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Old 05-17-2008, 08:14 AM   #16
dogsbody OP
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but wait...there's more!

A bit further down the road we noticed a sign to Coopers Creek. This held some fascination for us as we both work in the vicinity of Cooper Creek in the north east of South Australia. So off we headed down the mountain track to see what was there.
Surprise, surprise, it was nothing like the desert environment of its namesake. And, even more surprisingly it sported a great little restored pub.....that was NOT OPEN!

I was inconsolable for some time and found it hard to quell the tears and pull it all together.
But I did manage to get it together to pose briefly for this photo before having a relapse.

High reflectivity ratio on the old head this morning:


A great little pub this one but we couldn't work out if it was actually trading or in the process of being re-established as a working pub.
Probably just as well it wasn't open as i suspect that might have signaled an early end to the day's traveling.
It was situated on a flat by itself at the bottom of the valley and when we came upon it bathed in direct sunlight I thought I was seeing divine intervention in my life. No wonder I felt so down when it was obvious it was not open.

Whadda ya mean "drinking problem"?:


Some details here in this link:

http://www.gdaypubs.com.au/VIC/coopers+creek.html

Looks like it may be a private residence now, but as the link says, stay tuned.
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Old 05-18-2008, 04:23 AM   #17
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Moving on from Coopers Creek we continued down out of the hills then on through Toongabbie to Heyfield.

I was conscious that we were starting to be accompanied by an "interesting" odour of the sort that could be excused if you were a world traveller with some sort of exotic accent and a beat up vintage bike.
Unfortunately (as much as I like to dream) we didn't fit the bill. So in an effort to regain social acceptance we took a break for a couple of hours and hit the laundromat.

Many dollar coins later, we were on our way to Maffra where we decided to call it quits for the day and grab a room at the Backpackers.



We trotted in and organized a room with Marg, the proprietor and a lock up out back for the bikes. There was a large common room and bar at the front of the building that was quite inviting and comfortable so we grabbed some chinese tucker from next door and stuffed our faces. ....and washed it all down with a bottle of vino and a few ales.

We shared a room with some young blokes that evening who I'm sure appreciated the night long respiratory tunes and occasional rumbling from beneath the sheets.....

Leaving Maffra early next morning we were headed up into the hills again to Dargo.
I'd seen a lot of photos of this place on this site and in various magazines and was keen to know it a little better.
A great road full of twisties led us over the hills down into the valley on a bright sunny day where we stopped for fuel and a bite to eat at the Dargo Store.

It was here we met "Dargo Dan - The World's Friendliest Man" at least that's what we retrospectively dubbed him. The little town itself is beautiful and we were fortunate enough to be there on a beaut summery day, but Dan's enthusiasm for life just topped it off.
He came scooting out when we pulled up saying that he thought he heard a 990 Adventure with Akropovics!
"Bloody well tuned ears!" I said.
Dan went on to explain that he doesn't actually have amazing powers of perception, its just that he owns one as well.

Dan yakking on the verandah with Big J:


We discussed the local trails at length, with Dan offering a us lend of his personally marked up maps, but unfortunately he could not offer an opinion on where we could get a set of knobbies for the Honda Blackbird so we had to be content with a scoot through town and up the mountain to the start of the trails.

We were so taken with this place and the personality that was lent to it by Dan, that we new we'd be back some time later in this journey.

Dargo Pub:


Note: I don't know why they label the roofs of their buildings in country Victoria, but I like it so much that I'm contemplating painting my roof with "HOUSE", the toolshed with "SHED" and the outside toilet with "SHITTER" ,though I might need to extend the roof for that one...

The outdoor furniture at the pub is built to go the distance:


The start of some of the trails about 10 kms up the mountain past Dargo
And a dirt bike with no dirt on it:

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dogsbody screwed with this post 05-18-2008 at 08:27 AM
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:19 AM   #18
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Next!

As it was still early in the day I wasn't too emotionally shattered when my travel director suggested we shoot through without testing the beer at the pub, which was still in the process of opening its doors for the day.

We rode out of the valley headed for Bruthen at the southern end of the Great Alpine Road, a stretch of blacktop that winds its way up over the Great Dividing Range via Omeo.

Note: Another Victorian curiosity. Placing the word "Great" before the subject...
I'm now considering having the street signs at the end of my road modified.
Great idea.


This road is always spoken about with a certain reverence in touring circles and is a really fun ride but there was a shitload of roadworks going on along various sections when we went through. No big deal 'though. At least VicRoads spends $ where required and we had plenty of good (great ) riding ahead of us.

