2023 Indi-Pac Day 21

Friday April 7, 2023: Out into the crisp, ominous (in terms of the dark rain clouds) Bairnsdale morning at 6:59am. I was immediately struck by the traffic which was busier than what I would have expected for pre 8am on a Friday morning, even for a large country town….

Ahhhh thats right……….tis’ Good Friday. Every man and his auntie will be on the road heading to their Easter long weekend destination.

I’ve been out of the loop for a couple of decades but I distinctly remember the chaos on the roads this holiday weekend brings. Bairnsdale too, is the launching spot for 2 very distinct holiday destinations – cross the Mitchell River and head north to the Victorian Alps, or head east to the Gippsland Lakes.

Friday April 7, 2023: Bairnsdale main drag….

Friday April 7, 2023: Crossing the Mitchell River.

Friday April 7, 2023: Straight ahead to the Victorian Alps, right turn to the Gippsland Lakes.

And then the rain came down……and down.

Friday April 7, 2023: Heading out of Bairnsdale on the Great Alpine Road.

A frustratingly slow, tough, wet 25k’s to the little town of Bruthen (pop.814) in just under 2 hours! There were a shedload of 4WD’y types (as distinct a species of road user as the Gray Nomad although without a commonly used nomenclature), milling about in town.

Left turn to stay on the Great Alpine Road.

Friday April 7, 2023: Rolling through Bruthen, plenty of 4WD’s about.

Friday April 7, 2023: G’Day there 4WD’y type / flanno boy!

Friday April 7, 2023: Left turn, back onto the Great Alpine Road.

More cold and wet “fun” to be had….

Friday April 7, 2023: More cold and wet “fun”….

Friday April 7, 2023: More cold and wet “fun”. Take 2.

Friday April 7, 2023: Did someone say “fuck this”.

At last it stopped raining, affording a welcome opportunity to dry and thaw out a bit…..

Friday April 7, 2023: Makeshift clothesline.

Ah ha, that would explain the 4WD’y types! There’s a Rodeo in Omeo….

Friday April 7, 2023: As the sign says….

Friday April 7, 2023: Not a 4WD’y type but definitely Rodeo bound. I can’t believe they don’t manufacture these beauties any more.

Friday April 7, 2023: Rodeo bound?

Friday April 7, 2023: Plugging away.

Four Seasons in One Day

Victoria, particularly Melbourne is renown for it’s variable weather. It is one of the many reasons (tis’ a very, very long list) why NSW and the Emerald City is a better place to reside….

(Better climate, better beaches, better people, better food, better beer, better wine, better architecture, better cricketers, less corrupt politicians, better history, etc, etc, etc……)

And then, unbelievably the sun came out……

Ahhhhhhhh, that is so much better!

Friday April 7, 2023: And then the sun came out.

Friday April 7, 2023: And then the sun came out. Take 2.

Friday April 7, 2023: 4WD’y type….

Friday April 7, 2023: Fun in the sun…….still slow going though.

Friday April 7, 2023: Fun in the sun…….still slow going though. Take 2.

Friday April 7, 2023: As the sign says….

Friday April 7, 2023: 4WD’y type….

Friday April 7, 2023: Horses for the Rodeo?

Friday April 7, 2023: yep…..

The 4th Season…

As the Great Alpine Road gradually climbed, I was getting closer to the mountains with every pedal stroke. The weather also took a distinct turn for the threatening. No rain but the wind turned blustery, seemingly coming from all directions, and I could sense the drop in air pressure, indicating the distinct possibility of a storm.

By the time I finally rolled into Omeo at about 4pm I decided that the most sensible course of action was to fuel up, resupply and grab a hotel room for a few hours to plan the best time to tackle the Mount Hotham climb. I don’t know if its the fact that I have watched ‘The Man from the Snowy River’ 20 odd times or what, but I have an inherent respect for the Australian High Country. It may not be as high as the mountain ranges in other parts of the world but you can certainly get into a bit of strife up there.

With the rodeo in town, getting a hotel room was easier said than down. On the 4th attempt I finally got a room at the monolithic Golden Age Hotel. I almost climbed the bar and hugged the Publican in appreciation. She had actually been saving rooms for those not associated with the Rodeo. Those 4WD’y types are a raucous bunch apparently.

I hit the local milk bar for a shit-ton of greasy food and then retired to my “cozy” room to rest, study weather maps and of course hit social media.

Speaking of the latter I found out that Raymond Friedrich (aka “2 Wheel Vagabond”) had just rocked up to the Opera House, the winner of the 2023 Indian Pacific Wheel Ride. An extraordinary ride! Chapeau!! And for a great cause too.

For a second I wished that I could swap spots with him…………Nah, there’s still way too much Type 2 fun n’ games to be had!

Friday April 7, 2023: another one……..lost perhaps as he’s going the wrong way.

Friday April 7, 2023: Mmmmmmm ominous!

Friday April 7, 2023: Mmmmmmm ominous! Take 2.

Friday April 7, 2023: Booze bus in Omeo.

Friday April 7, 2023: Rolling into the main drag of Omeo.

Friday April 7, 2023: Rolling up the main drag of Omeo. Take 2.

Friday April 7, 2023: She’s a grand old thing to be sure……..a little David Lynch though.

Friday April 7, 2023: Speaking of David Lynch…….or maybe even Stephen King.

Friday April 7, 2023: Mmmmmmm Cozy!

CONGRATS LEGEND!!

The Day According to Strava:

 

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