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My interesting journey

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by guzzisti91, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. guzzisti91

    guzzisti91 Tuned and Synch'ed

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2018
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    Location:
    Villawood
    This may get me in trouble for talking complete & utter nonsense, but after inviting other members to share stories, i felt it necessary to share my own. This one happened quite recently, mid January, when i headed south of the border, down..... Victoria way.
    One day i was looking on google maps for some roads to explore within Australia, particularly southern NSW, when i spotted some nice hairpins across the border.
    I spotted Kosciuoscko (i never could spell it properly), thought it would be nice to see that area. This would all turn out to be part of the Great Dividing Range, so i made plans, got the time off & decided to go on this trip - taking my trusty Nevada with me. The overnight stopovers were Cooma, Dinner Plain, & Tooma (no, i'm not making this up, the people who named one of those towns was probably that lazy), ending it where i started in Villawood.
    Now, before i set off, i had little idea as to how vast my home state was. I took no photos for hundreds of k's because there was just nothing to see. It was desolate - apocalyptic, almost. I had travelled over 200km before my first fuel stop, here.... 20190117_083240.jpg
    This is Braidwood. Fuel was reasonable, the locals? Cannot say much as i haven't spoken much. I just filled up, realised i disconnected the idiot light before i set off, plugged it back in & off i went. The roads got exciting. The roads rounded rolling hills & small mountains with patches of rainforest here & there. Trucks, caravans & suvs threatened the buzz of it all but were slow enough to overtake without doing anything stupid. This went on until i hit the coastline. This was Kings highway.
    Another tank, another 200km. Despite being near the sea, there really wasn't anything worth stopping for. It bored me. I was planning to stop at Bodalla, but, it was very muggy, i found it hard to breathe, & there was nothing worth stopping for. Not until Narooma....
    20190117_110851.jpg
    Now, that haze! No wonder i had trouble breathing! Good thing i was wearing one of these..... 20190118_095459.jpg
    Yes, that black thing on my helmet. Blusnap. It's a cooler & filter for your helmet. Against that heat & mugginess, this was my last line of defense. Don't want our brains burning out, do we? I also wetted down a t-shirt beneath my jacket & kept it open just a little, but on the coastline that technique was useless.
    After that little stop, i was off to Nimmitabel. They had a great little bakery there. The road i took was a little more straight than the map indicated, but still worth it. Shortly after Nimmitabel & about 10km out from my booking in Cooma, the Nevada coughed it's last. That old, familiar sound, characteristic of carbed bikes. She was out of fuel. Where i pulled over was so desolate it wouldn't look out of place on a mad max film. It was also very windy, making it hard to pour in the jerry cans. But, i got it done. I was off. & i soon reached my first booking. Cooma.
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    Now, this reading was in the shade. But the whole experience left me exhausted. So exhausted, i just put the aircon on full blast & went straight to bed. I didn't eat that night - there was no way i was going back out there in that heat!
    As i went to bed at 3pm, i got up just before dawn, but i slept well. 12 hours should cover it. Due to the previous day's heat, i decided to set off while it was still dark. I stopped at a servo to refill the jerries - & the bike for good measure. I then headed toward Jindabyne for breakfast. For another 50km, nothingness, but as i approached Jindabyne & crossed the mighty Snowy river, the roads were disappointing for a different reason - i couldn't pull over. The view was breathtaking - & i just wanted to take it in! I almost cheered at the sight - this is what i had come to see. I then pulled in, got breakfast, then headed through the Snowy mountains, toward the Victoria border. Was stopped at the tollgates on the Alpine way. Because i wasn't stopping at Thredbo, the attendant didn't charge. Off to Khancoban. Since Kozzie was in this area, i thought i might try to spot it. But, it's not easy. I chose this route in order to take the hairpins uphill. This was taken before i passed Thredbo...
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    Things got progessively twisted from there. &, more rainforest.
    20190118_080903.jpg
    Filled up at Khancoban for insurance as according to my fuel app, they were the last to sell 98 for another 400km (they were lying).
    From there, i was off to the border. Victoria. Famous for Melbourne.
