South Gippsland Ride Sunday 19th June

Getting Lost on the way to South Gippsland

Getting Lost Without even Trying

A dozen people turned up at Lilydale for the ride I had advertised as a tour through the orchard region at the back of the Dandenongs followed by the hills of Gippsland.  The forecast was for dry weather and the temperature was relatively mild considering we were two days short of the winter solstice.   Bill again volunteered to be Tail End Charley and as we were all regulars we headed out shortly after 10.00 am with a minimum of fuss.  

We went under the rail trail bridge then immediately turned right up Queens Road, left the highways behind and immediately started enjoying flip flopping through the innumerable curves on the eastern side of the Dandenong Ranges including Old Baker and Monbulk – Seville Roads at moderate speeds while taking in views of mist laden valleys and farms and orchards.   I then turned onto Old Emerald Road and continued on past a roundabout and my navigational skills blush then proved I am not related to James Cook who clearly was a far better navigator than me.   I realised I had missed a turn and decided to “wing it” but when confronted by a gravel road going in the wrong direction surprise I decided it was time to admit my error, do a “U Turn” and inspect the ride group cheeky to ensure we were all in order.  I back tracked to the roundabout and then followed my intended route to the MacclesfieldWoori Yallock Road and started looking for the left turn I had to do at Avon Road.  Rick shot on ahead to take some photos of the group and when I passed him I came across a bitumen road to our left and took it.  Unfortunately this turn was about 3 km early and Tschampions Road is not sealed cryingangry all the way through to Cockatoo.   By the time I realised I had made a second navigational error, I decided it was all too late and continued along several kilometres of damp unsealed road before getting back onto the bitumen and continuing on my planned route through Cockatoo and on to Pakenham.  The group were all champions and followed through without incident.   It was rather galling and embarrassing when I passed Avon Road (my intended route) a few kilometres after getting back on the bitumen and especially so after I had actually bothered to ride the route a few weeks earlier to ensure I did not make any errors.   We then continued through Pakenham and Nar Nar Goon to our morning tea stop at Garfield.  At least the bakery was open.yessmiley  I was then subjected to a bit of well deserved ribbing with one member in particular saying he would remember to avoid my “orchard” tours in future.    Bill then announced that his Suzuki was having electrical problems and would have to limp home before his battery died.  Sam accompanied him as he had other commitments later in the day and Jeff also had to leave because of family commitments.  Despite the ribbing and humour, most indicated they had enjoyed the variety of roads so far.

Andrew took over as TEC and once refreshed the rest of us continued east through the old railway siding towns to Longwarry and then headed south for a bit before cutting further east and making our way to Drouin South and then took in the faster open sweepers through Athlone to Poowong and then via the tight (and at times bumpy) Bass Valley Road to Bena.  We then enjoyed the beautiful sweeping roads, rolling hills and views of South Gippsland via Moyarra and Kongwak before heading back up through Glen Alvie, descended again, passed Candowie Reservoir and rode through Almurta before popping out of the hills into Grantville by Westernport Bay where we stopped and enjoyed lunch and a chat at a local café.          

Rick - Thanks for the photos yes             I've added a few extras.  Cheers                         

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