

Lookout View

It’s a dilly dally day and so different to riding without having to watch the clock, check the plan and check again. Alas, I must leave this little gem and head of down the mountain to battle the traffic through Nowra.

The weather gods haven’t been particularly nice to me and it’s raining, a steady dousing and I’ve discovered for certain now that my boots are definitley “no longer” waterproof……argh!!!! The run down the coast road is pretty uneventful (thank goodness). There’s not a lot of traffice so I just set the cruise control and dawdle on down the road.

Milton, Ulladulla, Termeil all very family towns before rolling through Batemans Bay, Mogo (I really have to go to the zoo one day), Moruya before arriving in Narooma, my destination for the day staying at The Top of the Town Motel and ~400km for the day and the hand and old body are a tad out of ride condition 🙄. Plus though, the sun came beeming out with some fabulous heat just as I got to town…cooked me with my thermals and heated suit on.

Found a lady in Narooma that fit me in for a 40min massage to ease the knotted up shoulder and neck..thanks Kay. Feeling much better. Now on a little walk of the town well the top half…I’ll never make it up the hill if I go down the bottom 🤣🤣.

The views are lovely and the sun is fabbo. Chillin out on the bench seat near the history plaque of Ted & Daisy Street as in Streets Paddle Pop.

Narooma Estrey
Narooma Beach
Dedication to Ted & Daisy Street

It was a little late for lunch so a packed of potato chippies did the trick. Dinner was at the pub across the road (the locals pub) which was ok but think I should’ve walked down the road a bit to the other pub. I was lucky the rain held off to walk back.

The night was spent drying out my boots ready for the next days ride to Eden.

Well, it rained all night, bucketed down so it was a wet departure and poured all the way to Tathra. Had to stop for breakfast and get off the wet slippery roads as the strain on the hand was already getting to me. Took refuge in an aptly named cafe HoWeRoll Cafe.

HoWeRoll Cafe Tathra

Back out in the rain and travelling the Sapphire Coast Road. What a shiteful road, is in terribly disrepair with potholes, crevasses and washout all over the place. Was not one of my better decisions especially since it was raining…have I mentioned that.

Made it to Eden and stopped at the Coles there to get some waterproofing (plastic garbage bags) for my boots and some dry socks to ride back with. Arrived at the Wharf Cafe to meet the rest of my crazy friends who come out in rain, hail and shine.

Reader57 & I

Those who braved the elements……

With check-in completed (as I was on desk duties), it was time for the group photo.

Before everyone dispersed, Team FarRider announced that one of my icons in the family was stepping down from the FarTeam and advised that I would be taking up the reigns. This is quite a privilege for me and I was very honoured to accept the role….although I have very BIG boots to fill. Thanks Fatman & LTP for all the dedicated years to the Team and hope I can do half as good a job.

With the formalities completed, everyone headed off as we do and I headed up the highway this time to get back to Narooma….still raining.

Arrive back in Naroom after 3pm for a late lunch at the Ice-Creamery just before it closed for the day…..still pouring. Swear I am going to break this drought…just need to travel the effected areas 🙂.

With Dudley safely tucked up in his undercover parking, it’s upstairs to dry out the boots and socks again…..argh!!!!

Dinner tonight was in the onsite Italian Restaurant, but don’t bother eating there if you are in town. Dirty dish water would’ve tasted better and looked a lot nicer.

Heading home today and guess what……..it’s another damp day. Slumming it this morning at Maccas. Hoping to miss the storm front heading south….well that’s the plan.

And I am home. In the drive at 11:55am (yes, I was up early). Unpacked, load of washing done & had lunch. Now ready for a nap.

Not much rain from Ulladulla, seems the plan to miss the storm front worked.

It’s soooooo good to be back on 2 wheels, might take a lttle bit longer before I can do a big one but that’s ok.

Dougall Far-Car-ing to FRE #52 Wandoan

Bwahahaha…….not really, I should’ve been riding. A bit of a set back with the hand injury means it’s still a coupla weeks before I’m hoping to be back on Dudley again….fingers crossed. Since I had booked the time off work and it was a long weekend, thought I may as well make the most of it still and go in Dougal – the FarCar!! Camping booked in Goondiwindi and since I was in the car, it made sense to take Felicity’s camping gear with me. Off we go Friday morning road tripping.

Ready to leave home

Up the freeway to the Hunter Expressway then out through Denman for a morning coffee…it’s a beautiful day to be out. Then out through Merriwa, got stopped by a police escort wide load before cruising through the quaint little town of Coolah. Must go back there and check out the 2 coffee shops. Looking at the fuel gauge and I should make it to Mullaley as originally planned. Stop at The Black Stump for a pic and you know what I think you could actually camp there if you have all your water etc…..hmmmm bank that for another time.

By the Black Stump

Just north of here there, the road crew is laying a new road surface…wet tar everywhere. Sat there for 10-15 minutes waiting….with the engine off as the range indicator and the GPS distance to Mullaley had me running 2 km’s short…oops. As I pull into the roadhouse the fuel range turns to ZERO and the GPS announces that “you have reached your waypoint”….LOL 😜

Oops
Phew made it!

North of here I was ever vigilant for wildlife. Gunnedah came and went, travelling along the Kamilaroi Highway watching the scenery charge from barren fields on one side to green on the other. Head into Narrabri rocking along to my country music, then pass the little town of Edgeroi which has been closed down. At one point looks like they had fuel not no more. The weather gods certainly have turned it on for today…the sun is set high and emanating a lovely 30 degrees with a light breeze….yes I did wind down the windows of the car to take a deep breath of country air. Thought of Ed535 as I passed by the Moree Airport and kept on going.

It’s mid-afternoon, bewitching time for wildlife, so it’s with caution and eyes wide that I travelling this section. There’s a lovely new Shell on the way into Boggabilla and the old Wobbly Boot Hotel is still there…although I don’t think it is open anymore as all the windows seemed to be boarded up. Still I had to stop for a pic.

