The weather gods smiled on us again this year and almost a dozen of us met at Lilydale on Friday morning for the ride up to Nagambie.
We headed up tree lined Castella Street past the museum and old theatre
for a bit of a change (which seemed to please Barry) and then past the airfield to Yarra Glen and on up the Melba Hwy to Glenburn. We then cut across through Flowerdale (where Robert met us), Strath Creek
and on to Trawool. Our previous coffee break venue was closed (due to the public holiday)
and we went on to the rustic and quaint old school house café
where we were made most welcome and enjoyed a very leisurely break. Often these little unplanned things really add to a trip and that was certainly the case this time.
Then it was across to Tallarook, a short transport stint up the Hume and then we followed back roads from Seymour past some ancient wooden bridges, through Northwood, past Mitchelton and Tahbilk wineries plus some horse studs before arriving at our destination; the Nagambie Lakes Leisure Park where we were made very welcome.
We settled in to our accommodation, exchanged some greetings, and popped out for some last minute supplies. Barry, Pat and I then popped out to check the condition of Kirwans Bridge
before parking the bikes for the night and getting down to some drinking, chatting and visiting other attendees.
My neighbours in the next cabin were part of the Ballarat contingent and the young guy was also celebrating his 60th birthday. He took the celebration seriously and was resplendent in full Indian outfit to go with the Indian he rode to the Odyssey.
As it had been declared a public holiday, the park was much more heavily patronised than our usual experience but this was no problem at all and the general atmosphere and conviviality was great. We then took advantage of the barbecue facilities beside the convention centre and many of us enjoyed the camaraderie of a great BYO casual BBQ while some disgraceful lies were exchanged and drinks were consumed.
On Saturday morning we woke to the beautiful view of the Goulburn River directly outside our cabin, had a leisurely breakfast and then some of us assembled for a relatively short organised ride. Others rode off into the hills and or visited the street market being held in town. We rode north through Nagambie and then turned off and stopped on Kirwans Bridge (which is far from the best road for motorcycles) for some photos
before continuing north up a back road to Murchison and then via Rushworth to the old abandoned gold mining settlement of Whroo which involved a short amount of gravel road and navigational doubt. We walked through the site of the Balaclava Gold Mine
and generally stretched our legs and relaxed. We then rode back to Murchison and stopped opposite Meteorite Park which features painted statues of cows and a view to the last of the old girder bridges built in Victoria.
In view of the temperature we enjoyed our break inside the bakery which was cooler than the park.
We then had a simple short run back to Nagambie and many went off to watch the grand final while I had a walk around the park and socialised with those that weren’t that interested in the footy.
That evening about 50 of us enjoyed a set meal in the convention centre on site and our live entertainers June and Gary put on a great show which I believe was enjoyed by all.
The night was over all too quickly.
On Sunday morning we awoke to very tranquil views again
and many of us adjourned to the café
and enjoyed a cooked breakfast and final exchange of lies as many had to return home for the realities of life on Monday morning. Once the last lies were exchanged, farewells were made and Barry joined Kris and me for the ride back home. We again followed the back road down to Seymour, popped in and visited the Vietnam memorial in Seymour (call in and have a look if you’ve never seen it) and continued on to Yea and we figured it was still to early for a rest stop so we continued on and diverted up to Kinglake where we had a pleasant stop at the bakery. Then it was down Mt Slide again and through the Yarra Valley to home.
Kris and I had a great weekend. We had visitors from NSW (including former national President Kim Kennerson with Jenny plus friends) South Australia and a large contingent associated with Ballarat plus many of the usual suspects. Debbie and staff at the venue went out of their way to make things work very well for us, especially after complications caused by the government designating a public holiday and making it a long weekend well after we had booked the event. David and Suzanne did a great job as registrars for the event and ensuring all went smoothly.
I would also like to pass on a special Thank You to Brian at Bike Mart for his donation of some raffle prizes which helped make the event a success.
Finally thanks to all who came and made the event the success it was.