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Horizons Unlimited – Tintaldra

Posted by TravellingStrom on February 26, 2008

Prep and Day 1

Well, lucky me had a slack day for work the day before leaving (I am a contractor), which gave me more time to pack . As it was so hot and humid and had been for days, I got the bedroom aircon fired up so I could get a good night’s rest as I was planning on being on the road at sparrows fart 🙂 and I was intending to do my first 1000km day, to see if I could

I was also planning on camping so I packed the gear and when I looked at the ‘down’ filled sleeping bag, it was just too bulky, and so I ditched it in favor of a fitted sheet on the air mattress and a 2nd fleece sheet for cover, bad move!!!! This decision came back and bit me 😦 so remember this all you Queenslanders.

Anyway, all packed, even though we had another storm that night I slept well and was on the road around 6am. If you don’t know where Rocky is, you should by now, it had just hosted a major flood, plus survived some big rain and flash flooding as well and this weekend we were in for another flood, a bit larger than the last one. Being an SES volunteer I was sorry I could not be there to help, but this weekends HU trip was planned well before the dam rain!! Anyway, fare well Rocky, a view from the Mount Morgan range lookout at sunup

It was a great start as I took the road out to Dululu, it is one of the rides mentioned in the ‘100 Great Aussie Rides’ book, or something like that name. Then down through Banana(none there) Taroom and onto Miles, then south to Moonie and Goondiwindi. Now, I have seen these occasionally out west but never so big and so many, there seems to be a plague of them

Here as a close up of their fruit

These are great to eat, but be very very careful, those little bumps on the fruit are full of little prickles and they hurt. They taste OK, like watermelon. I saw hundreds if not thousands of these and most over 10ft tall. They are a pest! All you south americans should know about these, they came from over your way.
A lot of the country out this way was a bit windy and trees lined the road for miles

great for wind protection, but also great places for skippies to hide out. For someone used to the open spaces, I had to concentrate a lot, just in case of wildlife etc.

I was planning on getting a photo of the ‘Welcome to NSW’, but somehow missed it, I was not even sure I had left QLD until I stopped for fuel somewhere near Moree and managed to get an NRMA map. Never mind, onwards  down through Narrabri and Coonabarabran on the Newell Highway. This was just a fast slab with heaps of semis and B doubles, sometimes 6 nose to tail, but I had expected this so no worries. It was getting late in the arvo by this stage but I was still feeling OK, no real problems from the bum or arms/shoulders/wrists etc . Funny thing though, I had lost an hour when crossing the border, so it was now an hour later but the sun was in the wrong place??? Its position told me it was around 4pm when it was actually around 6ish. That’s what you get when you have daylight saving! So, I picked a spot on the map, it was Dubbo and decided I would splash out on a motel and did so at the ACROSS COUNTRY Motel, which was cheap and comfortable. The best part was across the road, a pub where I had a great meal and some nice drinkies 🙂 the bike was parked in a perfect spot, out of sight of the road and there was a floodlight above it with a movement sensor attached, excellent.

All in all, a good days travel, 1194km and I still felt good. If I hadn’t been so hungry and I had extra lights, I would have kept on going that is how well I felt.

Day Two

I woke at the normal time, dawn, unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the sun!!! Apparently when NSW has daylight savings, it mean more daylight at the end of the day, but it takes it from the start, so I had to wait the extra hour while the sun got out of bed, hmmmm.

Under way at last and moved on south towards a town called Parkes, this rang a bell and when I got closer I realized why, this was where “The Dish” is, the large 64m radio telescope. I had plenty of time today so took a detour for a decko, but could not get a photo from close up, but here are a couple anyway

Then on down through Grenfell, Young, Cootamundra and finally I was riding “Along the Road to Gundagai”, a good name for a song

This is the old trestle bridge and in the next shot from the Gundagai lookout, you can see the bridges strung out across the plain

Next I headed direct south to Tumut where I checked my bank account, my pay had still not gone in, and this was annoying as it caused me to miss things the next day. Anyway, had some lunch at the Woolpack Hotel, saw quite a number of bikes around the area, some loaded up, even another 650 Strom riding with a lady on a kwacka, did not see where they went, but they parked next to me, maybe they will see this photo and speak up 🙂

Off again to Batlow, Tumbarumba(I love the sound of that) where I finally broke the 1000m high mark

although the highest point for the trip was 1565m, continued on to Elliot, Towong then finally I arrived at Tintaldra after a relatively easy 573km, a total of 1767km from home!