The Wobbly Boot

Almost to Goondiwindi now and looking forward to setting up and having a feed, not before stopping for wine and cheese. Arrive at Goondiwindi Holiday Park ~5pm, 3 hours earlier than I had advised Malcolm. He was surprised and disappointed that I wasn’t on the bike (as I had originally said when I made the booking). Gave me the key and pointed me in the right direction for our campsite. Nestled into the back of the park close enough to a camp kitchen and one of the amenities blocks. Set up camp Kimmie and when I emerged from the tent after making my bed, darkness had completely fallen. I thought about setting up Felicity’s tent but not having done it before thought it probably best just to assist her when she arrives.

Off to the Royal Hotel for a good feed of Snitty, chips & salad and a Pale Ale, Felicity arrives just as I’m finishing my dinner. We head to the van park and proceed to set up camp Felicity in the dark with the assistance of Dougalls headlights.

Saturday, ride day….well drive day for me. Although heading to the same destination we ride/drive our own plan and departed from the van park nice and early. Being in the car felt strange but gave me the privilege of time to stop and take more piccies……gotta be happy about that . Seeing as we’d missed breakfast, stopped at Moonie to grab a coffee and a tasty muffin for breaky which I ended up eating on the road anyway.

Camp Girl Power…he he he
Moonie Croosroads

The grain fields are a plenty out here but not all are loaded with crop as this one….mind you there were quite a few bare patches. Thought I’d try an arty farty photo of the wheat? up close and all personal like, plus one of me (cos I can). Yes it was a bad hair day.

Wheat fields
hmm, must do something with my hair

Made an impromptu stop in Miles cos I saw some bikes in the servo carpark near the bridge. Couldn’t help myself had to go find out who it was and Walshy, Danzzr, Giggles and there was someone else, but I can’t think who it was….sorry please forgive me. Anyhoos, time to keep moving. Why does the road seem so much more boring in the car than when I ride? A long straight road normally wouldn’t bother me on the bike but in the car it was a whole different experience.

Saw a sign to a lagoon and though I’d take a look, you never know when you mind need a camp site or an off the road rest area and this spot seems to be ok. Caliguel Lagoon, right on the river, nice road to get there, even has a toilet (bonus) and peaceful…well it was this morning.

Caliguel Lagoon

Still with a timeline to meet as you don’t want to be late…even if you are in the car, I push on to Wandoan. It’s a tiny town that at first I thought consisted of just the service road but there is a but more…not much but more. There is a supermarket, the pub of course where we had lunch, laundromat and a few others including a community hall/information centre. Arrived at the Wandoan Pub and a few riders had already pulled up including Felicity under the shade of the few trees available. Thought I’d assist and conduct check-in for Ghosty & Clint (since I couldn’t qualify anyway) before taking the group photo and a few others.

FRE # 52 Completed

With check-in complete those staying for lunch headed inside while we waved those not staying fare-the-well. Lunch, well what can I say……I won’t be recommending this place to anyone. The sour puss faces on the woman serving should’ve said it all….. I think had felicity and I ordered what the burger like all the guys, we’d have received our meal quicker but still slow. However some hour later our meals arrived and really weren’t worth the wait. Had I known when I ordered the quiche that they had to make it from scratch, I’d have ordered something else…rant over.

Farewelled the rest of the crew and we headed back to Goondiwindi for another night at Camp Girl Power. Ice-cream at Condamine and finally stopped for a pic of the Condamine Bell. On the way back one of the cattle farmers were grazing the cattle on the main roadside…..mustering on horseback which in itself was a lovely sight to see and not one I see often.

Back at camp while waiting for Felicity, I cooled off in the thermal pool and spa….ahhhhhh, so refreshing, the only missing was the glass of wine and platter of cheese and bickies.

Thermal Spa
Refreshing

After Felicity arrived and we had a nice relaxing dip in the spa we ventured back to camp for our dinner of champions……..wine with cheese, bickies and dip – naturally 😊

She’ll kill me for this….

Another good night’s sleep in the Tahjma-Kimmie but it’s time to pack up, say good-bye for now and be on the road headed home. Good morning Goondiwindi!

Good Morning!

However, I couldn’t stop without getting a pic of Gunsynd – The Goondiwindi Grey before I leave. Check out more here Gunsynd Race Horse – The Goondiwindi Grey

With nothing open in town, it’s off to Moree for breaky. Drive around town and nothing, narda, zippo was open, so had to resort to stopping at the 7th Street Café located at the Puma Service Centre near the airport.

The 7th Street Cafe Moree

The advantage in the car is the air conditioning as the days temperature slowly crept up. A not so quick stop in Gunnedah which was nice to see in daylight and with time to look. Who knew they had tributes to the miners around town and clean facilities. Grabbed some lunch at Maccas and it’s off again.

Gunnedah Miner

The road home from Gunnedah is well travelled by me and one that never really changes. Quirindi, Murrurundi (where I thought I’d get a nice pie but nope), Muswellbrook and the slab back down the all too familiar M1 Freeway to home. In the door about 5pm and enough time to unpack and have dinner with Sweety.

I didn’t count the clock or keep a score of the trip. It was time out of the office to enjoy tripping on the road to see other like-minded (some would call us crazies) motorcyclists.

Once again would I do it all again – naturally the answer is ABSOLUTELY!!

FRE #50 Leeton Soldiers Club

As winter approaches so does the daunting thought of early mornings, chilly mornings, mornings so cloaked by fog the mere thought has images of ancient medieval times where cloaked men themselves would lurk in the shadows of the verges waiting to emerge and stop your carriage…well your motorcycle. Alas those cloaked men are in fact the Australian wildlife, waiting, watching….

Originally was going to travel on Friday as I usually do, but a change of plan and I decided to do the enter ride on Saturday – a turn around. KISS principle sounds easy enough….right.

4:06am says the docket from the local Caltex – ODO 64,204 and rugged up like an Eskimo expecting -3 deg this morning…including the heated gear.

Caltex North Ryde

Down the M2, M7 and noticed my SPOT has flashing “red” lights…oh no the batteries have died. Pheasants Nest I stop instead of doing a ride through to change them and settle my “riders belly”. In the meantime Frans arrives and we ride off into the mornings darkness together. Pea soup is the only way to describe the foggy morn. Pretty uneventful down the Hume. Frans pulls up and says “you stooping in Yass”, me “yes and a sleep”, Frans Ok – you lead. Not far out of Yass we come across another “crazy” Ed out at this hour, Frans moves on and e and I turn off for scheduled stops at the Yass service centre.

