Day 1 : Friday 20 April
We were lucky enough to be invited on a long weekend of motorcycling, based for three nights at the Beechworth Holiday Park. Other than our foggy early morning start on Friday, the autumn weather was perfect for all four days.
Unfortunately Dorothy and I had to be up at 4.00am to get our son’s car back to him at Melbourne airport at 6.20am. She drove his car and I rode the ZX14R which was a little challenging at times in the dark and foggy conditions. With the car handed over and a brief chat we headed off to rendezvous with the others at Riddells Creek – except we were 2.5 hours too early. (It was a very chilly 4C riding through Sunbury). After a leisurely breakfast, Dorothy headed for a park bench and fell into a deep sleep. She really can sleep anywhere! (I promised not to post any pictures). By the time the rest of the crew arrived the sun was out and the sky was blue, just perfect for a day of motorcycling.
Gentle led us to Nagambie for lunch via some very scenic roads in the Heathcote area. After lunch it was time to apply sunscreen and hit the road towards Glenrowan, skirting around Shepparton and the now dry Lake Mokoan en route. At Glenrowan we crossed the Hume Hwy and arrived at our digs at the Beechworth Holiday Park in no time at all. Our cabins were clean and comfortable and Dorothy and I shared a ‘larger’ cabin with Astrid & Peter. After a long ride and an early start nobody seemed interested in cooking meals, so Ron, Don and Nigel went hunting for pizzas and beer – which filled the bill nicely. I couldn’t stay awake and was in bed by 9.30pm.
We awoke to a magnificent sunny, still autumn morning. Those who were doing the day ride gathered at 9.30am and we headed out on a really enjoyable back road circuit through the countryside for morning tea at Tallangatta and then a spirited (ahh! I noticed the speed camera car just as I ‘launched’ to overtake a slower car) run along the Omeo Hwy (where the cops and ambulance were attending a motorcycle accident) to Mitta Mitta for lunch.
We then backtracked along a section of the Omeo Hwy, over to Tangambalanga and then back to Beechworth via Yackandanda. It was a great day of riding on largely deserted backroads. Later that evening we all occupied the camp kitchen, with its open fire and BBQ’s and cooked our evening meals, had a few drinks and socialised. It got quite chilly away from the fire though!
Day 3: Sunday 22 April
We all headed off on Sunday morning in yet again perfect motorcycling conditions. This proved to be a day of picture postcard scenery. The ride out through Stanley was spectacular and then the bush gave way to the open farmland of the Happy Valley Road, then onwards to Mt Beauty for morning tea. (as an aside, read about the water mining case that the township of Stanley lost HERE). After some food and listening to some kids busking with their ukeles, we headed to Bright via the twisties of the Tawonga gap and then on to the highlight of the day, the ride to and from Mt Buffalo.
Someone is a little scared of heights and had to be coaxed out to the lookout for a pic! Great shots by Tanya. See below!
After the spectacular views of Mt Buffalo we made our way down through the twisties and onwards for a very different dining experience at Cafe Fez in Myrtleford for a late lunch.Would you like olives with your hot olives in oil?
From Myrtelford we cruised back to Beechworth where Astrid & Peter, Dorothy & I took a stroll around the town, visited Beechworth Honey, Beechworth Bakery, the craft brewery and then bought some supplies before heading back to the cabin just on dusk. It had been yet another magnificient day’s riding through some of the most scenic countryside the Vic High Country has to offer. Six went to the pub for dinner, the rest of us cooked again in the camp kitchen and enjoyed the open fire.
Day 4: Monday 23 April
Riding along the Buckland valley on Sunday arvo I had felt sorry for all the people whose weekend was over and who formed a line of cars heading for the Hume Hwy. Alas, Monday morning arrived and it was time for us to pack up and hit the road as well. It had been a terrific long, long weekend with brilliant roads ridden and perfect weather. However, we still had a pretty interesting day of riding ahead of us. From Beechworth we headed over to Milawa and then down along the pretty King Valley for morning tea at the Whitty Cafe.
A relaxing morning tea at the Whitty Cafe, at the end of the King Valley.
After a half hour stop we hit the twisties over to Mansfield and encountered virtually no traffic. We continued on to Yea for lunch and then traveled down to Whittlesea, Wallan and across to Gisborne via some deserted back roads. We had a very brief pit stop in Gisborne and pushed on for the final stretch back to Geelong, arriving home around 5.00pm. All up, door to door from Torquay Dorothy and I had done 1426kms – mostly on some of the best motorcycling roas that Victoria has to offer. A huge thank you to Ron (Gentle) for all the logistical work, route planning and leadership that he provided. A great crew of people made for an excellent four days of socialising and motorcycling. Everyone rode to the road conditions and to their capabilities – making for a safe and incident free trip. It really was ‘golden’ Ron!