Ride to Melbourne (Day 3 - Saturday 15th August '98) 

Map of rideClick for map of ride

We woke up at about 7:30am.  Unlike the day before, Saturday morning was foggy with occasional drizzle.

Camping at Cathedral Rock
(Click for a larger image)

After breakfast I made a makeshift repair on my luggage rack using a stick held in place with some tape.

Modification to rack
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We packed up our things in plastic bags, in anticipation of a wet day ahead.  With the bikes loaded up I reconnected the BMW's battery and pressed the started button at around 9:20am.  The solenoid rattled but the motor didn't turn.  With the dirt path into the camping area looking muddy so I wondered if I could get enough traction for a roll start.  After a couple of pushes from Junko the bike still wouldn't start.  Then a car arrived, the driver helped push, but the bike still wouldn't start.  A fellow camper in a 4WD came to the rescue with a set of jumper leads.  A few minutes later the BM sparked into life with the assistance of a jump start from his Toyota diesel 4WD.  We left the camping area at around 9:50am.  In the daylight (and fog) the road out of the park was quite scenic.

Cathedral Rock National Park Cathedral Rock National Park
(Click image with border for a larger image)

We reached the highway at about 10:40am and headed south west to Armidale on what must have been the coldest ride of the trip.  The fog was so thick in places that it felt dangerous to ride faster than 60 kms, hoping that we wouldn't be shunted in the rear from a car doing 100 kms.  As we came down from the range the fog disappeared but was replaced by rain.  We arrived at Armidale (at 12:00) cold and wet but at least we arrived safely.  At the Information Centre I pondered at the map on the wall which showed the distance to Warwick as a 3 and a half hour trip.  It had taken us 3 days to get this far!!  To reach Armidale from Brisbane via Warwick would take about 6 hours - I consoled myself by saying we had taken the scenic route.  We continued south in the rain and reached Uralla at 1:10pm. We had lunch at the same petrol station we fuelled up at and met another rider who was coming from the south.  He said the weather was alright down the road.  We headed off to find out.  The rain ceased before we reached Moonbi.  We finally reached Tamworth at 4:00pm.

Golden guitar at Tamworth

Junko said that the GPz was making a strange noise, so I rode it and found that the noise was coming from the speedo.  I think that after the rain it had dried out and needed some oil.  This would involve removing the speedo, which I didn't have time to do, so I left it.  From Tamworth we headed down to Currabubula, a quaint little country town with some nice old biuldings like the Davis Hotel built in 1910.  The road from there to Werris Creek was nice and offered some typical NSW scenery.

Davis Hotel at Currabubula Near Werris Creek
(Click image with border for a larger image)

We reached Werris Creek at 5:00pm.  I had intended to find a Caravan Park and stay the night, but unfortunately there were no Caravan  Parks to be found.
With daylight fading I decided to continue on, further south, in the hope that there would be a Caravan Park in the next town - Quirindi.
It was still daylight as we arrived at Quirindi at 5:40pm.  A quick look at their Tourist information map revealed a Caravan Park. Yey!!
At the Caravan Park I paid for our site and promptly set up camp before it got dark.
After a fantastic dinner "up the town" (Junko had a huge Seafood Basket and I had Chicken Parmagana) we returned to our tent to get some sleep.  I thought this Caravan Park would be quiet as it was a fair distance to the main road, however other disturbing noises were to be had closer to hand.  Outside, somewhere within the Caravan Park, someone had their TV blasting away.  This wasn't too bad before we went to bed, but my patience was wearing a little thin at 2:30am.  I got up and approached the caravan where the noise was coming from.  I knocked on the door... then knocked again.  No response.  I peered in through the window to see the TV displaying squiggly lines and snow and blurting out infomercials.  Then I heard a noise.  It was the owner moaning as if in some drunken slumber.  At this point my patience ran out and I simply turned off the mains supply to the offending caravan.  Silence.

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This page was updated on Wednesday 4th November 1998