So much for my sleep, fuel yak, yak, yak and Vlad & Sidi1200 arrive, while Blacknsilver and his brother are just departing….waves all round and see ya there. Instead of sleep it’s coffee for us all and more yak, yak and then the four of us convoy out of the service centre heading south. The fog isn’t any better as we head towards Harden and I should’ve had that sleep. Wallendbeen, Stickinbingal and Temora and it’s finally turning into a lovely day to be out riding.

Our humble steeds at Yass

We are still convoying but I run up alongside Vlad and indicate that I need to sleep and pull into the Beckom rest area. The boys followed me in as they weren’t sure of my message…looking after one another – awesome! Let them know that I have to sleep and I’ll be alright and I’ll see them at check-in in Leeton…and they ride off into a lovely morning. Me, well I lay down on the bench seat in my gear (helmet removed) and shut the old eyeballs. I woke up when my arm hit the ground some 15 minutes or so later. All up my little stop cost me 30 minutes plus the 30 minute unscheduled long stop at Yass and “bang” my buffer to check-in is GONE.

 

Now, I’ve DNF’d on rallies but I have no intention of DNF’ing on a FarRide….not going to happen. Running the numbers in my head and looking at the GPS and it’s telling me I’m gonna be late….WHAT!!! Panic and self-doubt now kick in and I try to remember what google maps looked like……..I’m sure I didn’t have to go through Narrandera but not knowing the area thought follow the GPS you haven’t got time to be taking detours Kimmie. So off following the signs to Narrandera down the Newell Highway it was. Dudley was enjoying this new found “spirit” that coursed through his system and he “growled with passion” and excitement to ensure we made it on time.

I’ve never actually been through Narrandera before, it’s actually a nice little town (bigger than I thought it was) as I usually stop at Gillenbah Roadhouse. Alas, there is not time to sight see today…..tally-ho!! Watching the time tick by on the GPS and it’s going to be close……time is measured by the host, so my time and their time “may” not be the same. Through Yanco and now country suburbia traffic….snails pace…not a care in the world…..driving Miss Daisy….. I’m on the clock people what part of that don’t you get as they sit 20 kph under the posted limit….argh!!!

Finally reach Leeton, now to find the club. It’s on a corner, there’s no entrance, drive around the corner, can’t see any bikes……”oh no!!! I’ve got the wrong place” goes through my head. Then out of the corner of my eye I spot a “loud shirt” EUREKA! found them…sneaky buggers. Round the block looking for the entrance and think I only have “not long” and Dudley gallops me down the carpark where we come to an abrupt stop at the gate. Off in a flash, wallet in hand, helmet still on and land on the check-in table – MADE-IT!! Reader57 & Fatman say, “Kimmie you had plenty of time what’s the rush, 6 minutes to spare”……ha ha ha. Park Dudley up next to one of FarRiders Royalty and off to socialise and have lunch.

How good is it to see everyone? Excellent especially when there is a special surprise appearance by Ricecooker and she is riding!!! What a lovely surprise it has been too long…….. I met a young couple, I forget his name (sorry) but he was riding a white Tenere and his wife Jody was pregnant and happy to have travelled in the car, anyway they were looking at the plan in the tankbag and the SPOT device interested in what it was ant the purpose of the plan. I was more than happy to impart my little bit of wisdom and hopefully we’ll see them again on another ride.

Time goes by too quickly and I’m only half way through my ride, but it’s time to go. My wrist is aching but otherwise I’m feeling ok but want to get home. Figured I’ll take the easy option and just back track and take my time…I have plenty of it to get home. Philmor offers a hand to tighten the screen mounts as they seem to have some loose and the screen has dropped covering part of the instrument panel….Thanks Phil.  Fatman suggests I take a little detour and have a look in Ardlethan – Home of the Kelpie, so I did. Now thought I’d get a coffee, but nup, the town is shut up tight with the exception of some guys packing up an art exhibition. So I stop and get a pic of the “Kelpie” did see any live ones running around…..but this one looks like he’s got his sights set on Dudley.

We skedaddled out there and saw Vlad pass by on Burley Griffin Way (he was having a nap in a truck bay a little ways back) anyway though I’d catch him but too much traffic. The Temora turn off approaches and I notice he’s heading for West Wyalong, I thought about it, but thought nah do “your” thing Kimmie so we turned off and in my mind wished Vlad a safe trip home. The road really can be an isolated place at times, no cars to share with and the sun slowly setting in the afternoon. Stockinbingal has roadworks, we came through them and now I’m back through them again, but the water truck has just gone through..nooo!! The surface is now really slippery and throwing up all sorts of yukky stuff and lime dust that is going to stick to Dudley like the preverbal stuff to a blanket.

I stop in Harden as I noticed Dudleys screen has dropped again and I need to give the wrist a break. Unable to right the screen I just tighten the bolt that has come loose and get back on my way. Next stop Yass for fuel and a feed and check-in with Karl. It’s dark now but I end up chatting to this old couple who are amazed that I’ve just done a turnaround for lunch and will be back home tonight. We wish each other safe travels and are on our respective ways.

Back on the Hume Highway and it’s an easy ride home…..set the cruise control and sit back, give the wrist a rest. All the way from Yass to Campbelltown this fool in a Honda Civic with one tail light and one head light on low and the other on high played games with not only me but other drivers. At first I thought they were napping at the wheel, then realised this person is just a tool. They hogged the right lane, blocked entry for overtaking and was just generally a PITA. When I did manage to get in front of them they would sit on my tail with the high beam on…..really, but they did it to everyone who got in front of them…tool. I was glad after just over 200 kays they turned off.

Arrived home at bang on 8:30pm and was glad to be there. A total of 1227kms for the day and a little bit sore…thankfully tomorrows Sunday and I can have the day off…with the exception of washing Dudley.

Thanks Team FarRider for organising another great event.

See ya on the next one!!

 

FRE #49 Nindigully Pub & Beyond

Ya know when your work happiness just doesn’t meet your own expectation anymore and you need to get away, well this is certainly the medicine for it.