    20190118_095441.jpg
    Now, it was still quite hot. It is summer, after all. But that river, the Murray, had a profound effect. I crossed it, & the air was thinner! I could breathe better, my word! & importantly, i could hear that sweet Guzzi music at 100km/h! A feat not possible in NSW. I could go into detail as to where i stopped, Corryong being a nice little town where i should've eaten, Eskdale, all that.
    Omeo Highway is where things started to really challenge both me & the Nevada - & it would only get harder from there. But that was what i came for! A nice, twisted road to challenge both me & the the bike. The Nevada really came alive here, & i took little photos as i was busy riding, & wanted to reach my next booking in Dinner Plain, because it was cold there. Once again, the Nevada roared into action, pulling me up those hills & through the hairpins with a gentle yet mighty force.
    Many birds crowded the lanes, but flew off the moment i approached. Many of them magpies. But a few others seemed determined to "race" me. Eskdale? I stopped there for "health" reasons. The talc i brought came in handy as the constant throttle use started to burn my hands. This would be the only way i would use that talc as i never needed the spare tube.
    On the road again, i headed toward my turnoff toward Mt Beauty. This is listed as WTF corner, & i turned there onto Bogong High Plains road. This road was twisty, a lot of climbing, but harzardous even in summer. The temperature also changed for the better (hey, i like it cold). The view? In a word, breathtaking. Stopped whenever i could, took photos, all that. The ride was starting to take it's toll. Now that i look back, i think this is where it started to become clear that the bike would hold up better than me. Now here's my bike near a crazy dam...
    20190118_145515.jpg
    Crazy as it has one of those bellmouth gurgler spillways, but there wasn't enough water there for it to be used. I then ran out of fuel nearby, once again used the jerry cans, then proceeded to Mt Beauty - which was HOT! I needed a break & some petrol - using octane boost this time. The jerry cans got love too. From this point on, it was off the Dinner Plain - my final stop for the day.
    As i climbed the hills, it got colder. I had reached the Alpine region.
    20190118_174353.jpg
    The roads got better, then the loose chippings appeared, as did strong winds, causing me to slow down. Great Alpine road. The drivers who pulled over to let me pass & enjoy the twisties, ironically, wanted to pass me. For some strange reason, they wanted to slam their cars & trailers around the loose road surface. Ah, but who am i to judge? I let them pass without incident.
    The chippings dissapeared, & i reached Dinner Plain. The town looked ugly in the pics, but the pics didn't do the place justice. It was a beautiful town! Before retiring to the hotel, i drank at the local brewery, where the owner informed me that the town had it's hottest day ever. It was 25°C, but felt much cooler. My arms were sore from constant countersteering, so i got another early night.
    The morning came. Got everything with me, but where did i put my key? Searched high & low, all around the lodge, tore open my bag, where are they? I can't get out of here without my key. I headed back toward the hotel, remembering the code, & laying in the grass, there it was. Since the last night. The whole time. The sun was up by that time. This would be the first sign of a very interesting & exhausting day ahead.
    I headed toward my turnoff, taking pics i wasn't able to the previous day. Then, "hang on, i've been here before. I wasn't supposed to go this far back". I checked the maps. I was right. I missed the turnoff. No matter, headed back, pulled over, found i missed it again. What's going on? I stopped by what was supposed to be a landmark near that turnoff. Checked the maps again, saw a paved road with an open gate. Turned in, briefly turned on location settings, "ah, so that's how i missed it!". It didn't exactly stick out. Google kept trying to send me toward Omeo & there's a good reason for that. Dargo High Plains road. Not long after i went along this road did i discover my oversight, but it was already too late - Dargo High Plains road was dirt. I thought it might just be a short section, & then it started to get worse. The roads became corrugated, & after reading another blog late last year, i decided to pick up speed to try smoothing out the bumps. But i slowed right down around corners. On asphalt, corners are my friend, but on dirt, my worst nightmare! & all the 4x4's were slamming around in the opposite direction.
    Oh, how i prayed that things would get better! & my prayers were answered. I was able to go as fast as 90km/h, then i saw some sharp rocks & released the throttle. I was thrown around, but the faithful Italian kept on course.
    This passed through cattle land. The cows were very courteous. Some appeared to check out my bike as i went by, but most clung to the sides of the road as i approached.
