Every year we have an annual bash up to Merimbula on NSW's South East Coast (the "Sapphire Coast"). This year, as usual, the ride started at Moe Maccas in Gippsland, down to Yarra Junction via Noojee where the Melbourne starters joined the ride. Then up to Tintaldra via Beechworth and then over to Merimbula via Cooma. The ride home next day usually takes in Bombala to Cann River. This year we did it differently. Instead of leaving Bombala and heading down to Cann River, we headed for Delegate, Bonang and Orbost on the Bonang Highway. I've never travelled the Bonang Highway. It has about 110 km of fantastic twisties, (and cheezels too) but it's interspersed with two sections of dirt totalling around 20-30 km. As I ride a Blackbird it's not that great on the dirt, sliding around like a seal on ice. And what with the riding position, the weight of the bike and the slow pace it ensured that by the time we finished the last section of dirt, my wrists were really suffering. By now though, the temp was up to the mid-30s and was promising to get hotter the further south and west we travelled. But the sealed sections made up for this. Well made roads (all of the Victorian section is sealed) made for a good run. Due to recent weather a few parts of the road had trees down right across them. Locals must have gotten the chainsaws out to cut a section and clear parts of them so that traffic could get past. Luckily none of these falls were on corners. After missing a few roos by a bee's doozywhatists along the Cathcart-Bombala Road, we were taking it fairly easy. However, the heat must have encouraged the local fauna to stay inside for the day and watch the cricket or something. Other than the second biggest lizard that I've ever seen dart across the road in front of me just out of Orbost, it was an uneventful run in that respect. There is no NextG coverage between Bombala and Orbost. So, if you do break down on this road, hopefully you'll have fellow riders to help you out. There are "towns" shown on the map. However, they must be invisible. Aside from one place that had two farmhouses and a a school zone (never did see the school), there is little in the way of civilisation along this section of road. So, make sure that you fuel up in either Orbost or Bombala. Both towns' servos sell PULP if your bike requires it. When I left the last dirt section and encountered the bitumen, I unwisely thought, beauty, sealed road, lots of grip. Wrong. For about 100 metres there is light and fine gravel on the road. And it's hard to see, as it matches the color of the light grey bitumen. It nearly caused me to highside as I give the wright wrist a bit of a handful. I bounced my left foot off the road and caused my foot an injury. Light swelling but enough to realise that no matter what sort of boots you wear, you're still susceptible to injury if your feet impact the ground the wrong way. Anyway, I was lucky to keep the bike upright. I'd say that it was due to skillful riding and catlike reflexes, but those who know me who may be reading this will wish to say something to the contrary. My GPS's trip computer tells me that this section of dirt caused an average speed of 33 km/h. The total distance of the twisty section is about 110 km. From Bombala to Orbost it's around 130km. So you have about 20 kays of normal roads before you cop the good/crap stuff. Oh, if you don't have a cast iron stomach, you may succumb to motion sickness. Or if you had a big night the night before (what, me, Tura Beach Country Club, nah...) then for me the trip was made a bit less pleasant wit h a constant linger of wanting to chuck chunder for the last half hour or so of the ride into Orbost. So, if you don't mind a bit of dirt riding, the rest of the road will more than make up for it.