Nindigully the Pub in the middle of the proverbial nowhere what a fabulous destination!!!! and somewhere I haven’t been before.

Friday start from North Richmond BP after a nice lunch in Hanna Park under the trees waiting for 12noon to tick over before heading up Bells Line of Road to Lithgow heading for Bathurst. BUT…..me being the woman “of little detours” took the Mudgee turn off just outta habit…oops uey and back on track. LOL!!!

Quite lunch in the park

Uneventful really, tootling along with the sunshine and the breeze which helped keep the heat acceptable. Into Bathurst with 50,000 others some Expo thing on….argh, through Molong  and down the long stretch towards Wellington but not before grabbing of pic. Fuel and off again no mucking around, the traffic and roadworks to get here have been crap but then you get that.

Dubbo, Gilgandra and a pic of the big golf ball.

Gilgandra- the Big Golf Ball

An unscheduled stop in Tooraweenah to borrow the facilities and of course take the opportunity of another beautiful country pic.

Heading into Coonabarabran I’m now loosing the light of day and Dudleys spotties are again getting a workout before coasting through Mullaley and into Gunnedah just after 7:30pm.

Grabbed fuel and thought I’d get some KFC for dinner but it seems the town has been overrun by kids for some sporting event and the little buggers were all lined up at the counter unable to make any decision about what each of them wanted. I waited 10 minutes then walked out. Down to Maccas, not quite as infested with kids and only waited 2 minutes before being served. On the way out two gents approached me & Dudley….turns out they are FarRiders and one of them was going to Nindigully…what are the chances!!! LOL.

Red Chief Motel is my stop for tonight. Unpacked, checked in with Karl and then hit the hay….gotta big day tomorrow. Basic motel but has all you need for a place to rest your head. Bed was comfy and the proprietor is lovely and very accommodating to special arrangements and motorcycles.

Saturday, event day and a big day in the saddle. On the road just shy of 5:30am and it’d rained (poured) overnight, oh well that happens and they certainly need it. The sky doesn’t look to promising either at this hour

Just out of Gunnedah

Into Narrabri and the weather still isn’t looking too promising.

Oh look…….OX, I didn’t know you had you’re own oval….LOL

Thankfully so far I haven’t had any wildlife encounters but am forever on the look out as the rain brings them out to the verges. Continue onto Moree  for another unscheduled stop after getting pissed on from great heights. Raisin toast & coffee at the new Airport Puma servo with built in 7th Street Cafe. Very clean amenities…looks like I was the first to use them.

While having breaky Johnny Whitehead pulls in and then while we are inside a few more FarRiders heading to the same destination pull in also.

 

A local gives me the heads up that the rain is now in front of us heading north east so we should be good for the rest of the journey.  Between Moree & Mungindi Johnny & I encounter a few roos and a turtle.Scheduled stop at Mungindi and our friends from Moree have caught up with us.

Finally we reach Nindigully

We are a little early but that’s ok gives you time to do the social thing and take some pics before check-in.

Did you know that Hugh Jackmans’ film – Paperback Hero was filmed here…….I didn’t!

FarRide 49 done & dusted. Awesome place in the middle of nowhere

Time goes all too quickly and it’s time to get going again. My plan is lunch in Goondiwindi before pushing on to Tenterfield for the next 2 nights. Johnny and I leave at the same time so are happy to have each others company for the next however many kays until he turns off for his destination.

It’s a lovely day to be out riding and this is new country to me…I love it!!

The poor farmers and graziers though are struggling with the dryness and are resorting to sending there cattle  out onto the road verges to get a feed.

Cattle grazing on the roadside

Into Goondiwindi for lunch and fuel and what a surprise bump into a few FarRiders heading home – Clint & Drain. Inside there are more and I join them for a quick bite, check in with the Tenerfield Lodge Caravan Park to let them know I will probably be in after they close so make the necessary arrangements before heading out to complete my journey for the day.

Countryside out here is magnificent!!! Wide flat plains with the back drop of glorious mountain ranges. I decided to take what I thought was a “B” road and stay on the NSW of the border. Well I can tell you it ain’t no “B” road….looks totally different to what the map says. I weaved and wove my way through a road that was barely a cars width wide and with the ever changing skyline that indicated that I was going to wet “again” today.

Just a tip, the road signs are very big in the back country and I was a little uncertain a couple of times about making the turn off. Signs say “to Bruxner Highway” so you turn and find you are going through someones property – well that’s what it seemed like. Having the road to  myself, I did open up a bit to try and make up some time so that I would hopefully make it to Tenterfield before 5pm.

Into Texas for a pic and to let the caravan park how far away I am…..should make it they say but we stick with the plan just in case.

Across this little causeway is the border……

FINALLY, me, Dudley and the Honeymooners (that would be Smurfette and Bobby) reach the Bruxner Highway (very loose turn at this end, I tell ya).

YAY!!! Just a little sigh of relief…LOL

According to the GPS, if we keep a good pace we will make it into Tenterfield in time. The weather gods are threatening again and I’m just hoping they hold off. You can tell the storm has been though as all the roads are wet and the roos are starting to come out……saw six but now that caused any potential harm.

We made it to Tenterfield in plenty of time…phew

Welcome to Tenterfield

All the trees are finally coming into their Autumn colouring

After ~820kms for today I pull into the caravan park at 4:50pm – phew! Pick up my power cord and get directions to my campsite and just as I get back on Dudley…yep…you guesssed it, the heavens opened up…ARGH!! So, had to set the tent up in the rain and the ground was so bloody hard it took forever to get the pegs in. Pics tomorrow of the camp Kimmie….2 fing dark. Dinner & a coldy at the club now….I got a taxi  🙂

What a wild & woolly night that was. Had a shower got into bed & the heavens opened up..phew! The thunder & lightning show that went on for the hour that I was awake was a tad scary. Had to put my neck sock over my eyes to keep the brightness out.. was like kids shining a torch in the tent.

Camp Kimmie survived though and dry!

Today I am playing tourist but not before breaky at this quaint little cafe in the old courthouse. Lovely setting & the breaky & coffee was good.

Now to walk it off and see some of what Tenterfield has to offer. Quick trip to the information centre and armed with my trusty map and book…off I go.

