Sunday, August 18, 2013

18 August - Walhalla

Absolutely terrible motorbike weather the last week or so and this morning, while the sky was clear, there was a gale blowing and the forecast was for rain - bugger! I was really hanging out for a ride and just after lunch it got the better of me, and I decided to brave the conditions for a quick coffee in Walhalla on the Honda. The wind was as bad as it looked until I got into the hills where the road is well protected and then conditions became almost pleasant. As the road is lined by large trees I took it fairly easy, fearing a branch or a whole tree across the road, and sure enough, as I rounded one bend there was a whole tree across the road. Luckily a bunch of SES volunteers had got to it and were in the process of cutting it up and there was a gap wide enough for the bike.

Walhalla today is the remnant of a once booming gold mining town. Mining took place between 1863 and the early 1900's, and altogether some 55 tonnes of gold were recovered. At its peak it housed some 2500 permanent residents - today there are only a handful. Windsor House (see picture) was a wealthy merchant's house. It fell into decay over the years but in recent times it has been renovated and now operates as a B&B.

Today the town was celebrating its 150 year anniversary and there were people everywhere. After a quick lunch it was time to ride home to find that the wind had died down a lot. I'm glad I persisted as in the end it was a quick but enjoyable outing.

Total distance 104 km.

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