|Here we are pulled up at Tracie and Paddy's farm|
|One of Paddy and Tracie's three bonny dogs|
|Photo taken by Owen Wilson|
|You can, at a pinch, cram six bikes into a one-car garage and still close the roller door. Just.|
The next day was earmarked for a ride straight down the Pacific Highway to the Nabiac Motorcycle Museum and back - about three hours each way. Tracie and Amanda opted to stay in Urunga so the four boys and myself headed off. The highway ride was a bit frustrating since I'm on my P level licence I am not permitted to exceed 90 kph (an absurd and dangerous rule ... don't get me started). The lads were great in keeping the speed within manageably legal limits though so we all arrived at Nabiac together. I was very thankful for their patience in this aspect.
For the motorcycle enthusiasts, in the photo below you can see from left to right:
John's 1050 cc Triumph Sprint, my F 650 BMW GS, Paddy's 900cc Triumph Sprint in British racing green; Matthew with his yellow 650 cc Suzuki; and Dennis' red 1050 cc Triumph Sprint (the remaining bikes are irrelevant as they belong to strangers :-) ).
|John and Dennis, mates from way back|
|Paddy looking tres cool, even while doing business|
It was interesting hearing the others' stories about their earlier bikes. John, after his leg was smashed, rode a BMW with his leg in plaster. He chose it because it had a hand-operated gear lever! Go John :-)
|A row of BSAs|
|My Dad rode a Heinkel in his youth|
|John shows the hand gear lever|
|Kate had one like this|
|Nearly like the one Marc had|
|My first bike: 90cc Yamaha|
The ride back was fine despite a rather scary front wheel-wobble moment for Matthew early on. Paddy steadily led the ride back to Urunga through the slowly ebbing afternoon sunlight and into the dusk to reach the hotel just before six pm.
There, we met up with Matthew and Amanda's aunt Julianne and her partner for a very pleasant dinner out in the 'beer garden'.
An early bed for most of us and in the morning we said goodbye to Matthew, Dennis and Amanda who were taking the main road North to Queensland. John and I opted for an easy morning stroll to the Urunga pier in the good company of Paddy and Tracie, where Tracie recalled for me interesting holidays with children in the past. It looked a superb place for lots of water fun: I thought it seemed a perfect playground for active playful humans.
|Tracie looking out over the Urunga waters|
|This is what we could see ...|
|We live in a lovely land|
|Low tide and the remains of an older pier|
We stopped off at Paddy and Tracie's farm for a much-needed pit stop and brain break (in my case), to pat the wildly wagging dogs, ruffle the coats of the horses and just generally relax for a short while and breathe the calm air. Then we set off again through the mountains and the old Armidale logging road - again quite a challenge, left even more rubber on the road and narrowed those chicken strips to slivers - before reaching the comparative calm of Grafton and the slowly flowing Clarence River. The Crown Hotel there do a good line in oysters, highly recommended.
And thence to Casino and from there to Clunes, chatting companionably through our communicators along the way.
When we got home we found Yarrow had tidied and vacuumed the whole house for us as a welcome back surprise.
Thus endeth the adventure tour on our bikes. Thanks again Dennis, Amanda, Matthew, Paddy and Tracie for a truly memorable trip. Special thanks to my John for the patient coaching and support through the communicators... xxx