First stop Stannum House – A-MAZ-ZING!!! I have to bring Karl back here and we HAVE TO stay here!!

At the top of this rickety old staircase is the “tower” and outside you can see for miles……..

More to see now……so many old buildings, some closed some re-purposed. The locals are all very friendly and happy to spend time to tell you about “their” town.

Tenterfield Post Office

The old Tenterfield Bank which has been re-purposed and you can book afternoon high teas here.

Now, you can’t come to Tenterfield without paying a visit to the Tenterfield Saddlery – made famous by Peter Allans song about his grandfather. What a moving place!!! You step in the door and back in time and a feeling that touches your heart in a way I cannot describe. The establishment is owned by a gentleman in QLD but run by volunteers and up kept with donations from folk like me…tourists. I was reading an article about George Woolnough on the wall and didn’t realise that it had actually moved me to tears.

Visited a couple of other museums and made a small donation.

Now out to visit Bushranger Captain Thunderbolts Hideout….one of many I’d imagine. The ride out is lovely and only a sign on the roadside makes the spot and you have to walk through the bush to get there…..it’s a well worn path now though.

views from the cave

Mother nature really is putting on a show for me!!

Back to camp for lunch and a chill out. It’s pretty windy today and I end up having to move inside the camp kitchen. After a bit I decide I should start to pack Dudley up in preparation for heading home tomorrow. Go to lock a pannier and discover “I don’t have the key”!!! Back tracking everywhere I’ve been in the park and checking pockets and bins then PANIC sets in as I can’t find them. The Grey Nomad Brigade ask “what’s wrong love”, I explain and they all start searching the grounds as the windy could’ve blown them anywhere! God love ’em 🙂 I also let the park owner know in case someone hands them in.

About 30 minutes later I found them. Where? … I’d put them in my computer bag….LOL didn’t even remember doing it. I thanked everyone for their help and get about the task at hand.

Back to the club for dinner and the cab driver from last night and some mates greet me as I walk in. Needless to say I spend some time swapping stories with these guys…..one of them who used to live on our street…way back when.

Monday morning and another good nights sleep but it’s time to head home to Karl and Ella-Jane. Packing up and the sun comes up to greet me.It didn’t seem that cold when I got up, but as I started down the road a bit I discovered that I should’ve put on the extra layers and winter gloves….brrrr

Unscheduled stop in Bolivia…..for those extra layers

Bolivia

In no hurry today, so take the opportunity to take some more pics….besides it a beautiful day to be out riding.

Through Glen Innes, Guyra, Armidale and into Uralla for the pic of Captain Thunderbolt

Now, it seems I should’ve listened to the GPS and gone into town to head down Thunderbolts Way. Instead I was obviously in auto-pilot and continued on the New England Highway….doh! Down a bit there is a sign on the road saying Kentucky Cafe Open turn left….sounds good to me. What a lovely little detour through some scenic countryside. At one point I did think to myself, “oh Kimmie what have you done” but then I was in Kentucky! Got a pic as proof and proceeded inside to be advised that the power company had an outage and he had no fuel and NO COFFEE!!! Tragedy. But what a lovely bloke. Will have to go back and have a coffee there….just because.

Kentucky

Who knew I’d travel the world this trip…..Texas, Bolivia & now Kentucky!!!

So back on me bike and off in search of Walcha…not quite sure where I was going to pop out at. Turns out Kentucky leads you to the Old Walcha Road and there is a little pub there just before you take a left onto The Oxley…that 20 odd km west of Walcha. Awesome run into Walcha not the direction I had planned..LOL but a wonderful way to get there.

I meet a bloke who has NEVER done the Oxley….motorcycling nirvana!!! An Oxley Virgin…didn’t think there were any around. Gave him the run down over our coffee’s before we parted ways.

It’s a pretty easy run down Thunderbolts Way – the road hasn’t improved but just being out on Dudley puts a smile on my face. I even get a little spirited down here!!! Through Gloucester (only stop here for fuel these days if I have to) and head on to Stroud for late lunch. The Crepe Myrtle Tea Rooms is “THE” place to be. It’s quirky, quaint, peaceful and have great food and coffee. Check in with Karl before heading out.From here it’s just a transit leg to get home. Fuel in Heatherbrae and then the slab down the freeway to home.

Well the adventure has come to an end. Home safe & sound, showered & mostly unpacked. The love of my life Karl is cooking a scrumptious dinner while I sit my butt on the couch with a lemonade😚

What a fabulous 4 days riding around the country. A tidy 2150kms for the total trip & Dudley ticked over 63,000 kms.

Thanks for reading…..see you again next adventure!

 

FRE #48 Dartmouth

The first “official” ride for the year…..kicking off in a lovely part of the country in the little town / hamlet of Dartmouth.

I asked Dad along for this one…nice weather in February and he hasn’t been out for a bit of adventure for a while . The planning of course had to take in the distance that dad is capable of doing..not always an easy task.

Google maps and a range of ~500km  max a day for dad had his plan landing him in Cooma on Thursday for the night. Friday he trundled around the Alpine area (which he hasn’t done for many many years) and propped at The Mountainview Motel in Corryong, where I would meet him that night.

For the first time in “a very long time” I planned the most boring ride for Friday. My local Shell knows me well for mid-day starts and with docket in hand off I head for the M2  and the ever so boring run down the highway of doom. I really didn’t put a lot of thought into this plan and while looking at the spreadsheet in my tank bag cruising on the freeway couldn’t figure out why I had plotted my route in that way……plan out the window – “Lets Wing It”!!

It’s really uneventful except for the volume of truck heading out of Sydney until Sutton’s Forrest – every one jostling for the vacant space…..reminded me of the old game Frogger…lol

Yass for fuel and I really have to slap myself yet again for stopping here. I say this every time and yet I’ve done it again…..argh!

Can’t help but notice the plethora of enticing signs waning on my sense of having some fun….turn off Kimmie, come and play on my twists and turns they are saying. Dudley is chomping at the bit, come on Kimmie ya know ya wanna……next time mate. *sad face* Next stop is Albury for dinner and fuel. Finding fuel turned out to be more of a challenge than I thought. Albury a big town and they hide the bloody fuel…WTA! Got fuel – phew and asked the lady where the local Macca’s was. Turns out there is a NEW Macca’s at East Albury and guess what…next door is a brand new BP *face palm*. Check in with Karl and Dad and get back on the road.