    I then reached forest. Logging territory. These dirt roads were smooth. Not bad for dirt. I proceeded as i would any paved road, albeit slower around corners. This went on for another 20km. Then, near Dargo, PAVEMENT! Sweet pavement! I stopped at Dargo itself where i checked for damage. There wasn't any. It was just dirty.
    I asked the lady at the pub there if there was any more dirt roads toward Bairnsdale - my next fuel stop. She confirmed there was none, & i was like "yes! No more dirt roads!". Boy, was i in for a rude shock.
    Predictably, the 95 from Mt Beauty didn't last that long, so i once again pulled over & filled the tank from the jerries. I cannot tell you how many times the Victorians pulled over to offer assistance every time this happened. This never happens in Sydney, & is a rarity in NSW. I found these "Mexicans" to be much kinder than my fellow "Americans", but it did restore some hope that there is still some goodness in my fellow countrymen. They're not all self-absorbed, it turns out
    Anyways, stopped in Bairnsdale, filled up, examined the maps to find how long it'd take & how much time i had to jump the border. Google once again tried to divert me away from a road i had planned on riding. Oh, why didn't i listen to those nosy little parasites?
    The road toward Omeo was twisted, & perhaps the most exciting of them all. This is the south-eastern stretch of the Great Alpine road. The very same route i mentioned earler, but further down. There was more wildlife. Wallabies. But these reacted differently. They hopped away from the road itself as i approached. Maybe they fear the sound? Either way, plenty of room to avoid - they made their move shortly after i appeared over the horizon. That is, except for a juvenile maggie that tried to play chicken before i sounded the horn. It just walked off the road. That road passed through Swift's creek, a lovely little town.
    Then, more corners. I kept my speed, got pretty low, then the same in the opposite direction. The fully-laden Nevada was up to the task. Flickable on the uphill - despite it's weight. This went on until shortly before Omeo. I pulled in there to buy food, then locate my turnoff. Boy, how i wish i never took that turnoff, because that road was Benambra-Corryong road. I have no pics of that road; no time. Had to get to Tooma before sunset. There were many stretches, long forgotten towns, hot but thin air (the wet shirt technique worked for 2 hours), then, after ignoring the specifics of a sign, i struck dirt. Of course, by then it was far too late, ugh! Wasn't a pleasant experience.
    The roads were winding, forcing me to slow down. Then, i hit pavement. I cheered. "Bugger!". Dirt again. This happened a few times. Many of the very tightest bends on that road are paved, but that's the very definition of a half-arsed job. What about the other 60-odd km? The presence of crazy 4x4's towing caravans slamming around corners didn't help. Then, i was alone....
    ....& then, the road got worse, & worse, & worse. Oversight strikes again. Benambra-Corrugated road, more like it. I reckon this road would make a hilux cry - it was that rough. This would be something a Stelvio or Quota rider would aim to take on. Or one of those soon-to-be-released v85's. But certainly not a Nevada! It's a cruiser! Not a dirt bike. Nevertheless, she handled it well. Surged a bit, sure. It was a rough road & i was trying to speed through it for a smoother ride, but to no avail. Then, i struck pavement. I was skeptical, then looked at a local map. I've made it! I looked back at the road behind & vowed never to do that again. The bike pulled me through - just like before! I knew it would, because neither occasion was it's first enncounter. I reached Corryong before jumping the border, once again crossing the Murray. Boy, that was like being punched in the face! The air in NSW is so much thicker! I then ran out, refueled. This time, just waves. Typical NSWelshmen. Reached Tooma, & slowly dismounted. So sore from my ideal. In short, the bike held up better than i did. You could throw a Guzzi into a river, purge out the water after 2 years, & it'll still run. They're that tough.
    Spent the night in Tooma, host went out of his way to give great service, slept well, but then i had to go back to the city. I took Tooma road toward Cabramurra, where there were many kangaroos who jumped back into the bush as the Nevada approached. Then, there was that cheeky brumby, who stared me down until i slowed to 30km/h. Then the brumby moved off the road. After that, the roads were boring. Just motorway. I went triumphantly to church - who were very happy to see me. A friend's baby dedication was being held that night; i made no promises & said i might not be able to attend because of the long journey. But i made it. Wearing the same famous eagle as the machine that carried me for 2200km. Then, i was finally home.
    Hope you enjoy
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
    jdub likes this.

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