Monday, December 29, 2014

29 December - Scooter Bob's trip to Wilsons Promontory

With the Christmas festivities behind us I thought it was time for my final trip showing Scooter Bob some of my favourite local riding destinations. The plan for today was to visit Tidal River which is a holiday destination located in the Wilsons Prom National Park. Wilsons Prom is a beautiful rugged, mountainous national park which is a huge attraction for hikers and campers particularly during the holiday season. The very tip of the Prom is also the most southerly part of the Australian mainland. The weather bureau forecast possible showers later in the day but when we left at about 10:30 all looked well.

The area abounds with wildlife and there are lots of signs asking drivers to take care to avoid the locals by driving/riding slowly. Scooter Bob observed some traffic signs which are unique to Australia.

The road to tidal river is very scenic and provides lots of views of the ocean. We stopped at this one to observe the rugged Wilsons Prom terrain and some of the off-shore islands.

We reached Tidal River at about 1 pm and found the place packed with caravans and tents and campers enjoying the summer holiday. Lunch plans were quickly abandoned when I realised it would take a long time to get served, so down to take a quick look at the Tidal River Beach. 

Not a lot of people at the beach because the weather had started to cool and when I looked at the sky towards home there was some ominous cloud activity there. We had no sooner started the return journey when the first raindrops hit so a quick stop to don the wet weather gear. Good decision because within 15 minutes or so we were riding through steady rain and quite gusty winds. This was the pattern for the whole return trip and it was good to get home around 4pm.

Well, it is time for Scooter Bob to travel to his next adventure down under and tomorrow I will be checking him and his little black travel case at the post office. I'm sure the little scooter will visit many more interesting locations in Australia so keeping checking the reports on Riding the Wet Coast

Total Distance Today 320 km

Thursday, December 25, 2014

25 December - Merry Christmas

Right now it is 12:50 Christmas Day and it's time to go to bed - big day tomorrow with family and friends all coming around for Christmas dinner. Scooter Bob is a long way from home here in the warm southern hemisphere and will spend Christmas with my family. After that, it's one more ride around this part of the world before he travels to New South Wales for his next set of Australian adventures.

All that remains is to wish all those who take an interest in my blog a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

21 December - Trip to the Mountains - Dargo

Woke up to another promising motorcycle kind of day and after breakfast it was time to fire up the Beemer and head for the mountains. To the north of my home are the Victorian Alps which are part of a mountain range which runs along the entire length (Nth to Sth) of the east coast of Australia. In the foothills of the mountains in a beautiful valley lies the small town of Dargo. It is the stepping off point for 4x4 vehicle and adventure motorcycle trips into the mountains and the high plains above Dargo were for many years the summer retreat for cattle which were taken up there to graze. After a bit of highway travel the route winds its way north into the hills and valleys and beautiful forests and on a day like today with brilliant sunshine it is pure motorcycling bliss.

As usual I had lunch at the general store and sat back watching the tourists making their final preparations before heading off into the bush for camping and fishing trips. I looked around for photo opportunities but with the noon day sun high in the sky the light was very harsh and I put the camera away.

On the return trip though I passed an old dilapidated farm house I've passed many times before without having a decent camera handy but this time I was prepared and the sun was much lower in the sky so I stopped and spent some time taking photos.

I don't think the old place will be standing much longer - one good gust of wind should take care of it.

Another great day on the bike and a nice photo as well.

Total Distance 370km

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

17 December - Check this out

Some months ago I replied to an email which had enquired about my motorcycle activities and experiences. Today I learned the information I provided was collated into a "Featured Rider" article on the Motorcycle House web site.

Check it out here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

16 December - Scooter Bob visits the Gippsland Lakes (Down Under)

The Gippsland Lakes are a network of lakes and marshes in East Gippsland, Victoria, covering an area of about 354 sq km (137 sq mi). The lakes and surrounding towns are an important tourist destination for Australians and international visitors alike, and feature boating, fishing, pristine beaches, fine dining and wineries. The lake system is connected to the sea at Lakes Entrance which is also a commercial fishing port. As the weather forecast promised temperatures around 35ÂșC I thought it was time to take the Beemer, and Scooter Bob to check out this wonderful destination.

Our first stop was to check out the commercial fishing fleet in Lakes Entrance.

Then, we were off to the hill overlooking Lakes Entrance to get a great view of the lakes and the entrance to the sea.

The pace in Lakes Entrance is picking up. Here in Victoria, as in the rest of Australia, school has just finished and main holidays of the year are underway. There was a constant stream of traffic ready to set up camp either here or in other coastal towns further up the coast.

After Lakes Entrance, it was a short ride to the village of Metung located in the middle of the lakes system. Metung appears to be developing into a retirement destination with lots of new residential developments and golf courses. As it was lunchtime we dropped into the Metung Galley for a bit to eat and some much needed hydration. Metung features a range of attractive holiday accommodation as well as boat and yacht hire and is a popular stop off for the may 'boaties' on the lakes. Restaurants and a great pub are only a short walk from the public jetty.

Finally, after some great riding and sightseeing it was time to head in the direction of home but not before a quick stop at our friends John and Sandra who live in Paynesville, also located on the shores of the Gippsland lakes. After the heat of the day, it was nice to sit in the shade for a chat, a coffee and a cigar before heading home.

The final leg of the trip was very windy and a sign of the storms forecast for later this evening, and it was nice to get home and have a well deserved beer (or two).

Total Distance 360 km.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

14 December - More adventures (Down Under) with Scooter Bob

A beautiful day today and time to show Scooter Bob some more of the beautiful Victorian countryside. Our destination today was Christmas Hills to attend the Christmas BBQ of the Shadow Riders of Australia, a group of riders who enjoy the Honda Shadow motorcycle in its various forms. Our first stop was the little town of Noojee, which was at one time a thriving centre for timber production. Timber was hauled from Noojee to provide housing material for a booming Victoria and dedicated enthusiasts have recently placed one of the old steam locomotives used to haul timber, in a park in Noojee. The railway line travelled through the mountainous forest clad area around Noojee and joined the main Melbourne line via 7 timber tressle bridges. Only one of these now remains and Bob visited this last vestige of a once busy industry.

From Noojee our trek continued into the Yarra Valley wine region and then to the Sugarloaf Reservoir located in Christmas Hills. This was the meeting place for a number of Victorian members of the Shadow Riders of Australia for the annual Christmas BBQ. Before meeting all the SRA members though Scooter Bob visited the actual dam wall for another photo opportunity.

Finally it was time to meet the SRA members and their families and to grab a group photo.

The Christmas BBQ was enjoyed by all and it was a great opportunity for people to catch up - it seemed like such a long time since last years Christmas BBQ.

Finally it was time for Scooter Bob and me to start the long ride home back to Traralgon.  It was such a nice afternoon we returned through the mountain route and after a coffee in Yarragon we reached home after a great ride and a fantastic day.

Total Distance 362 km