The Riverina Highway, what a lovely road and I was so glad to have something interesting to travel along for the rest of todays journey.  It’s amazing the change in ones spirit with a change of scenery 🙂  Down into Lake Hume and the bridge is closed so a u-ey and back out along the Wondonga road…..turns out this is the road I shudda been taking in the first place…he he. Come through Edben then turn left onto the Murray Valley Highway for the last stretch into Corryong.

I’ve ridden this road many many many times with zest in my wings and a gallop in Dudleys legs but alas as I watch the sun sink slower into the horizon, I remind myself of the wildlife that like to come out and play in this area. I see it all too often the following morning as motorists have an encounter of the furry kind. I don’t plan on being one of those thanks, so we settle back into a nice rhythm and take the curves and a gentler pace….absorbing the surroundings like tasting a fine wine.

Fuel at the Mount Mittamatite  Caravan Park before rolling into the motel where dad is waiting for me. We have a bit of a catch up on his travels down, how’s mum doing and the low down on the pub grub and town happenings….dad likes to have a chat to the locals……who’d figure….LOL.

Dad’s a bit excited and to be honest I am a bit myself to head off this morning for our little 300km stint. Love morning riding and the crisp smell and feel of country air. We travel past Tintaldra into Walwa before winding our way around the mountain on the Murray River Rd – dad hasn’t done this before.  Sitting on the limit cruising and outta no where a mob of Roos come bounding from the right – target Kimmie!!! Managed to miss them and watched in the mirror as dad also missed them…thankfully he was travelling far enough back to a bit more time to prepare.

Sunrise with Dad – Murray River Rd

The northern turn to Granya and dad has to change glasses – photo op.

This is a nice bit of road if you get the chance and before long we wind our way to the Bellbridge Bridge.

Back through Ebden for me and we turn right and head towards Yackandandah where we get fuel and have a lovely breakfast in the old shop on the left as you come into town.

Time to get our skates on and my plan has us weaving here and there with a couple of detours on unfamiliar roads….oops. Back onto Lockarts Gap Rd and it’s a lovely scenic run onto the Omeo Highway before turning on to Dartmouth Rd and leading a few other riders into Dartmouth Pub for FRE #48.

The usual catch up with friends and meet a couple of new ones before checkin opens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s wonderful how every single rider welcomes dad to our catch-ups even though he doesn’t hold a FR # and he “LOVES” it!! Riders are really the most wonderful  and welcoming people.

We have lunch, well we share and before long the group that was, was no more as the crowd dissipates into the haze of the start of a hot day. Thankfully we are only heading back to Corryong as dad is getting weary. Dad heads up the pub (as you do) and I head to the pool to cool down 🙂 . Although to dads disappointment the pub wasn’t open yet…oops so we have a chat and get ready to go back for an early dinner.

Sunday breakfast is at the Black Sheep in Corryong. It’s not a big day today as it’s starting to take its toll on dad so Goulburn is our goal for today.

Travelling the well worn Goats Ridge Rd to Cabramurra but not before stopping at Tumut Pond Dam – photo op.

Can you see the smile on dads face !!!! I Can!!! Gotta love this man – he IS a legend!!

Twisting and turning our way through and around the mountain and we come to Three Mile Dam and in the distance there are some Brumbies….not a sight you see very often. They are magnificent and I can’t not stop to get a pic.

And of course, a pic of Dad

Come on kid…..I can hear the words again as I type….he he he.

I had a bit of fun through here and had to slow a few times for dad as he doesn’t recall the last time he’s done this road and just takes it easy.

Up through Selwyn, then turn onto the Snowy Mountains Highway and we meander into Adaminaby for a brief stop.

Too early for lunch so we forge a plan to stop in Bungendore at the Gunna Doo cafe. The beauty of today is we don’t have to rush. The day is heating up and thankfully we have the most of it behind us before it gets too hot.

From here it’s  an easy run up through Tarago and into the Astor Hotel Motel for the rest of the day and a cold beer for us both. The stretch here wasn’t terribly exciting, but the distance was starting to show on dad…just little hints he gave out.

We check in at home, kick back to watch some telly then , it’s an early night for the both of us and the final stretch home tomorrow.

Breakfast across the road at Tatts Cafe – highly recommend if you are in Goulburn. It’s a pretty ordinary run up the highway this morning but the air has a bit of heat in it, so I am glad we are out early to beat the traffic and the heat. We stop at Pheasants Nest for a short stop and bus loads of kids are everywhere!!! Dad and I say our good byes as we won;t be stopping before he turns off at Pennant Hills Rd.

Pheasants nest final stop

Heaps of traffic on the M7 which was a bit unexpected considering the time but we eventually clear that and motor on down the M2 and wave hoo-roo at Pennant Hills Rd as planned.

I’m into the driveway at lunch time and Dad pulls at his home a bit later.

A fabulous weekend riding, catching up and spending quality time with my Dad!!

Thanks for reading.

 

Time to Re-charge

No you don’t just plug yourself into a power outlet. What you do is back up the bike with your camping gear and high tail it outta town….would’ve been nicer if My Sweety could’ve come with me but you can’t have everything all the time.

Out at 6:30 to beat the traffic wanting to escape just like me. Pretty uneventful and thought I’d stop at our favourite café if Bungendore, only to find the entire town closed!! Oh well, on yer bike! Next stop was Hume for fuel and servo coffee and a snack for me.

Down the Monaro and through Cooma, just putting along on the limit (with the cruise control set). Then turn onto my favourite 44km of road – the Snowy Mountains Highway but today, I was a good girl as there were some local law enforcers out and about and let’s face it…..it’s not worth spoiling a holiday with an present you don’t want. Lunch and fuel in Adaminaby. Now, I had the foresight to actually phone ahead to make sure fuel was available but didn’t think about food….lol. So a tin of flavoured tuna from the BP while sitting in the shade of the awning next to Dudley on the ground was it…5 star all the way.

