NSW & QLD Loop - Day 1 - St George
Category: Riding Solo
Waking up to an overcast morning I thought to myself, I'm not wearing wet weather gear as the sun is going to shine! With that good sentiment I rode out of my driveway and started heading for my first stop, being Tamworth. Much to my disappointment I ran into rain about half an hour from home, so on with the wet weather gear it was. Arriving at Tamworth I was dry but my boots and gloves were soaked to the core. Annoying? Yes; still stoked to be away on the bike, irrespective of the weather? Definitely! Time to keep pressing on.
Heading out of Tamworth the rain lightened to a drizzle—just enough to keep everything wet but it was an improvement so things were looking up. At this point I was looking around thinking to myself, man, this is great to be getting out of town for a week and get my head together. Passing through Barraba I paid homage to the town clock and kept moving toward Bingara. Arriving at Bingara I was pretty hungry and bloody cold so I stopped at the local bakery for a couple pies and damn they were good.
Heading north of Bingara was all new road to me, which I was pretty excited about. I passed through a town called Gravesend, which seemed bloody ominous. I had in the back of my mind the whole town would be a graveyard. I started thinking about all the puns you could make about this town. My favourite in the end was, "Gravesend, everyone's ultimate destination". I just love the random thoughts that fly through your head with nothing but open road ahead and several hundred kilometres behind you. Through Gravesend I headed through Moree and on to Mungindi, which was my last stop before St George.
After 800ks of rain I was quite pleased to arrive at St George and see it was fairly dry. I pulled up around the side of the pub and headed inside for a beer, before anything else. I was stoked to see a big fire and a smiling lady behind the bar. I thought to myself, this was going be a great stop. While grabbing a schooner, I checked in to my room and chatted with a couple of the locals. After my second schooner I headed back out into the cold to unload and tub up.
Now that I was nice and warm and clean, I went for a walk around the river and had a look in the main street of town before heading back into the pub and settling in at the bar for more chatting, dinner and a few more beers. Interestingly, a few of the bar girls were out from the UK on a year long trip around Australia. Most of the locals were in complete disbelief that someone would ride 800ks in one day. I did my best to convince them that 800ks isn't really a big day but they refused to believe me. For the rest of the evening I sat by the fire and chatted with the pub manager and her husband, who were both really lovely people.
Now with enough beer and food in my belly, it was time to turn in for the night. Day two heading for Longreach!