Yep, that is all she wrote, the whole town, population 25, we managed to increase the population by an extra 140 people over the weekend, lol. After registering it was down to the mighty Murray River to the camp grounds

It does not look so mighty here, because this is part of the head waters up in the high country where the river originates. More camp site pix

In this photo you can just see my bike under the tree on the right, behind that sign. That was snorers corner A lot of chainsaws were heard from that area overnight, only some from me, Alan was a great contender with a few others arriving later

Once the tent was set up, air bag inflated etc, it was time to partake of a few ales. Bumped into Lochy Campbell, it turns out we had met last year when I had dropped in at his place on the Sunshine Coast. He is the ozzie importer of Jesse Luggage I had wanted to see some back then. He now gets his own made and brought some with him for a display. They looked good and he tells me he is planning his own rack system , so that should be good, give the Jesse and HT guys a run for their money I reckon. So, a few beers, meet some people, some dinner (get in quick, it runs out) then we were treated to a couple of presentations by fellow travelers which were quite enjoyable. My cash supply was low so it was an early night for me. Tintaldra was low on NextG coverage, no internet and I could not run up a credit card tab at the bar.

Day 3

So, remember that ‘down’ filled sleeping bag I left at home? Someone slap me, cos I froze my arse off last night:( I woke up twice to add more clothes, being a stupid Queenslander and having left home in a hot and humid part of the year, heat is what I expected down south, cos all the things I see on the news is hot, hot hot, and bushfires etc at this time of year. Not so, this is the ‘High Country” so it gets cold, doh! And it rained during the night as well. So, when it got light, I got activated and headed for the showers up at the pub, well worth it, very hot 🙂 The day was set out for us if you wanted to attend the ‘break out’ sessions, which were short talks on different subjects etc. This was what I was here for but I had to make a decision to go find an ATM and see if my pay had arrived, if not I needed Internet to do a cash transfer. This meant a dash to the nearest large town called Albury/Wodonga about 125km away. So, that is what I did, not stopping for all the beautiful views because I was missing some importent and interesting things, like a talk on ‘Planning, 12 months prior to your trip” (If anyone has those notes, appreciate a copy). 1st stop in Albury was a travel shop, bought me a 0 degree C sleeping bag, unzip fold out model 🙂 My pay was not there, the internet cafe was closed till 1pm, so I traipsed down to the Library, registered and within 3 mins of being online had cash in the right spot, then traipsed back to where my bike was and got some cash out of the ATM next to it 🙂 Finally, cashed up, headed back to Tintaldra. Sorry for the epic, here’s some pix. Lake Hume

Near Tallangatta, photo does not do this justice

Boggy Creek Trestle Bridge up in the hills

Boggy Creek area

Some countryside

I then arrived back to find a crowd outside the pub

Aha, I had come back halfway through Claudio( showing how to change a tyre

Another same model strom just down the road from mine if you look, not sure if I met him, met a few other strom riders though

I’m buggered if I know who was riding this???

So, I managed to settle in for a few ales, chit chatting and discussing travels etc. Finally met Guy(saab463) who was taking a Dutch chap called Meinherdt on some dirt from Brissy to Phillip Is next weekend, he did not have his strom. Met Alan from Golburn, a fellow snorer, he rides a BMW, that is two Alans I know with beamers, lets see if this one can keep on working; In fact, out of all the bikes there, about 70% were BMW’s, I counted about 6 Stroms mostly 650s, a lot of KTMs and others like the Transalps etc and a Vespa and a number of other types 🙂

Late arvo and we had a number of sessions, Basic Cameras and other gear from Frank then
Helmet removal for a first aider
Frank Warner
Why and how not to paralyze or kill your friend!

Both very interesting, the Camera one went over time by half an hour

Then after a spit roast dinner, back up the road to the hall and a couple of presentations first off, a DVD of the Johnstones, who started the HU site,then
Canada to Colombia
David Breedon
How I bumped and banged my way south from Canada to Colombia

then we had the raffle of all the goodies,

Magadan to Istanbul
Adrian Scott

For those wishing to, the rest of the Johnsons DVD was available, but it was a late night by this time and most headed back to the pub and beds.

