From the Blog

Postcards from the road – again

I’ve been busy, as you can probably tell. This retirement caper is exhausting.

Last week we did a three day tour up through the Blue Mountains in the van, by far the most enjoyable we have done so far. We stayed in a combination of commercial caravan parks and free camps, but the free camp at Lake Wallace, just out of Wallerawang, was the best. We were able to get a spot right next to the lake with the friendly local geese for company and the tranquil waters of the lake as our outlook.

The sunrise next morning was very special.

I should add that we had previously done a sedate lap of Mount Panorama where Helena took some photos while I was driving.

A very enterprising little girl came around that night selling some home-grown vegetables, pay whatever you want to. I guess that she and her mum were canvassing the campground because the people in the van next door also bought.

We gave her $8.00 and that was cheap for what was in there. She also gave us a sheaf of lavender which made the inside of the van smell delightful.

Next morning we headed down the mountains a little, heading for Little Hartley where, as a youth, I recall buying the famous Hartley Cider. Sadly it appears to have almost disappeared, despite not being bypassed by the GWH. We did, however, stop at Hartley where several wonderful  colonial buildings are still to be found.

It was never my intention to grind my way down the mountains through the multitude of small towns so we cut left at Mt Victoria and traversed the ridge to join up with the Bells Line of Road. A couple of stops, one to purchase some of the local cider which seems to taste just as good as the old Hartley brand used to and another at the shop at Bilpin where we had a cuppa and a piece of their famous apple pie. Isn’t that what travelling is all about?

At the bottom of the mountain we headed home via the usual route and got home before nightfall on Friday night. Unfortunately I was greeted with the news that the speedway meeting on Saturday night had been cancelled as the track was flooded.

We did, however, take a small detour. I have spoken before about Ebenezer Church near Wilberforce. We stopped in again to take some updated photos and check the place out. The photos are contained in the gallery attached.

So, what to do? Well, strictly speaking, I didn’t HAVE to do anything and I had been on the road for a few days anyway, but….I hadn’t been on the bike for goodness knows how long (it’s been raining for ages down here) and so a hastily organised Putty ride was cobbled together. Paul was going to cruise by my place and we were going to head off at 7. I set the alarm for 0600 to give me plenty of time and hit the sack.

It was dark in the morning when I got up, just before the alarm rang (how many of you do that?)  but I figured that it was getting on into Autumn and hastened along with my preparations. I got dressed, put my stuff into the tank bag and headed to the kitchen for a spot of brekkie. While enjoying a leisurely plate of cereal I glanced at the clock and did a double take. 0534??? What was that? The clock on the microwave said the same, what IS going on? I checked my phone and, sure enough, somehow I had managed to get up at 0500 instead of 0600. I rushed back to the bedroom to see that the bedside clock was saying 0634. Near as I can figure, while setting the alarm on Friday night, I had also advanced the time by an hour. In my defence I was tired!  So there was plenty of time to wait till Paul arrived an hour and a half later!

The roads were thankfully free of traffic and we made it to our usual first fuel stop at Wilberforce in just on 2 hours. It normally takes about 15 minutes more than that so our perception that we were getting an extra good run was spot on. A slow-poke spoiled our run up through the Colo but that’s just the roll of the dice, a day in the saddle is still great regardless.

Grey Gum was packed with bikes and a huge group of Datsun 240Zs started rolling in at around the same time. However, a fellow VFR rider came over to where we were parked and told us that there had been a fatality about 15 kms north of the cafe and that the road was going to be closed for at least 4 hours. What a way to spoil a ride. So we turned around and headed home, pausing for a coffee at Windsor and getting home around 1500. 440kms and a good run in both directions mostly. The news this morning was that there had been two fatalities on the weekend, a 51 year old rider out on the New England Highway on Friday and a 44 year old rider on the Putty. Sometimes I hate my pastime.

Today was recovery day. I was planning on heading up to Wakefield Park to day but it just didn’t happen.