Day 1 – Mildura to Shepparton As I was about to get my riding gear on I remembered there was mail in the letterbox – thought I should clear that out since I was gong to be away over a week. VicRoads has sent me a letter - hmmm that can’t be good, no rego due. Opened it to see a Victoria Police letterhead – ah bugger…. but it was just a summary of my demerit point status. Quite appropriate, reminding me I only have 6 points left on my license when I’m about to head off on a 2400km bike ride….. Fuelled up at BP Buronga, then hit the road heading towards Euston. As I pulled out of the servo with Talking Heads “Life during wartime” playing in the earphones, I started to relax and get excited about the next few days… Had a bit of entertainment when I was passed by several groups of bikies on Harley’s – Coffin Cheaters apparently. One of them was almost a Coffin Filler – he almost sideswiped a semi coming the other way, he would have missed it by less than a metre before he realised and swerved away. Further down the road I turned to cross the Euston/Robinvale bridge, and there on the other side was a police breathalyser station, with 5 Harley’s stopped. The copper waved me in, took one look at me and my bike, and waved me out again. Maybe he just likes Yamahas. As I was pulling out, the Harley’s started riding off too, so I was bang in the middle of the group of 5, in formation. Not sure who was more embarrassed about that, me or them. I’d say them. Nice ride through Boundary Bend to Swan Hill (if you’ve never seen an almond tree, go to Boundary Bend – they have 1 or 2 there (million). Fuel and lunch at Swan Hill (didn’t need fuel but needed food) then pressed on. It was getting hot and windy now and by Lake Boga it was pretty bad. Not going to guess the wind speed, but going back to my sailing days the technical term would be “you do what you like but I’m staying here on the beach”. Took a photo of a dust storm coming off the ”lake” - that must be really hard for the locals – what was once a great skiing lake and tourist attraction, is now a dry dustbowl. A decade of drought will do that I guess. Rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, but enjoyable (apart from the wind). Pleased and surprised by how well the TDM handles in the wind actually, better than I expected being a tallish and relatively light bike, and with luggage strapped to it as well to catch the wind. But then, it is the most underrated bike model in Australia…. Arrived at Shepparton about 3:00pm, hot and dusty so a shower and a beer for emergency first aid, then kick back here for a couple of days before heading to the mountains. Next stop Mount Buffalo.