413 klms today. Seems many of the other riders spent part of the day off giving the bikes a good wash to clean off a week's grime. I figured I shouldn't be the only one with a dirty bike although I don't make a habit of washing it while we are constantly travelling, it just gets dirty again. Against my better judgement, I got up at 6:30am with the temperature at about 6 degrees and gave it a good bath. So much for that.
We left Bright at 8:30am travelling north through Myrtleford and Gapsted, which we passed through yesterday, then turned off the Great Alpine Road and headed for Beechworth. This appears to be a very nice town and it has retained much of its historic appearance and buildings in the main business centre. Craig led a tour of the town then took us on a scenic tour around a local gorge. Through the bush and granite outcrops past a nice little creek and then along 3 klms of dusty gravel road. So much for the wash.
After that it was into town for morning tea and a chance to wander around and have a look at the town. Smoko was taken at the Beechworth Bakery. This is a great bakery with an interesting story about the guy who owns it and how he took it from a small business to a big business with 5 other bakeries around Victoria, Therese and I have visited most of them over the years. What a range of delicacies. I reckon that you could think of any item you have ever seen in any bakery and that item is available at the Beechworth Bakery and a whole host of things you haven't seen before. Terrific, just don't think of your diet.
From here we headed for Eldorado to view an old gold dredge that was used between 1936 and 1954. Massive piece of gear, recovered about 2.2 tonnes of gold from the gravel valley beds by dredging and creating its own lake to float on as it went. I don't have to tell you that the dredge was at the end of a 500 metre each way dusty gravel road.
From Eldorado we headed south to Milawa for lunch at the cheese factory. Sampled a few cheeses and even managed to find a little cellar door and sampled the port that went nicely with the flavour of the blue cheese I had just tasted.
After lunch it was south-west through Whitfield to Mansfield and it was great to find some nice winding roads again as we inadvertently had to use some straighter ones earlier in the day. We had planned to catch up with son Greg and Carly, who live in Melbourne, for dinner at Yarra Glen at 6:00pm so rather than stop in Mansfield for coffee, we continued on alone but had to make a stop at Bonnie Doon on Lake Eildon to feel the serenity. It you don't understand that one, you need to watch the movie, "The Castle". Then on to Yea for a motel check-in, shower and change and then rode to Yarra Glen. Lovely dinner and catch-up with them at the Train Trak Winery then an enjoyable night run back to Yea to complete this and fill you in on the day's activities. Did I mention that the Winery was at the end of a 800 metre dusty gravel road.
Go to Day 10