Well, as flagged in another thread, after a very successful two-day ride to Newcastle and back to test the limits of my brother's health and rehab from his major accident four years ago, I decided we'd do a big ride. Not Far-Riders-type big, as in distance or time, but big for him. So the plan was Melbourne and back, probably over five or six days. The plan was to travel down to Melbourne via the Princes Highway, and in order to make the trip as easy as possible given Phil's physical limitations, to break both the down trip and the return into two days each. So day one was to be from home to Cann River, day two to Melbourne, day three shopping and socialising in Melbourne, day four Melbourne to Jindabyne, and day five to home via Bega and the Princes Highway. Monday morning was the plan; after the expiry of the NSW Double Demerits period, and after most school-holiday trekkers had already trekked. And, because you can never sleep the night of a big ride, we decided we'd head of at about 5:30 am. Needles we were both awake at 4:30, and dismayed by the sound of rain. Since we had no strict timetable, we decided to wait. So, by 9:00 the rain has stopped and he arrives. Needless to say (and just as well, as it turned out) I needed to fuel up. Across the road to the servo, and Phil's gesticulating madly as I fill up; his left rear indicator is flashing wildly, usually an indication of a crook bulb. We buy a new bulb, still not fixed, I peeled back the rubber gaiter covering the wiring at the globe connection and the main wire broke off! Anyway, my mechanic is just around the corner, and he's just re-opened after his Christmas break, so one new spade connector and 20 minutes later we were finally on the road. Anyone riding through Batemans Bay will know the Batemans Bay Cake shop. The cakes are ok, the coffee is ok, but its big plus is that right out the front there are three motorcycle parking bays, so you can coffee and cake with your bike in full view! Other councils should take note. And, the parking bays are under a huge tree, so your seat doesn't get hot either. On the subject of seats, because Phil's right leg is both pinned and plated, and because his bike's seat is pretty-much sacked, I loaned him my small sheep-skin seat overlay. It made a big difference, but he does need to get his seat re-upholstered. I had actually ordered a pair of these ;http://motoskiveez.com/shop-page/sport-skiveez/ for myself, and for him as a Christmas present; needless to say they arrived in the letter box at home while we were having our coffee! If you could get your timing right in life, things would be much easier The Princes Highway has ceased to be an enjoyable riding road over the years as the corners, as at the Conjola turnoff, and through Tilba, have been replaced with nanny-compliant straight bits, so, even though it meant making the ride longer, we got off it and did a detour through Bermagui and Tathra. Those of you who know this road will know what a breath of fresh air it as after miles of totally unnecessary double-unbroken lines on the Highway. As well, by now we had outrun the rain and the skies were mid-summer blue. Just out of Tathra we stopped again at a picnic area, and in the absence of anyone using it, rode right into the shelter-shed over the barbeques and rested and rehydrated. On the road again, it was getting time to eat, and I had a plan. We did the short hop over to Merimbula, and then, as I have always done since my first stop there, rode up onto the boardwalk of the Boardwalk café, right on the waterfront, and demolished a serving of their $10 pancakes with maple syrup and cream! Many years ago the lady who owned this café always made riders welcome, as she herself was a rider. Sadly a few years back she went into hospital for some routine surgery, complications set in and she passed away, far too young, and her friendliness is much missed. The current young team made us very welcome too; nothing was said about our slightly illegal parking and two other families who stopped in after us were interested to hear of our ride and its plans. Crossing the border into Victoria I was again amused but disgusted with the State of Signs it has become: in the first 1 kilometre I counted nine separate and unrelated pieces of nanny-state nagware, the sole purpose of which, I suspect, is to get you watching them so you're not watching your speedo. A last road-side stop as we were being bored to death by the road, .. before we rolled into Cann River and booked into our motel. Some charming English folk were sitting outside their room next door, smoking and chatting. I didn't think too much about them, we showered and had a cuppa a lay down for a rest. Several hours later, with them still smoking and chatting and all but the take-away at the garage over the road closed, we woke up! A passable but utterly unmemorable hamburger later, we retired for the night. Even with earplugs in these Cockneys woke me up at 11:00, but they were at least apologetic, and moved their conversation indoors when I stuck my head around the corner and made it very clear that 'Some people are trying to sleep here, folks'. With regular stops Phil's leg held up well and emboldened us to believe that the trip was do-able and should be fun.