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Barry's Way with a wet Great Ocean Road

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by gegvasco, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Wasn't going to post a report but had a request for pics in a different thread so thought I'd better put this in it's rightful folder. Didn't take too many pictures for reason that will become apparent.

    Plan was 4 days - Canberra then Jindabyne and the Barry Way to Gippsland, southern Gippsland to the Island, then bypass Melbourne and take the Queenscliff Ferry to Torquay. Then the Great Ocean Rd to Portland, divert North to the Grampians, then cross country to Bendigo avoiding highways like the plague. More back roads to cross the Hume at Holbrook and then the back roads through Tumbarumba, Tumut, Wee Jasper and Uriarra into Canberra. About 2500km.

    First day went well. No problems to Jindabyne down the Monaro Boreway. Then hit the Barry Way south from Jindabyne. Great roads and scenery leading to the start of the dirt.
    The dirt was reasonable quality on the NSW side but for some reason the dirt on the VIC side was red and a lot more slippery. Did they lay some different surface down in VIC? All I know is that it got a lot trickier once over the border. The Barry Way follows a river valley down from the border and the scenery is incredible(that's the road on the side of the hill).


    A major fire went through in 2003 which devastated the whole area which is why the place looks a bit thin. Near the border, there are a couple of river camp grounds and as became apparent, with the Victorian public holiday on Tuesday, a lot of people had taken the 4 days off and headed up to camp out. Being 11am on the first day of that break, there was a stream of 4WDs coming the other way. About half were driving smart on the blind, narrow, loose dirt roads - they were taking it easy. The other half were going way to fast which meant even though I was only doing 20km/h max around these corners and staying as far left as I could, it was a close run thing a couple of times. Most at least tried to brake and move left as we passed but one bloke nearly had me off down the cliff when he failed to even move left. I ended up with the choice of stopping and getting hit, or continuing, throwing it left towards the cliff and the really loose stuff then trying to regather before a significant and sudden loss of altitude! F%^&ing asshole! Apparently bullbars are for shooing riders off the road. This was followed up an hour later on the tarmac by a 4WD cutting a corner and not adjusting his line at all, leaving me half a lane to pass at a closing speed of 200kph. Great stuff. Recovered at Sale and washed the dirt off the bike - bugger it, forgot the chain lube!

    Day two was brilliant. Out of Sale I tracked to Traralgon and then south through all sorts of little rural roads through the hills. What a fantastic area. The scenery was incredible, the roads of good quality and heaps of twists and turns through the hills. Eventually made my way to the Island for a loop and some photo ops. This photo is from the southern coast of the island halfway between Summerlands and the GP circuit.
    Then made my way to Sorrento for the ferry - bloody traffic! It was mobbed and as a result, I missed the ferry by 2 minutes even after leaving a buffer on getting there on the hour! So I lost an hour to that. Then when I did get on the ferry, there is no tie down system so the bloke said "Up to you, but we advise staying with the bike to stop it falling if the ferry starts rolling". So I spent the hour trip in the saddle reading a book on the tankbag. As soon as I pulled out of the ferry, light rain had started so I quickly tried to get the wets on. After that it was a casual ride through the backroads from Queenscliff to Torquay via Barwon Heads. Then paid double the rate for "peak" weekend at a motel in Torquay!

    Third day was supposed to be the standout - Great Ocean Rd and the Grampians for the first time on a bike. Got about 30k's down the road from Torquay and a wall of black descended and the wind and rain started. This curtailed operations somewhat and was only compounded by the campervans that were doing 20kph maximum in the conditions. Even stopping for a coffee was a trial because the whole area was mobbed with long weekenders so it took 20 minutes just to get a coffee and then it was a matter of standing under a tree in the rain to drink it because there was no seating left in any of the cafes.

    By the time I hit the Otways, the cloud base was about 500ft which meant when I got up in the hills, we were in the cloud = mist, everything was damp and a light continuous drizzle. This made the roads treacherous and on one occasion, even though I was taking it very easy, the bike tried to depart controlled flight on a left hander. It was only the fact that I was taking it slow and taking the left side of the lane that prevented me ending up on the wrong side of the road after regathering. This all put pay to ANY photo opportunities.

