Victoria to Queensland

After going to Bright and the High Country I returned to Melbourne for a few days longer. I enjoyed hanging out with my daughter again and she spoilt me some more with great food. I also got hang out with riding mates Trace, Pete and Kenny in Frankston and Alaine in the city. But all good things have to end and by Monday it was time to head to Queensland.

I planned a short ride for Monday as I had a parcel to send in the morning and so I had time for breakfast out with Tia and her boyfriend. I pigged out on a huge, sweet breakfast which was guaranteed to keep me full and buzzing until camp that night. Around midday I headed off for a free camp beside the Murray river at Corowa. It was a great spot and my tent was pitched right above the river. I cooked a nice meal of cous cous and tuna for dinner and had a couple of red wines.

The next day I camped at a caravan park near Cowra which was quite nice. There was a pool so I had a swim and then cooked a BBQ for dinner. I had made a trip back into town for steak and veges.

On Wednesday I had a reasonably short ride to Mudgee to stay with the family of another Advrider, Bill. When we did the Scrapheap Challenge 3 years ago I met Bill and his family and they helped us a lot with their famous hospitality. They are such a lovely family so it was great to see them again, minus Bill who was working away. It was a great night and nice to sleep in a bed again! They have an adorable dog called Charlie who wanted to ride away on my Charlie with me.

Charlie and Charlie

Thursday I rode to Nelson’s Bay to visit another Advrider  mate, Glenn. I took the easy way there which is still lovely but I regret not going through more of the national park. Both Mudgee and Nelson Bay are gorgeous and the scenery all around both is fantastic. I really hadn’t expected such nice riding.

On the way to Glenn’s house I got stung by a bee on the back of the neck and had to ask some council guys to remove the stinger for me. It swelled up quite a bit and it was probably lucky I took my antihistamines.

Not long after arriving Glenn took me on a short tour of the area. It is very pretty and quiet, especially considering how close it is to Newcastle. The family was very welcoming and I enjoyed a great night there and hope to return some time.

The next morning was wet and it was very hard to get motivated to pull on wet weather gear (improvised) and get started. I knew it was only two more days until home and I planned to free camp as money was very low. It rained all morning as I tried to push towards where it appeared to not be raining, according to the net. Finally in the early afternoon it stopped as I was at Nambucca Heads. I decided after looking at forecasts for the next day (and because I was soaked through) that it wouldn’t be a great idea to camp. The decision was made to call the cheapest motel I could find in Coffs Harbour and book a room. That gave only a short ride more in my wet gear before a nice hot shower and hot chocolate.

The motel had only a kettle but from my supplies I managed to make a yummy hot chocolate and a tuna – couscous meal that was edible.

Funny side note here.. My ‘wet weather’ gear that was apparently so crappy was a Rainbird hiking rain jacket and a pair of hiking rain pants. I was pulling them over my usual gear. My blue jacket had always been quite waterproof but needs a new spray and my good wet pants were posted to Qld. Anyway.. my makeshift wet weather gear may have been quite okay if I had half a brain! On the last day I found that I had been leaving all of the zips undone on the rain gear. Ummm.. yes I can be quite dense at times.

On my last day it was wet when I awoke.. again. But  I wanted to make a push and see if I could get out from under the rain. This time it worked well and I barely got wet. I had an uneventful and quite fast ride home to the Sunshine Coast and my excited niece and nephew who I am nannying.

It turned out that Tina, my long suffering Adv siss who hadn’t from me in months, chose that morning to check my blog. Wasn’t she surprised when she saw me just south of Brisbane on the map! So when I arrived I had a call and we met up at a nearby cafe. That was a fantastic end to the trip and we are scheming on a catch up ride and camp… most likely at Manar Park where we had my shake down ride.

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Categories: Adventure Riding | 4 Comments

Victoria’s High Country

When the film festival finished four of us headed off to look around the high country. Dom and Nathan were happier on  rougher dirt roads so Alaine and I planned to meet up with them at Tom Groggin and do some easier stuff. We had a nice ride for the day and I was trying hard to get back into the swing of tight corners with a loaded bike. A stop for groceries was made at Corryong which we were sharing, great for me as Alaine loves good food!

The camp site at Tom Groggin was as beautiful as I remembered from my last stay. We had a quick dip in the icy cold water and then set up camp. The boys still hadn’t shown up so we cooked a fairly early dinner. It was a lovely beef curry with rice that we cooked together and it was delicious! Not long after eating we heard bikes which was a relief as we had begun to think the guys were not going to make it.

The next day we messed around until late having breakfast and packing up our camp and  then we headed to Jindabine for lunch. We all discussed what to do next and it was decided that we would ride the Barry Way south. I had been feeling quite down all morning and after a couple of phone calls at lunch the stress of the last 3 weeks hit me suddenly and I was in tears! Normally I can hold in my emotions around others, especially male rider mates. But not this time. I felt like an idiot. I told the guys I wasn’t up hours on steep dirt roads in that frame of mind and that I don’t want to spoil their fun so they should go ahead. But Alaine decided to stay with me and do the loop of the high country that had been our other option. Dom told me the next day that I made the right decision and would have hated the ride and their camp surrounded by bushfire smoke.

 

So a moody Naz and a patient, kind Alaine took off for an afternoon ride that was beautiful. It is hard to not be impressed with the scenery in the area. We found a nice campsite at Rocky Plain in Kosciuszko National Park. There was a horse riding tour group there.. the horses were nice. However the tour guide seemed like he didn’t like bike riders. We a nice night there with the trees, stars and horses for company. We hadn’t bought food on the way but we rustled up a weird tuna risotto that was edible in my opinion and great in Alaine’s.

On Wednesday we had a chilly ride for the morning with a nice stop at Cabramurra for a hot coffee and warm muffin. It was foggy when we arrived but was clearing when we set off again. We needed to get as close to Melbourne as possible this day but still in an enjoyable fashion. We took some fantastic back roads and I saw more places I hadn’t on previous trip. We found a free camp near Whitfield and enjoyed a chili con carne for dinner.

Our last day was a great ride through some more amazing scenery and I finally got the chance to experience the Black Spur. We had lunch at Healsville before splitting up to head to different parts of the city. I had an absolutely lovely time riding with Alaine and feel blessed to have made such a good new friend. We will be seeing more of each other and hopefully share some more rides. We already caught up once more before I left Melbourne when we spent time in the city at bike and camping stores (my sort of  ’date’!) and a fantastic dumpling lunch.

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Camp on the Murray

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