The meeting point at the service centre past Berwick proved to be a good location for getting easily onto the Princes Freeway without corner markers and on our way – if only your scribe had arrived on time – Oh Dear! - And not even a valid excuse. Hence I’m doing the ride report.
Barry and the crew were waiting patiently and we got under way promptly once I had arrived. We rode out to Drouin in relatively cool weather, turned off near Robin Hood and then followed The Old Sale Road and made our way via the scenic route to Heyfield and were greeted by “Pop” and “Hilly” who had decided to join us for part of the ride. Heyfield was quite busy with a long weekend country fair ands we enjoyed a break and a chat before Pop led us on the very scenic route to Bruthen. We went north out of Heyfield past the weir holding back Lake Glenmaggie and then east through places such as Valencia Creek, Glenaladale and Wy Yung before popping out on the Omeo Highway just north of Bairnsdale. Pop then took us on a lovely little detour from Sarsfield to Tambo Upper before following the Tambo River into Bruthen where we stopped for lunch. After a leisurely lunch and chat we thanked and bid farewell to Pop and Hilly and headed east again to Nowa Nowa where we joined the Princes Highway and continued east. We were slowed by several road work areas and also a Poker Run involving well over 100 bikes between Marlo and Bemm River. We then took a rest break at Cann River
before heading north up the Monaro Highway (the surface of which actually improved in NSW) and continued into Bombala where we parked our bikes in the rear yard of the Globe Hotel and adjourned to the more important things in life after doing well over 500 kilometres on some great roads. The rooms were basic but as we had a small group we had a room each and a light breakfast was included in the very reasonable tariff. We dined at the hotel, exchanged some disgraceful lies and generally enjoyed the camaraderie before retiring relatively early.
On Sunday morning we fuelled up and continued north briefly before turning off on The Snowy River Way, where we passed the very quaint disused railway platform at Jincumbilly beside a farm featuring goats and a donkey.
on to Dalgety where we visited the local market and then crossed the Snowy River.
The first part of the ride was almost surreal with very low cloud above our heads and very soft light which enhanced the alpine scenery but which I was incapable of capturing properly on my camera. Put simply – it was beautiful.
We then continued on to Jindabyne where we stopped for refreshment at a bakery and chatted with a couple of guys on a pair of very dusty looking adventure bikes. We then rode north past Lake Jindabyne
and on to the weir of Lake Eucumbene at Eucumbene near Braemar Bay.
We then back tracked a short distance and headed east and stopped in Cooma (which was quite busy) for lunch in the park.
We then headed south down the Monaro Highway and popped in at Jincumbilly for some photos and one of our group seemed to communicate very well with the donkey there.
We then rode back to Bombala,
refuelled the bikes and adjourned to the pub. During the evening we chatted with a group of sports bike riders who also stayed the night. It was another very pleasant night. Did I mention that platypus frequent the river only 100 metres behind the pub?
Bombala really is a great venue with lots of things to see nearby and some great roads for bikes radiating from it.
On Monday morning we headed out early. Andrew and Max headed down the highway back towards Cann River. Alf and Mick on the adventure bikes plus Barry and I headed south on the Bonang Highway which involved about 25 kilometres of dirt road with some great bitumen either side of that. It was quite foggy when we left so I have no idea of what the scenery was like before we reached Delegate but the road was great. The dirt road in NSW had very fine dust and it hung around in the still air and fog so I hung back a fair bit. Alf did not and it showed on his bike!
The sun broke through as we crossed the border but then we got some loose gravel and corrugations. This plus some kangaroos and wallabies crossing our paths added to the challenge but we made it safely and then had some great bike roads all the way down to Orbost. We had a morning tea break there and then headed off to Buchan via more great roads followed by spectacular scenery as we approached Buchan
and then had a simple run down to Bruthen where we again stopped for lunch. The added bonus was that we avoided all the road works on the Princes Highway between Nowa Nowa and the border.
We then took the simple route to Bairnsdale and turned off through Bengworden and on to Stratford and again left the highway and went via Maffra, Tinambra and past the Yallourn Power Station before joining the highway near Newborough with a view to stopping at Trafalagar for a rest and farewell break. As we approached the Trafalgar the highway traffic came to a complete stop because of long weekend congestion and the traffic lights in Trafalgar. We managed to turn off the highway before getting caught up in it and continued west along the Old Sale Road before finally stopping at Longwarry where we bid our farewells. In view of the traffic at Longwarry we continued through Bunyip, Garfield and Tynong to Nar Nar Goon where we went our separate ways.
I had a great weekend away. The company, the riding, the scenery and venue were all great. Thank you to Barry for organising it and to Andrew, Alf, Max and Mick for making it such a great weekend away.