It was strange venturing down the road without my riding 'padre'. The usual intercom banter of excited lads on motorbikes heading to a destination unknown gone. The GPS directions, given in a semi robotic voice is not quite the same.
From Melbourne I rode East into the beginning of the Alpine region I was to experience and explore. It was summer so the threat of snow at this stage wasn't an issue. The traffic and buildings thinned and the trees and hills prevailed.
Twisting roads and tracks through this type of terrain is always fun. Although I remember riding out from a mountain in Tasmania with Hydro onto a rather straight stretch of road and the intercom came to life with an agreeable comment "Oh Ty, it's nice to relax with straight bit!" It is surprising how much concentration is required and the not only physical but mental exertion. You certainly feel it and good sense of satisfaction at the end of the day!
One of the impressive wooden railway trestle bridges built to service the timber industry in times gone by. Many have fallen foul of bush fires and old age.
Noojee Trestle Bridge
The forecast wasn't the best and it confirmed itself with drizzling rain to heavy down pours. I soldiered on, I had to be brave now riding alone. I treated it as a test, the heavens were upset that my riding mate was somewhere heading in the opposite direction!
The "Toolshed" bar and restaurant Noojee, welcomed warmth, cleansing ales and check that out for a 'Parmigiana' selection!
I was the only one in the bar that wet week day afternoon, the publican was busy doing odd jobs and told me to pour my own if he wasn't about. Country hospitality and trust of a happy biking stranger.
I had spotted a town on my map called "Erica", I have a great, always happy friend called Erika so for no other reason I made for it in the rain. I needed a little cheering up as the now sometimes torrential rain was starting to soak though. (Motorbike lesson #235, whilst transiting cold or rainy areas, have both Rainex and anti fog applied to your helmet visor or goggles.)
Arriving at Erica in the rain and just on dark I was welcomed with more, good local hospitality. A room was booked to air and dry out all my gear. Then dinner and drinks devoured under what some would say a macabre decor. The years spent cutting and chopping wood with my dad to keep the family warm and fed through my childhood and youth had me checking the history of chainsaws with a particular interest.
Erica pub ceiling...