We cruised through Omeo headed for another place that we'd heard a lot about, Angler's Rest, the home of the Blue Duck Inn. (Yes.....another pub)
It's about 30 kms north out of Omeo and the road really tightens up as it takes you through some spectacular country.
This is a popular area for trout fishing in the pristine high country streams with the pub walls displaying a lot of history attached to this sometimes frustrating endeavour.





Hotel Security on duty:


After a couple of thirst quenchers we putted across the bridge and set up in the camping area next to the crystal clear stream only a few hundred yards away from the hotel.

Top little spot!:


Trout are a perceptive and timid fish and react quickly to the slightest movement. Some people turn the act of stalking their prize into an art form.

Not us, we tried to frighten them out of the water.

No soap used - we're eco conscious

Feeling rather immaculate after our dip in possibly the cleanest water I've ever bathed in, we put our best threads on and headed over the bridge again in search of some of the fine food and wine that this gem of a place is renowned for.

"Hey, Knackers! Turn around for the photo."
"Bugger you T.H.... Man's not a camel. I'm thirsty."
......No respect for the creative process this bloke
.


"Fred" doing "The Thinker" on the pub lawns.
(Thought lubricant close at hand.)

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Old 05-18-2008, 08:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogsbody
Note: I don't know why they label the roofs of their buildings in country Victoria, but I like it so much that I'm contemplating painting my roof with "HOUSE", the toolshed with "SHED" and the outside toilet with "SHITTER" ,though I might need to extend the roof for that one...


It hasn`t taken off very well in South Australia, they can`t find any painters that can spell..

Enjoying it so far Dogsbody..
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:06 AM   #20
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Not Very Nice Nev......

[quote=[COLOR=yellow]nevgriff64] [/COLOR]

It hasn`t taken off very well in South Australia, they can`t find any painters that can spell..

NEV..Thats not true at all... We here in S.A. have had excrament
edumacation.. Wee speek much gooder Inglish than you Viks..
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:38 AM   #21
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Great report dogsbody - excellent pics too.
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:10 PM   #22
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Where`d he go???
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:31 PM   #23
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Excellent report! More, more!
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:43 AM   #24
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Now....where was I?

We wandered around the pub and had a bit of a yak to a local or two.

This one wasn't much of a conversationalist but he still managed to get his message across by relieving his little self on my trusty sidekick's boot!


We ordered up a feast and went into "super consumer" mode.

This is a classic case of the belch coinciding with the camera timer.


Bloody good tucker.


This picture on the wall inside gives a feel for the way it used to be.


I really love the old wooden buildings scattered all over Victoria. It's quite a contrast to my home state of South Australia where buildings of this period were generally built of solid stone. I guess it says a bit about the variation in natural resources.

Prettier now than it's ever been.

Exposure Details: F3.5 / 15sec /6 beers/3 JD & Coke/half a bottle of red....

It was a nice warm night spent kicking back on the veranda sinking various forms of alcohol and swapping experiences with a easy going couple from WA who were touring two up on a GS Adventure. Strangely enough the conversation didn't stray too far off the riding, eating, drinking topics.....but that was fine with me!
I'd been wanting to experience this place for quite a while since a friend of mine talked it up after countless fishing trips in the area. I definitely wasn't disappointed. But as with any place you visit, it's more about your state of mind when you visit than the place itself.....
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:24 AM   #25
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Up early next morning and into the creek again for a scrub.... and to wash away the cobwebs from the night before.

We cranked the trangia up for a hearty and slightly greasy feed of sliced italian sausage and eggs.


Then we hit the dirt across the mountains to Mitta Mitta.


Jase took it all in his stride on the Blackbird, with only the occasional facial twitch when he surveyed the dirt on the beautiful black paint.

We stopped to talk to a couple of guys on BMs that turned out to be lead riders for the BMW GS tour. They informed us that there were 180 riders headed directly for us.
There were a few hair raising moments on some blind corners, but for the most part the guys were riding pretty well considering the variations in skills that you get on these large group rides.
I think a few of them were more than surprised to see the Blackbird out on their "gnarly" dirt tracks.

Beaut scenery obscured by two melon heads.


Down into Mitta for fuel and there were still about 50 BMs there so we needed to line up for a while.


