I love new roads. I love exploring where they take me. I love the different places, towns and scenery they take me through. I love the new experiences they present me.
So a couple of months ago a friend posted on a long distance riding forum that he wanted to have a beer with some mates at Barkley Homestead in the Northern Territory, my interest was peaked. I’ve never ridden in north west Queensland or the Northern Territory. The maps were out. The seed was planted.
A plan was hatched. A route was marked. The bike was packed. And repacked. Dam do I really need that much! The bike was repacked again.
At 6am I was at the fuel station in Canberra ready to go. I’m sure I still have too much but it’s too late now it’s day one.
Leaving Canberra it was pretty cool and with choosing the comfort of leather over the versatility of textiles I think it is fair to say I was cold for the first couple of hours until the temperature hit double digits.
I’m not sure what the collective noun is for grey nomads is but Coolah was wall to wall grey folk. For hundreds of kilometers either side there were caravans everywhere (nice mobile chicanes!) And in Coolah it was wall to wall 4 wheel drives with big wide mirrors. It turns out there was some big rave party out of town. Well I think the sign said “country music and camp fires”.
I did enjoy a very nice pie and a chat with said grey folk at the local bakery.
Bikes all loaded up can be like magnets. And I was the centre of attention.
From Coolah I headed to Gunnedah and then cut up some back roads through Manilla, Barrabra and Bingara to my final destination of the day Inverell.
Overlooking downtown Manilla.
Day 1 – 873km