It’s 6 am. Still dark outside. Looks miserable. I can hear the wind on the old hotel roofing. A shower will make me feel better. A shower always makes me feel better. And tea… tea helps. Dan is up. He also gets up early. Good. Someone to chat to until the coffee shop is open.
It is cold outside. Ten degrees (C) and windy. The town is deserted. Getting close to 8 am and the first coffee shop is finally opening. Coffeeeeee. Ron is late… nothing new. I guess a bear needs longer sleep.
We finally head off. First leg leads us south on the New England Highway. One hundred kms in the cold with not much to entertain us. Scenery is beautiful though and feels a lot like a scene from Ireland or Scotland. Plus sheep. Lots and lots of sheep.
Twenty more kilometres get us to Uralla and the start of Thunderbolts Way. Fast open road takes to Walcha and the temptation to turn left to the Oxley. We shall resist this time (only since we are doing it on the way back). More sheep and we finally get to the start of the climb that will take us to the lookout at the top of the mountain. By the blessing of the road Gods the view is clear and we are presented with bliss.
The boys have fun on the way down and then we ride one of the best pieces of tarmac in the country. Someone made a rollercoaster of sticky bitumen and placed it in the middle of picture perfect grassy hills with a lovely creek to top it up. Thank you Captain Thunderbolts. We salute you.
Lunch at a cafe in Gloucester in gorgeous sunshine. Last lamb curry was good Ben. Sorry it was the last one. Wanted some? We toss around different choices for the last leg. The lovely old ladies at the tourist information centre provide the solution: “Why would you take the highway? There is a nice mountain road here. Take a look.” Lovely ladies.
We go through Dungong. Ben’s duc is playing up. Cutting fuelling on hard acceleration. He decides it’s a good idea to overtake a car just before a corner. Bike cuts out a few times. We shake our heads. He shits his pants.
We ask Ron to listen to the nice google maps lady. They are not good together. Ron gets lost. Repeatedly. We tell Ron he sucks. We find the hotel without him. Perfect location. In a 20m radius we have a petrol station, a pub, fast food joints and a bottle-o.
Duc is fixed (not sure if this is the correct word to use) by disabling the quick-shifter. Problem solved. It took one guy fixing it, one watching and 2 guys drinking booze while on social media. It’s called productivity.