The guys on the tour seemed like a pretty quiet bunch at the time except for one bloke that came bouncing up to me with the opening line of "You'd feel a bit like a fish out of water riding that at the moment wouldn't 'ya!?!"
We had a good yak for a while, sharing info about each others bikes.... without casting aspersions!
The tour leader was busy dealing with an injured rider who was waiting for an ambulance and generally being all things to all people. A bloody hard job to do on a ride like that. Good luck to him!
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:03 AM   #26
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On our way through Eskdale to Talangatta for a non-negotiable bike wash for the Honda, Big J clocked up 10,000Kms on the (young) old girl.

So he stopped to do a burn-out to celebrate....


Well not really. It was just some Country Fire Service guys doing a bit of clearing.
We waited for a while but there was no sign of it dissipating so, given that we could see down the road a bit as it curved into the distance, and there was no traffic coming, we thought we'd just idle through the 40 of so metres of smoke.
This is one of those things that you don't see as a bad idea until you're in too deep. Visibility was down to about one metre as I idled through hoping that I wouldn't hit Jason on the way through. Staying close to the line on the side of the road, as that was all I could see, I narrowly missed hitting the back of the parked CFS truck that wasn't quite off the road completely.
So if you're ever tempted to make a run for it in a bushfire....forget it!

We finished the obligatory bike washing duties in Talangatta then headed off to the Tintaldra Pub for a late afternoon beer. Then on to Kahncoban for the evening. Where we sat around outside the bar enjoying a bit of philosophizing with Terry & his wife from Tazzie who were doing a similar trip to us on a Triumph Sprint and Kimbo from WA who was touring Vic on his Ducati.

A quiet arvo' at Tintaldra.


Kimbo & his "tourer" from Western Australia. The term "Hard-Ass" springs to mind.... That seat's painted on!


We scooted up into the mountains the next morning stopping to visit the Murray #1 Hydro Power Station.

Industry meets nature:




Me, hanging out with a bunch of Daleks:
No, they're not "adult products" you freaks.....



The info centre was pretty interesting with lots of displays and detail.


We happened to be there just as the only tour for the morning started so we jumped on it.
It was the usual sort of well practiced speech quoting all the facts, figures, terminology & history etc... to which I listened intently.

Unfortunately, most of this detail now escapes me due to a disturbing incident as we were descending the stairs to leave the building.

The happy expression of wonderment and new found knowledge was cruelly swept from my face as I found myself walking through "Pensioner Stench".
This is, unfortunately, not an uncommon phenomena around Grey Nomads and I think the poor little old lady that scurried off as we left the building had a little issue that demanded immediate attention!

The whizzy bits at the top:


Didn't they film the penultimate scene of a James Bond movie here?
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:01 PM   #27
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We continued on up into the hills of the Kosciuszko (no matter how you spell it, it always looks wrong...) National park, stopping for a walk around the Geehi camping area and regularly along the way up the road to take in the scenery.


Pulled up at the Tom Groggin Station turn off for a leg stretch and a break, the twisty road on the way up demanding your full attention.


There's quite a few 'roos & emus wandering around this fertile part of the nation, so you can see why they made it onto the country's official coat of arms. Supposedly the reason behind this is that neither animal can move backwards easily so its meant to symbolize progress.

Emus...........moving forward.


Knowing the way that these large birds (5 to 6ft tall) are given to wandering across & along roads when you encounter them unexpectedly, I'm not so sure that they deserved promotion to a national symbol!

We motored on up the road to Thredbo for supplies and a bite to eat then onto Jindabyne for fuel before backtracking down the hill a bit to camp at Leather-barrel Creek, a great little spot that we had spied on the way up. It was bloody hard to stop riding today as the road was just superb but we thought we'd make camp early in the afternoon to just relax and take in the scenery.

Our travels had taken us into New South Wales for most of the day, so the prefix on the road signs of "Great" had been dropped!
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:21 PM   #28
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Leather Barrel Creek

It was a top little campsite here, on a tight bend in the Alpine Way. A few wayward BMW Tour riders made their way up the hill past us but every one seemed to look left as they went past, entirely missing the scene of our beaut little campsite. Either that or they could smell a KTM and prefered not to acknowledge it....

Home for the evening.
With Captain Sensible wearing some very stylish PVC trousers.



We soon put nature's refrigerator to good use.


Then set about frying up some processed food while testing a few reds.


We blabbed on all afternoon with the red wine sliding down quite nicely.
The conversation floating across subjects like, aged steak, Belgian beer, musical taste, the oddity of BMW owners, camping prowess & questioning why my tent was starting to smell a bit "third world slum"
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:37 PM   #29
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Great stuff Dogsbody.

Are you popping over to the Border in August or heading off up north for the OCR ?

Andrew Linton.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:21 PM   #30
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Nice report mate,was good to meet you at the "Island".

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