As Mick M eloquently put it in his mini epic ride Popped my 'Bonang Cherry' today - "I popped my Bonang cherry today". Very applicable to my case too!
Inspired by the big Nemo & knowing I wasn't going to be able to make Orbost I enquired at the Nemo caravan park for accom.
Cabin that fits 4-5 people, 2nrm, own toilet / shower, fully equipped kitchen, heater and electric blankets... I was sold! $65p/n (wasn't going to find cheaper at that time of day).
They were even nice enough to let me store the bike undercover & secure in their games room
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Early to rise to check out he crystal still waters that makes Lakes Entrance, well... Known for its entrance to the lakes, in full technicolor.
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Orbost next to thaw and wrap my hands round a hot drink & ask the locals about road conditions. No rain apart from heavy frosts - so it was on!! Bonang cherry here we come !!
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This road I think has a bit of stigma to it. It certainly makes, me included, very nervous to ride for the first time. You imagine the conditions to be treaterous beyond your handling abilities, combined with road surface with lot holes you may disappear into... But alas, it's not.
From Orbost to Delegate: All sealed. Pretty good conditions with some patched small potholes the closer you get to Delegate. Here the issue is slippery ice on the road and deer. Holy moly for a split second I browned my pants when the biggest specimen of deer in his full antler set stepped out onto the road Visions of skippy revisited entered my mind, or having this beast chase after me. View attachment 55847 View attachment 55848
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The 10km gravel section after delegate: only a couple of corners where I needed to do at 20km/hr due to the coir regarding and or overly loose gravel. The rest was flat, well graded, wide and we'll sign posted. Can be done on any bike I stick to about 30-40km/hr average.
The 2km section of dirt onto the NSW section is prob much crappier condition and looser but prob because it was currently being worked on (sealed??) by NSW transport crew.
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I don't know if it was me or not, but as soon as I got across to NWS it looked sunnier, dryer and more open. Bring on the heat!!!! Mentally thanked VIC for its time, it's people & the learnings as I opened up the throttle on longer sweepers.
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I guess the key thing about doing the Bonang is don't let your guard down. Give yourself time and the sign posts are quite accurate for safety. It's a road full of beautiful delights, varied and contrasting like a fully laid out buffet with a cherry dessert to top it off hehe
Off to Bombala for a break & lunch. While munching away at a park, a couple approached me and introduced themselves. They were the earlier vehicle that slowed down and asked if I needed assistance when I was stopped at the gravel section earlier taking Picts.
They chatted for a while and gave me their details for they offered me accom and a meal if I needed. They themselves were ex-bikers but weren't really riding now. However after seeing this short umpa loompa on a lawnmower so far from home, they wanted to hear about the bikes set up because they were thinking about getting back into touring bikes and go around oz!! Good on them!!
Bombala to Tathra: just like the rolling Gippsland hills but slightly dryer. Just gorgeous. Purposefully rode (dawdled) along absorbing the sunshine and marveling at the scenery....until after Wyndham... Where I encountered the perfect road conditions for my bike. Downhill all the way so I could give it stick without being bogged down by the pannier weight!! My afternoon delight!!
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Getting to Tathra and seeing, hearing & smelling the seas was a refresher. View attachment 55858 View attachment 55857 Got in contact with Mr Flibble which unfortunately was not able to come riding due to bike issues, but was nice enough to catch up anyhow & take me to a Ulysses meeting. Heard about an amazing couple who travelled on bikes round oz... With a trailer!!! It was most informative and learned a few tips on towing on a bike... Just in case I ever want to do it!
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Thanks for the great night out Mr Flibble and wish you all the best on your beastie