Monday, July 4, 2016

The Winter Gully Tour - Day 1

Well....after much anticipation I was finally heading off to our Winter Gully road-trip Gateway meetup the the rain... with large trucks barreling down the road...praying I didn't have an accident before we start :) ...but we all made it to the beginning of epic Nindigully tour...this time in winter...not summer.
Rain was still drizzling as we made our way out into the early morning traffic (around 6:30am)...gingerly making our way around the lights and onto the Gateway Motorway heading for breakfast at Warrick, picking up Brett, John and Leigh along the way....that's 16 road-trippers in total , 13 bikes and 2 support vehicles ( Steve G joining us at Moree)

With Des on his triumph Tiger (part of the tiger pack) leading the way we headed off for a cold and drizzly/overcast day ..... traffic was busy right to Amberly airbase then thankfully clearl for some touring speeds....we had 520km to do and couldn't dawdle.
Our first stop was for a leg stretch at Aratula where we picked up John and Brett from the Gold Coast...the Harley girls were feeling the cold ...but thanks to the ladies toilette's blow heater Paulette's fingers finally defrosted :) 
the rain stopped but the clouds in the Mountains suggested we were in for more

Then up the "Main Range" and onto Warrick to fuel up our bikes and our bodies was great to get some gear off and warm up as the cold rain set in outside. Its amazing what some warm food will do for you.

With the Harley girls still cold and a little wet our Tasmanian Leprechaun, Leigh McQ decided to redirect us to Bunnings to grab some yellow plastic pants to help keep the water out. As usual though things didn't all work out as the group got split up , compounded by Christa's mirror problem we all finally consolidated at out designated leg stretch stop at Inglewood.
notice the difference with Jodies shredded at the back
Then we headed for our planned Caltex truck stop at Goondiwindi ..we seem to have a fetish for these truck stops...but I can't help remember how hot it was in our 2012 summer tour.

Now for the final push to Nindigully  158km away ...straight, flat , road-trains and lots of roadkill, we are in the outback after all. Weather was ok..some drizzle...mostly cloudy ,but anytime on a motorbike is a good one :) 
We normally have a leg stretch after an hour and Des lead us accidentally to the same rest stop as we made in our 2012 summer tour ...the location notorious for the "Des rack malfunction".
 While we had no more bike malfunctions there was a surprising front tire pressure alert on the puncture support vehicle (Tim's MX5) ...the bikers of course all felt sorry for the car :)
Cowboy Bob supervising Tim's Tyre check
Everyone was keen to get away with the clock ticking towards Kangaroo happy we headed off the 60km to the NindiGully Pub ( oldest continuous operating Pub in Australia)What a difference it was as we rode in dust but dodging the ground water accumulated after nearly 8 inches in the region over the previous 2 weeks....but unfortunately free beer was yesterday!

Priorities were to park up and unpack the bikes...get our room allocation and settle down ...the "honeymoon" couple (the Keilars)
, other ladies and snorers in their own room and the boys sharing 2 bunk rooms :) ...a few of us had the luxury suite in the XXXX building ...(aka old store) ....but I think there was a strange Tasmanian Leprechaun haunting the place :)
So with everyone settled in we enjoyed some cold beverages, great conversations,ordered dinner,Des had did a little offroading riding and we enjoyed(?) some impromptu entertainment from a travelling band of entertainers. 
With a little rain falling outside we took over the historic dinning room....surrounded by over a 100 years of memorabilia (even a letter written by Des's great grandmother (?) ...and had a great night of community consuming some very large meals. 
So off to bed...a little sleep in then off for a 230km short ride to Lightning Ridge on day 2 for a day of Mining and hot bores ie. springs.
THANK YOU NINDIGULLY did not disappoint
lots of character, great food ....comfort ??:)
obligatory selfie and our commemorative hoodie that kept us nice and warm.
check out the video below