Cancer is one of those things that touches everyone in one way or another. When Deb heard that one of her friends was running a charity stamp event in Horsham she was keen to go and support Pam. The event – ‘stamping out cancer’ was raising money for their local hospital so people could get treated locally rather than having to travel many hours from home.
The event was a huge success and generously supported by Stampin’ Up!, a number of local business, and with over 170 ladies coming out for the day. In total they raised just over $20,000. A great effort.
When Deb initially mentioned the weekend to me she suggested we take the bike. Okay, she had me at bike…. so we decided to make it into a long long weekend by taking Friday and Monday off and do a bit of exploring.
With Deb having a class on Friday morning we decided that she’d fly to Melbourne and I’d pick her up there where we’d do the last 300km together to Horsham. In hindsight I think she just didn’t want to drone down the freeway for 600km.
Setting off at 7:30am gave me heaps of time to stop and look around places I’ve just burned passed over the years. I just had to make sure that I was at the Melbourne airport by 4pm to pick up Deb.
After a couple of hours riding the GPS showed some nice symmetry with the travel numbers.
While over the years I have checked out most of the NSW towns along the freeway, I haven’t really stopped at any of the Victorian towns as I rarely stay on the freeway this long. Or if I do I’m on a mission to get somewhere on time. Today I had time on my side so I ducked off the freeway to check Glenrowan and Seymour in Victoria.
Seymour – a few years ago my Nominal Rolls team assisted the Mitchell Shire Council by providing them a list of names for the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk at Seymour in Victoria. The township of Seymour is close to Puckapunyal one of the Australia’s military training camps. The Commemorative Walk is a series of glass picture panels with the names of all Australian veterans who served in the Vietnam war.
After picking Deb up from the Melbourne airport we headed out into the Melbourne peak hour trying to find our way out using old GPS maps and new roads. Eventually, and after a number of u-turns and wrong roads we were finally heading west with everyone else.
By 8:30pm we rolled into our motel at Horsham, 960km from rolling out of our driveway this morning.
After dropping Deb off at the event I went into exploration mode.
Just to the south west of Horsham is The Grampians, a small mountain range surrounded by flat farmland.
Essentially by exploring I mean ride aimlessly, taking every side road to lookouts and waterfalls, then jumping off the bike to go for a wander. And I have to say that motorcycle boots are not the best hiking boots!
Saturday was a cruisy 420km day including dinner at the Creekside Hotel in Warracknabeal with friends, 60km out of Horsham.
Around Australia there are now a number of small towns who have painted grain silos to create a bit of tourism. In this region of Victoria they have set up the Silo Art Trail between Rupanyup to Patchewollock connecting 6 very different silo art work.
The scale of these artworks is amazing and it is easy to get lost in the detail of these. The Silo Art Trail is only but a few of the all the painted silos around the countryside. I haven’t really found a compilation of all these artworks but if I find one I will link to it.
My assumption was that these painted silos were designed to create tourism in these small towns. Therefore we skipped breakfast and opted to spend our money in one of the towns. We were wrong..! In the end we didn’t have breakfast until after midday at a lovely little cafe in a converted old church in Rosebury run by Maxine where we enjoyed a nice toastie, a coffee, and a chat.
From the end of the trail we head east to Echuca, which is an inland port town of old for moving cargo on and off paddle steamers on the Murray river and onto trains.
Sunday saw another 570km beneath our wheels.
and when in Rome…
A big touristy thing to do in Echuca is a ride on a paddle steamer. So we booked the earliest one hour ride we could find as we still have over 500km to get home. And it was so worth it! If you ever get there it is such a nice way to see the river. Next time we’d love to do an over-nighter. The sounds and smells of the steamer is so much nicer than a diesel powered craft.
And then we followed the river back along the NSW/VIC border until we came to Wodonga where we pointed the bike north and headed back up the freeway to Canberra. Getting home just after dark at 6:30pm after 550km for the day and a total of 2,500km for our 4 day getaway.