    Things cleared marginally near Port Campbell but by this stage I had lost a couple of hours thanks to the conditions. I did some sums and had to blow off the Ocean Rd to Warnambool, Portland and the Grampians otherwise I would have been getting into Bendigo after 9pm. The ride north from Port Campbell was still a great ride. Incredibly picturesque area through there and was very "lush" in the intermittent drizzle. Made it to Bendigo just before 6.

    Hot tip: Don't eat at La Porchetta in Bendigo - f%^&ing clueless!

    Final day was a good day's riding with all the weather cleared and the sun was out but it wasn't hot. Mainly flat, straight farming roads so again little to stop for photos of. It was also the biggest day in terms of K's so I wasn't stopping for much, including photos. Some wonderful little towns out the back way between Cobram and Culcairn. And there must be something in the water at Cobram - couldn't believe how many gorgeous chicks were getting around. A "scenery" hotspot. I limited my exposure to the Hume Highway to the 10m it took to cross it at Holbrook. Didn't even check the submarine out. After having chased the bloody things around the ocean for real, it just doesn't seem right to see one sitting in a park!

    From Holbrook up to Tumbarumba is a good fun road. Some twisty bits but mainly long high-speed sweepers and some great country. The run north (and south for that matter) from Tumbarumba are great rides. More sweepers and few moderate twisties on good quality road. Just watch out for ice when it is cold and in shade as it is fairly high and the ice is probably a concern longer than many would think. From Tumut it was that brilliant bit of road to Wee Jasper. Starts off with big, new tarmac sections designed for the logging trucks. So part from watching out for some debris(some bits not so small!), and frequent road kill, these are all high-speed sweepers on good quality road. Then the dirt starts and it gets windy, loose and ends up in the middle of nowhere.

    After Wee Jasper there are some great twisty tarmac bits with some very tight corners Before Cavan. Tyhe road south of Cavan into the back of Canberra is good fun. Some good quality dirt and high-speed tarmac. Just watch out for the Brown snakes and Echidnas on the dirt bits!

    Of course, with the return to suburbia, the 4WD's sullied their name even further but this was a double whammy idiot - a pretend 4WD with a pushie on top who decided they didn't need to give way to me coming along at 100! They would have got a wonderful demonstration of the doppler sound frequency distortion as I flew 1m past their door with the horn blaring at a high-overtake speed. F$%*wits.

    That was it. Great ride, with some disappointment caused by the conditions and an even more healthy dislike of arrogant 4WD-ing morons.

    And finally, and as I always say - V-Strom, what a brilliant bike!!!
  2. Great report, as usual, mate, and terrific photographs :).
  3. Thanks Hornet. Would have been good to have a few more photos but such is life.
  4. Great report :) You must have an iron butt mate!

    I came off second best once on the GOR in wet conditions... glad you made it through.
  5. Or a real comfy bike!
  6. Great report and pics - Barry Way is another road yet to be done :cool:

    We were looking at maps Sunday night and wonder how long and what condition of the dirt to Wee Jasper? What would it have been like on sports tourers as opposed to dual sport?
  7. :cry:

    Too many cliffs and not enough traction :shock:
  8. From Yass, the road to Wee Jasper is mainly tarmac and some good fun twists as well. The back road from Canberra joins about half way along this bit at Cavan which is nothing more than an intersection. There are some segments that you could handle on a sports tourer for sure. The skill of the rider would dictate how fast you could go. It is reasonably good dirt.

    From Wee Jasper to Tumut, apart from the first couple of k's out of Wee Jasper where it is tarmac, it almost immediately turns into a very narrow, winding, track on a small cliff with some loose stuff here and there. Some larger rocks in some bits as well. You'd have to take it pretty easy on a sports tourer but you could do it. It certainly isn't a "trail". This extends for about 10-20km and then straightens out into some better quality dirt for another 10-20k's(didn't really take note of exact distances) before you hit the forestry areas where they have laid down some good quality tarmac. Once on the tarmac it is a fast run all the way to Tumut - about another 40-50k's.
  9. Thanks for the update - hopefully ride it next time :cool:
  10. Hey my missus was probably one of thoes goodlookin chicks you were lookin at in Cobram, :cool: .