Now into the Kosciuszko National Park. I’ve always wanted this photo and never stopped. Was a bit risky I might add….never mind was worth it.

Into the peace and serenity of the Snowy High Country, where the road twists and turns like a ribbon of fresh liquorice with views that are breath-taking! If you haven’t been to this part of the country, come do yourself a favour and make the trip…..you won’t be disappointed.

Bit of traffic on Elliot Way today so it’s nice and steady. Finally into one of the best lookouts I’ve come across in my travels – The Southern Cloud Lookout. I can’t help but stop here every single time I pass through. Not far past the Tumut Power Station I came across a lady with a flat tyre. Naturally I pulled over to assist only to discover her other half on the ground with the job almost done. They mentioned that of all the people that passed them, I was the only one to stop and offer assistance…. “and you are on a motorbike?”…LOL

AND….before long…..I reach that line of Poplar Trees that tells me I have arrived to My Piece of Paradise – Tintaldra.

It’s not hard to see why I love it here. Country air, the sound of cows mooing, the birds are squawking and the peacefulness! It’s like I have the universe to myself….Bliss. Turn the corner over the bridge into Victoria and Tah-Dah!!    Made it!!! My piece of Paradise in Australia @ Camp Kimmie in the Clearwater by the Upper Murray Caravan Park – Back Tintaldra Rd, Tintaldra. The only thing missing is My Sweety xxx

The end of the day deserves a drink and dinner at the pub as here was no shopping today.

A little tour of town after dinner.

Time for bed.

Woke up this morning with soooo much sleep in my eyes I couldn’t focus. That to me is having had a good nights sleep…Bliss!! There’s something to be said for camping. Waiting for the billy to boil for my morning coffee (mocha anyway) and to contemplate what to do today. Decided Bright is the plan and some grocery shopping so if I don’t want to venture out for the rest of my holiday…I don’t have too!

Life’s pretty tough when you have a view like this just a few kays down the road…..but who’s complaining.

Bumped into friends Ree, Crowey and their friends for lunch…Nice seeing you guys!! Time ticked on and got heaps hotter so time to head back. Bit of traffic but once on the Cudgewa back road…it was nice and peaceful to open up Dudley for little bit. Dinner tonight id home cooked yummy Lamb and Rosemary sausages with salad….took a little longer to cook that I thought.

While I was out a friend from Canberra Mick and his mates had arrived…nice surprise! Now only if they could get there Sena’s all to talk to one another…..ROFL!!!!

Another morning dawned to the sounds of Mother Nature…..trees rustling, Cockies squawking and the birds chirping.

Followed by a leisurely walk around the block. It’s gonna be a warm one and the humidity is already climbing the charts. Anyhoos, off I go……

Stopped in to say “Good Morning” to Bett….who by the way is a “legend” and would you believe 93 years “Young”!!!

Kicking back for the rest of the day. Viewing the pics taken and tapping away on the keyboard writing this blog while listening to a bit of Country AND Western music. A family is staying in a caravan here with their Dalmatian puppy who is deaf. They wondered down to have a little chat for a bit.

Boys are back from their ride and head to the pub. I wonder up later to join in a refreshing ale with them. Many debates are had and we soon consume the pub with raucous laughter from tall tales of adventures this group of fellas have enjoyed (some of which required adjudication by an external party). Now one member (who will remain nameless….right Scott…he he he) refused to believe the adjudications decision and chose to seek his own form of truth………if only he had reception!!! ROFL. That’s what you get for being on Vodafone. The disappointment on his face says it all……sorry, still laughing…ROFL!!!

I chose to be Switzerland for the rest of the conversation, interjecting what some might call sarcasm……can you imagine that….me….sarcasm…..REALLY!!!! from time to time.

Back at camp dinner for me was a lovely Porterhouse steak with salad and a beer….nice. Just to set things straight….no I didn’t pack the BBQ .

The humidity at 9pm is still high and it’s threatening with rain. Needless to say even with my little fan going in the tent (yes, there are a few luxuries) I just didn’t get a fabulous night’s sleep. The humidity was unbelievable. Anyway, I still managed to sleep until 7:40am before stirring to the boys packed up and almost ready to go.

After a nice cold shower, breakfast was Egg Muffin and Mocha coffee before setting in to the morning chores…..well washing up.  Life’s tough! Now what day is it???? It’s very easy to lose track of time here….I’ll take a punt and say it’s Friday 29th Dec.

Being a part of the fabulous riding community, some FarRider family members have followed my SPOT and facebook posts and have over the past days phoned or messaged in. Hackle is always good for a chat and handy hints for the best riding roads in the area and just generally checking to make sure everything is OK with me….. To quote Hackle “I’m only a phone call away if you need anything Kimmie” love these moments – Thanks Hackle.

Other FarRider family members have been out doing what we LD riders do…go Far-Away places on the clock, why, well, because we can. On a said intervening Philmor dropped me a text asking “if I wasn’t busy could he drop by for a cuppa”…we naturally the answer was YES! Right on 10am as planned Phil pulls up! The kettle was just about ready and we sat for a good time chatting ‘bout this and that before he had to be back on the road “homeward bound”. Thanks for dropping by…loved it!! Say HI to Joy for me.

Tonight I’m having dinner with other friends from Wodonga, Eve, Eamonn and their friends Melissa and Greg up at the pub. So for now, it’s started to actually rain, yes, real rain this time not just the sprinkling we’ve had on and off all day. Gonna kick back, have a cuppa, wait for the Brie to come to room temperature and have some afternoon tea……Life’s tough!! But this is what it takes to re-charge the batteries.

Up at the pub it’s pelting down raining and the pub is obviously the place to be tonight (glad I booked in advance). The meals were big and good and it was great to catch up with Eve and Eamonn again but they have an hour and a half to get home raining in horrible weather, so it’s farewells all round and they are off. I head back to the park and into bed.

What a wild and woolly night that was! Sooo much rain. Woke up this morning to discover I was sleeping on a waterbed. So much water between the tarp & tent it formed its own bladder 😲. Now had to pull down everything to dry out and reassemble.