Day 4

Well, what can I say, a great nights sleep, amazing what a good sleeping bag will do:) While packing the gear up in preperation for heading home, Alan asked which way I was headed, I had no idea, but was interested in seeing Parliment House in Canberra so it would be a good chance to go via the Alphine Way up in the Snowy Mountains. He was interested so we headed off about 8am. First stop was Khancoban where he fueled up(mine was OK), this is where we bumped into a Malaysian rider called Razak, who was just out riding, thats him on the left, another BMW

The strom was there though

Back on the road and it was 82km of twisties up to Threadbo around Mt Kosiosko. Alan was way ahead, I got passed by Razak a few times because I was so slow. It was freezing, my automatic heated grips had switched on, but I was still cold, no thermal layers. Plus the road was on the western side of the mountains, so no sun yet which could mean frosty roads. Also it was a narrow road with no markings, I was concerned about oncoming traffic around a blind corner as well. All this and trying to look at the view meant I was damm slow, but who cares 🙂 Anyway, I pulled up at Threadbo where Alan and Razac had been waiting, here we scored hot chocolate and bacon and egg sangers just before brekky closed at 10am. As you can see, 123km took us 2 hours but tight 15km/h up and down switchbacks were part of this. We left Razak after swapping addresses and headed on to Jindabyne, we were now on the eastern side of the mountains so it was a lot warmer, also the roads were not so tight, a better speed was had here, more comfortable for this northener anyway 🙂

The red poles along the roads edge are snow markers, then we came upon Lake Jindabyne

I had seen a lot of this view

After fuel for me in Cooma it was straight up the Monaro Highway to Canberra, our nations capital where Alan navigated us to a perfect spot for a photo session

In the one above you can see a security guard on the right, he was just coming over to tell us to nick off, you can’t park there etc ; He was polite about it and let us get another shot each 🙂 A true aussie!

After some tucker at a cafe we headed off, Alan was heading east to Golburn and I was heading north to Queensland, so seeya Al, enjoyed the ride!

I kept going as I needed to get some k’s under my belt but also to go via different roads. Up through Yass, Boorowa, Cowra, here I met a couple on another beamer, he directed me to this motel and pub at the $10 town called Dunedoo. This towns picture is supposed to be on the aussie $10 note. On up through Canowindra, Molong, Wellington then east to Gulgong and north to Dunedoo. Most of the road was the same, a lot like this with hills and farm land

So, I arrived at 7.45pm Sunday night and could not find the place this chap told me about. I found out that it was the town behind me at Gulgong:( Damm, the lying prick, too late now, so I grabbed a motel room, went to the pub but they were just closing, so got some take aways and watched cricket in my room, we won, hahahaha 🙂
I was still a long way from home, but had two days if I needed it.

Day 5

I nearly got an early start, but had to wait for the sun again, hehe, but finally left at 7am up to Coolah, Mullayley, Gunnedah. Here I found my pay still not in the bank. I also found out my home town of Rockhampton which was under major flood conditions had just had a massive downpour overnight and the streets and peoples houses were inundated in the flash flooding, bummer, you may have seen it on the news. As all the storm water drain systems which drain into the river were under flood themselves, there was nowhere for the water to go, what a mess!

Anyway, I pushed on to Manilla, Barraba, Bingara and Warialda then some backroads up to North Star, you can see the road, it is in the middle of the yellow bit. The roads went for miles like this, nearly zero traffic, bliss 🙂

And then finally the words I wanted to see

The Queensland sign, not the speed limit or the limited access road, lol

Now it was a fast run to Moonie, Dalby, Jandowae, Mundubbera, Monto – here I phoned our local SES to see if the Yeppen flood plain was open, it was so, no worries. I had a choice now, 4 hours to home or at 4pm stay here? It meant an hour of riding in the dark, but the lure of my own bed drew me on. Decision made, 1/2 hour later the rain started LOL. And all I had was a tinted visor, lucky I had clear safety glasses with me 🙂 To Biloela, Dululu, down the Mount Morgan range and finally home.

A long day, 1314km for the day and the last 100km in the dark in the rain. I am definately getting extra lights.

It was a great trip, learnt some stuff, learnt I can ride long hours if need be, but not intending joining the iron butt group. Total trip was 4195km and the highest point was up in the cold freezing twisty bits of 1565m near Mt Kosiosko.

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

TravellingStrom 8)
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