26hours 826kms 249ccs The plan was originally to set off from work at 2pm Friday afternoon and head to Warrnambool via the GOR. However staffing issues caused me and David (a co-worker) to not leave Tullamarine until close to 6. This struck out doing the GOR in order for us to get to Warrnambool by a decent hour. We headed off down the Ring Road on our two fifties ducking down behind screens as the wind started to pick up. Cutting through Werribee to avoid the merge we continue down the Princess Hwy to Colac for some Subway and rehydration. It was a little after 8 by the time we re-fueled and left. By the time we hit Terang I was so cold I had to stop to add an extra layer. It was also a good opportunity to get some feeling back in my hands. We got into the hotel at Warrnambool just before 10. The room came with Austar, 24 channels of nothing.. sleeptime. Being an early riser I was up and wondering about around 6, by 7:30 we were both keen to get moving. We played around at the various scenic points in Warrnambool (why on earth did I move away from there?) before getting some caffeinated beverages. Off to Lake Bolac via Mortlake, the pace was easy but the kms rolled over pretty quickly. The only time the bike got a workout was when slower moving traffic impeded our upper legal limit cruising. Part way through this leg the weather really started getting nice, if not perfect. There was no wind, the sky was blue with the occasional light white whiff of cloud and it was a very enjoyable twenty-something degrees. We were on country roads, the type that will see a patrol car every other week, the roads were mainly smooth with a nice surface. The conditions were there to take advantage of, but instead we just soaked it up and enjoyed the ride. In Lake Bolac I re-fueled as we discussed which route to take from here. We agreed that Halls Gap via Dunkeld would provide the best scenery, so off to Dunkeld we rode. Not long after leaving Lake Bolac we caught sight of the outlines of the hills, it was like watching a ping-pong match with that to the left and open expanses of fields to the right. Not since my push bike riding days had I ventured out this way and in the past decade I have seen a lot of things, but country Victoria really is a pretty place in parts. The closer we got to Dunkeld the warmer it got and with my morning Warnambool attire still on I was getting very warm. We took a lunch break in Dunkeld and guzzled down some liquids. Making use of the Information Center we discussed the route from here. We noted that there is a direct route to Halls Gap as well as a 'Scenic Route', with the nature of the trip being enjoyment the decision was pretty easy. We were riding through bushland which had recently had a bush fire which caused all the tree trunks to be charred black, however new growth had covered the trees from the root to the branch. They looked like black-cored, green pipe cleaners thrown haphazardly end first into the ground. The roads were smooth and clean, the world was silent bar the slight whistle of wind past my helmet and the smooth inline four song. We hadn't seen a car since Dunkeld, in either direction. It was a little sureal. We took advantage of one of the many scenic look-out points, the walking tracks looked tempting, but not in heavy gear. Once we joined the main road to Halls Gap we began to see some traffic, nothing too heavy. Then stopping again in Halls Gap to re-fuel and rehydrate. We grabbed a map from the Information Center to figure out how best to get around the hills. We took off in the general direction of the Zumsteins, it wasn't long before we had to start dodging cyclists and Barinas. It started raining as the first look out and it was already 2pm with still a lot of kms to travel. Next stop was Stawell for a social visit, then express to Ballarat. I waved to David as I took my exit to Werribee. By this stage I was keen to get home and have a decent shower.