Day 1 – Home to Goondiwindi
Angel’s packed and raring to go at 6:00am as we roll out the driveway in the rain…it’s a FarRide so of course it’s gonna be raining (wouldn’t be right if it wasn’t). First stop for fuel on the F3 at the twin servo’s. Pretty non eventful up the freeway and through the towns until Willow Tree where I turn off. The roads not bad, nice and peaceful, the rain hasn’t let up and the wind is getting worse. GPS is tuned to Quirindi for fuel and finally the rain has stopped.
Out on the Kamilaroi Hway the head and cross winds are relentless. I pulled up short of the plan (Moree) in Narrabri as the weather had worn me down so had lunch and fuelled here. Now what would a trip be without meeting interesting folk. Well I was blessed with meeting (let’s call them) Merv and Ethel – travelling nomads on their last hoorah. Merv says they’re looking for Tamworth (WTF you’re in Narrabri) well I say “you’ve missed the turnoff & way off track my friend”. I couldn’t leave them without helping, so out came the maps and the plan to get them to Goondiwindi was afoot. We say our farewells and Angel and I are on our way again.
Just through Moree and I see a sign that says “road train route” and think well this will be an experience. The Newell Hway I find out is home to the road hogs of Oz. No less than 6 road trains riding smack bang over the centre line and not giving an inch coupled with the combination winds made for a few butt clenching moments. Not all the trains are like that though and I was graciously blinked passed by a few for which I blinked back a “thank you”!
Into Boggabilla and I see my first Mr Plod with a not so happy customer and I’m on the last stretch for the day. I have a chuckle as I see the local pub called “the Wabbly Boot Hotel”. Would’ve liked a pic but didn’t want to stop just behind Mr Plod. Look out Goondiwindi here I come. A quick ride through town before heading out to the Goondiwindi Tourist Park – bed for tonight. I highly recommend this place, very motorcycle friendly. Also if you want a great and value meal you can’t go past the Railway Hotel – $10.95 will get you a huge meal and a drink.
Day 2 – Goondiwindi to Rockhampton (start of FRE #17)
My plan to sleep in was foiled by my excitement, never mind. With 4 hours to kill before I grab my start docket I go sightseeing around Goondi.
Believe it or not they have a Botanical Gardens, not very botanical though. Lots of the usual Aussie native trees and that’s about it. The view of the river is nice and it gave me a chance to try out the new tripod for the camera.
It’s here I meet John on his Bonneville and surprise surprise if he’s not heading to Eungella too!!
Finally with a start docket I can get going..YAY!
A quick photo op at Condamine of a church and into Miles for a short break.
The weather is beautiful; the sun has been shining all day, what more could you want. “Well on your bike girlfriend” I say we got a bit to go yet. Taroom is the next stop for a splash and dash. As I pull in a couple I had seen earlier in the day are getting ready to leave. They’re heading to Eungella too, it’s all starting to feel real.Sunset at Banana.
Should be interesting now, roads I’ve never travelled in the dark and watching for wildlife, my heart thumped. Angel’s lights are all blaring and I can literally see the bugs splatting my visor. By the time I get to Dululu, I can’t see a damn thing and have to pull over to clean it. When I reached the big roundabout on the outskirts of Rockhampton I let a WOO HOO rip. I pass the couple from Taroom and Ghosty at the servo and go in search of KFC and the Criterion Hotel. A bit of a hassle checking in and finally a safe spot to park Angel for the night then it’s off to my room to eat dinner. Can’t say I’d recommend the Criterion Hotel. The shower was cold, the band was like it was in my room and the bed uncomfy.