On the plus side, I was still dry 👍. Managed to cook scrambled eggs & muffin for breaky on the Trangia. Feeling very proud of myself😁😁

Take 2. Tent all setup again in a slightly different position and sleep pod direction. Kicking back with the music going while the washing dries and I have a read

What a way to spend the day. Total relaxation in the best place in the country….whiling away the hours and watching all the new holidayers rolling in (disrupting my peace and tranquillity).

My last night in Paradise. Cooked lamb & rosemary snags on the bbq & had salad with it. Was very lovely. Cleaning & packing things up now. Planning the ride home. A lovely family arrive in a camper trailer, the bloke has been coming to Tintaldra for some 18 years and we swap stories about our favourite place. Later on we all sit under the awning with Rick by the fire.

Sunday – New Years Eve morning and it’s time to pack up my camp site and whisk myself away, back home to my Sweety and Ella-Jane. I don’t want to go but somethings you just have to do.

Had a lovely run thru the Kosciuszko Nat Park this morning. Bit of wildlife about but was just cruising and able to miss everything. Gotta love this part of the country…the scenery alone is spectacular! I can’t describe to you the feeling of peace that winds its way through my total being when I’m in this part of the country.

Into Cooma and my first non camping breaky. OMG there’s traffic at 10am..more to the point there’s other cars. Holiday must be coming to an end.

Then it’s off down the Monaro Highway with the cruise control set to the speed limit. Many overtake me but I’m not playing that game with Mr Plod being vigilant over the holiday break. Queanbeyan for fuel and to take off the extra layers that I required on the morning run through the National Park. From here, it’s a steady run home up the Hume Highway and I’m hoping that there isn’t going to be too much traffic. The trip is pretty uneventful, just steadily chipping away the last couple of hundred kilometres listening to my favourite music in the helmet.

3:05pm into the garage at home and the arms of My Sweety, Karl. Ella-Jane is barking with happiness and its hugs, kisses and licks all round.

A pretty good holiday if you ask me and the time to re-charge the batteries was certainly well worth it.

 

Day 13 – Horsham to Swan Hill

What a great nights sleep! in an antique bed at Lorelles. She is such a beautiful person and so wonderful to open her home up to me and Dudley. We have breakfast and a cuppa tea – yes, that’s real tea in a proper teapot again before I pack Dudley, give her a huge hug and thank you for having us.

Now todays adventure takes us on roads not travelled by me before and to see items of the Australian farmlands transformed into glorious pieces of art. That’s right – The Silo Art Trail. I’d already collected one yesterday at Coonalpyn but the other five I’m chasing are in Victoria.

A mere 46km later in Rupanyup (pron. Rup-pun-yup) is the 2nd portrait in the series. Two children from the community are depicted. The detail is amazing and you can’t help but just stand there in awe of the talent of the artist that captured the pure essence of these kids.

Rupanyup Silos

You really can’t miss any of the silo art as they are all well sign posted.

Another 35km down the road into Sheep Hills for the most colourful of the silos in the series so far. Look I really cannot put into words how gobsmackingly amazing these portraits are. Their eyes seems to follow you where you go.

Sheep Hills Silos

These silos are not far apart and another 35km and you pull up in Brim right in front of the 4th silo of farmers.

The Real McCoy!! with battered hands and old worn hats are these men of the Australian land! You can see the “life” lived and loved engrained on their faces.

Brim Silos

It’s still reasonably early in the morning and the next silo is a decent 93km away in a town called Patchewollock (you can pron that one just as it looks). I did have to wonder on my here whether I was actually going to the right place. Talk about the road less travelled, this road is barely a cars width wide and has long haul trucks hurtling down it and not giving an inch for anyone else on the road…..it was a bit of a hairy ride at times.

We pass a sign indicating that there is some form of bird life in the area and to on the lookout for it. These birds are called Mallee Fowl and can apparently do some damage due to their size. Now considering I’ve had a couple of encounters and 1 strike, I didn’t want to test the odds so “eyes wide” it was. But what did give me a chuckle was this sign. A colleague calls me “Jolly” and yep look what I found! I have a cutting named after me. This one’s for you Smiley O’Gorman.

We make it safely though and pull into the carpark infront of “The Man of the Land” silo portrait (I don’t know if that is what it’s actually called but it’s what I call him). The stern face of a determined man who works the land day in and day out. Whadya think?

Patchewollock Silos

From here we dash off to Speed (yes, that is the name of a town) for fuel. I think because I took the road less travelled, I missed the town sign (assuming there is a sign). Only 91 here for you travellers – thankfully it was only a splash and dash and it is card only operated pumps. The road across to here is another road less travelled but we just take it easy and don’t actually have any traffic on this one.

On the way outta Patchewollock, we spotted one of those Mallee Fowl…..I can see now why they say they can do a heap of damage….look at the size of the bugger.

27km later and we arrive in Lascelles for the 6th and final silo of an older couple. He is on one side and she is on the other. Grandparents that have the wisdom of life etched in their faces that are so beautifully depicted by the artist. You feel like she (nan) is going to ask you to come inside and have a cuppa tea and scones with her.  While he (pop) will steady the push bike for his grandkids as they start to pedal off down the drive.

Lascelles Silos

Lascelles Silos

The Silo Art Trail really “takes your breath away”!!! There are no words that can really convey the enormity of the power that each piece of art departs and each will affect you differently and others differently to you. A fabulous tribute to the land.

Along another dodgy back road cross country to come out west of Swan Hill. The road might be dodgy but the scenery is lusciously green waiting for the canola flowers to show their pretty faces.

It’s past lunch time and I really need something to eat. Swan Hill is the stop for fuel and lunch and then I thought I could push on to Wodonga to stay with friends.

However, after sitting down to have lunch, whatever energy I lad left in my body ran straight out my boots and I was knackered. I rang Karl to let him know I was pulling up for the day and spoke to my friends and arranged to stay with them tomorrow night instead. Rang the Murray River Motel on the outskirts of town and nabbed a nice room with off street parking and a good feed at a reasonable rate.

Oh, I finally bought an allen key that I could fix Dudleys spotlight properly instead of having it all cable tied and taped up. He is soooo dirty, I think it’s gonna take ages to get him clean.

So now I’ve almost caught up on my blogging with the exception of I think 2 days which I will fill in prolly when I get home and it’s time to hit the hay.