"T" Minus 1.
Left Bundaberg in torrential rain to get to Brisbane to meet the riding partner, my daughter. She rode the Little Purple Pig [Yamaha V-Star 650cc] and I rode the BMW R1100RT.
The weather forecast looked dreadful so thermals and wet weather gear were packed, nothing would dampen our spirits on this trip.
Day 1. Brisbane to Tamworth 600km
We hadn't meant to ride that far but Glen Innes was boring and the barman was quite rude, preferring to play his computer game.
We rode on to Armidale only to find it was graduation week and proud parents had booked the entire town. Decided to ride on to Uralla it's only 20km down the road, only to find... a convention of car enthusiasts was in town and NO accommodation.
It was dark, the temperature had dropped 20 degrees but it's only 75km to Tamworth. Let's ride through the New England ranges in the dark! **yehar grandma** this will put a chill up your spine.
The lights of Tamworth and a luxury motel never looked so good and we were prepared to pay any price to get that bed.
Great dinner at a local pub with great live music. We feel better already. You'd have to call Day 1 a baptism of FIRE for 'The Fox'
That's Vincenzo's near Stanthorpe, and the "Fruitisforus" Dinosaur is at Ballandean near the Qld/NSW border.
And proof that we did intend to stay in Glen Innes... but they lost our business.
We are WHOVIANS, Doctor Who Fans. and look what we found, just the best mail box EVER!
Day 2 Tamworth to Bathurst via some very unusual back roads!
First a stop at the Werris Creek Railway monument
These magnificent sculptures stand as testament to those who worked so hard on our railways and the Memorial wall commemorates those who died in the line of duty.
There's a museum of railway memorabilia including this Railway Water Set... well it IS Bottled Water, you just have to share a glass!
Across the street was an old railway residence and weather station. I know it's seen better days but it is how we knew the weather in rural Australia most of my life.
Such images are a glimpse into Australia's past, they're not famous or magnificent but they add to the memories I'm constantly imprinting of our beautiful country.
Moving on it was time to cross over the ranges and find Bathurst... hmmmm easier said than done.
Let's ask a local at Meriwa... He was a nice man but mumbled a lot of information which sounded like a short run out of town and turn left to Mudgee.
After 10 km we decided to take a road... that didn't say Mudgee... what could go wrong?
Oh look it says Goulburn River National Park this will be pretty!
Now I've done some dumb things in my life and this dirt road and flooded causeways was fast being added to that list.
It was a case of 2 idiots on motorcycles laughing our way through some beautiful country, and we thought we were legends. Then we turned left to Bylong.... and welcome to HELL. 16km of THE WORST dirt road in Australia.
We crawled along at 20kph trying to pick a line through the bone shattering gravel and when we finally hit bitumen we found 2 men on motorcycles resting under a tree. They stood there, staring and asking if we'd come thru there, on THOSE BIKES?
Well yes actually, we're women and Legend's after all. We're famous down that way now BWHAHAHAHAHA.
This isn't the worse flooded crossing we traversed, we were too scared to stop at that wet and slippery crossing.
This one you can see the water has just reseeded enough to show how high it had been just the day before..
And the irony is that we never got to Mudgee but did discover some amazing country and popped out onto bitumen near Bylong and headed through Rylestone and Kandos into Bathurst.
Found a nice motel close to a pub and we were set for the night.
Another one of those memorable scenes and it's why we ride, to be the only person on a stretch of road with a view like that.
Some would call it lonesome we call it freedom.
Made it to Bathurst and of course had to ride around Mt Panorama.
Day 3 Bathurst to Katoomba
Via Oberon and Jenolan Caves
Hands up if you've even been on the road from Oberon to Jenolan Caves. As I thought, not many takers!
It is an AMAZING road. The warning signs will astound you... "No trucks, no caravans, no articulated vehicles". The good bends are signposted for 25kph... the really interesting ones are marked 15kph. They are VERY scary as you double back on yourself and the camber of the road feels all wrong.
Perhaps a skull and crossbones would be a better sign hehehe.
But we made it of course.. and were squealing with delight when we got into the little village that is Jenolan Caves, actually wished I had a Go-Pro camera on my helmet for that one.
Looking back up the hill towards the Guest House and the small ticket office and gift store. The cave systems are brilliant and you simply have to take a tour.
This is the opening under the mountain called the Grand Cavern but I prefer the old name Devil's Coachouse.
Some beautiful formations and I could really see the Dragon's Head.
It was time to move on for the ride back up the mountain and on to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.
First stop, the Three Sisters lookout at Echo Point.
It had been another great day so we enjoyed a well earned Ale.
We tried to avoid highways so the next day we went cross country out to Richmond, and UP the PUTY Road. It runs through some beautiful country behind Sydney and Newcastle and we arrived in Singleton in the Hunter Valley.
An early night was called for and some yummy Chinese Take-Away bed picnic!
Look what we saw along the way
Another Doctor Who themed mailbox, it's the famous K9 of Course
Along the Puty road is the burned-out Half Way Roadhouse and an amazing artist lives there. He created this giant which he calls Wo-Man.
He makes strange things and if you look carefully you will find strange bugs and monster sculptures hiding in the grass
Some final memories
A funny thing happened at Gloucester... a mean lady at the petrol station so we paid her $2.50 and left! We figure we're not welcome there
The sign says, Best Scones on the Coast at the Moreland Cafe... they actually have the BEST, home-made apple pies in the entire WORLD. Just get off the high highway near Taree and try it.
We had to endure 200km of Highway 1 until we could go cross county to Grafton where we fitted a new front tyre to the BMW.
Just outside of Kyogle we found the best motorcycle road of the entire trip.
You leave the highway and head to The Risk [yes, it's called - The Risk] and you go up over Mt Lion on a road which is maintained by the Lion's Club of Kyogle.
They do a wonderful job on this road and it winds through some magnificent scenery. When you get to the top of Mt Lion you are only a few kilometres from the Qld border and there is an honesty box!
If you enjoyed the ride, put something in the Donations Tin.
So now were were back in Qld and all the signs say, Beaudesert and Brisbane so we headed into the city.
All up the little bike did 2300km and 3300km for the BMW and it was a fabulous mother and daughter trip.
And my favourite photo of the trip... stick 'em up lady!