After a day in a motel to dry out (in more ways than 1) I headed off Eastward, Strezleki Hwy, Leongatha, where I finally succumbed and bought some better gloves, gets a bit nippy in S Gippsland, especially when it's raining as well.
By the time I got to Maffra and met up with Paul, things were warming up a bit, so we unloaded Gus and headed up the twisty road to Licola. With me leading it can't have been pretty sight for Paul, but WA has only about 3 25km/hr corners in the whole state, so we don't get much practice.
We got there anyway.
Fining the store closed Paul decided to test out the abilities of Gus as against his 640Adv. We came 2nd.
Thanks for showing me around your neck of the woods mate. Next time I might just have a more suitable bike, in which case I might have to blame my own ability (or lack of it).
After another long sleep in the pub in Maffra I headed off up the back way to Dargo - Freestone Creek Rd.
Awsome bit of country, but not a lot of water in the rivers.
Pretty reasonable dirt except for a few washed out bits, usually on the tight corners
Starting to get a bit of elevation here.
The Dargo Pub is famous so it had to be on my itinery.
My room was an honest to goodness log cabin with all the kitsch accoutrements.
I spent a lazy arvo chatting to Dargo Dan at the general store, plenty of advice on local roads, an all round good bloke is Dan. His missus as well but I can't remember her name coz it doesn't hook with Dargo, like Dan does.
Pretty little creek runs through Dargo.
In the morning I am awakened at 7am when Bozo next door starts up his 8.2litre F250 2 feet from my head and proceeds to warm it up for 45min.
I feel like going out and telling him that he is ruining 2 things, the motor, ang his relationship with his neighbour. However he looks like a right redneck so my brand of early morning sarcasm may move him to violence and I'm a lover, not a fighter, so I settle on grumbling to myself ,
We hit the High Plains Road about 9
and almost immediatly run into evidence of the fires that devastated the high country in the summer of 2006-7
These fires were only about 45min from Dargo when the wind changed.
A lot of this country is changed forever, as the fire was so hot it sterilized the soil and heavy rain fell in many areas shortly afterwards, washing away the topsoil. Quite surreal.
As we climb we start to see remnant snow on the peaks away in the distance.
After 70km or so of dirt we hit the Great Alpine Road about 10 ks from Hotham
I think the speed limit may have been exceeded a bit up this bit of road!
From Hotham down to Omeo and fuel for man & beast.
The road from Omeo to Tallangatta on the Murray goes down in my book as the best bit of motorcycling road in Australia (so far) the 30 odd ks of dirt means that in the 130ks of sweepers and twisties I did not meet another vehicle - Magic!
In fact I found Victoria's secondary roads to be, by and large, deserted.
This day however we only get as far as Anglers Rest, the Blue Duck Inn has cabins that sleep 6 for $120 a night, but for 1 this is too rich so I cross the bridge and free camp beside the river
Then Wander back over the bridge for drinks and dinner, top class tucker too.
How good is this?
This is magic country, to a boy from WA having a mountain to look at is a rare treat.
The friend who was to come on this trip but couldn't used to live in a little town on the Murray called Jinjellic so I had to go there.
What a find,
The Pub's a gem.
Free camping in front of the pub, right beside the river.
Top class meals.
And met up with a couple of ratbag bikers.
The one on the left is from the US and works under deep cover for the CIA. (just kidding I think) his name's Jim. The short arse on the right with the attitude problem is Fred, he will feature later in this tale.
In view of the big night I will pause here in memory of the hangover.