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Mar
24
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We felt like a ride and the sky to the south and west looked unbelievably black so we decided we wanted a bit more comfort than that and headed east for Licola. We hadn’t been there since the extensive fires the region had experienced a few weeks ago and we were shocked at the extent of the damage.



The first glimpse towards the ranges. A combination of black, rust and the beginnings of green.

The last big fires up here some years ago were followed by unseasonal rain and flooding washing huge amounts of loose soil off the hills and into rivers. Really destructive.

We rode straight through to Licola and took some photos on the way back. Somewhat an overstatement (not very) what wasn’t burnt in the last fires, and a big percentage of the regrowth as well as a lot more than that has been burnt this time. There were thousands of acres burnt and no matter where we looked we could see the rusty colour of scorched foliage draped over hills with bare earth and ash underneath.



Looking out from the top of the CRB hill

We could also see the beginnings of a green tinge in some areas where there has obviously been rain since but the wind was ferocious on the way up and we could literally see dust and ash lifting off the top of hills in clouds. Way too gritty to have our visors open. Hope the high winds don’t get rid of too much ash though the wind made for a great spectacle of clouds at different levels moving in opposite directions. Impressive!



Rusty view as we head back from Licola



And looking back up the road with some signs of regeneration.



Rugged rocky faces scorched at best.



Autumn tone colours compliments of the fires plus some real colour!



Oh come on Norm, I wasn't taking that long to get some pics!



Had to get another shot at the Bellbird corner!

Tips to remember for the roads we covered:

The roads we travelled on were cambered well and good surface overall and well signed with targeted advisory speed signs. Once we started heading for the hills there were lots of tight corners and nice sweeping S bends. Many rock fall areas which of course were worse after the fires so needed to be wary of large rocks as well as gravel washes on some corners. A lot of tree debris in evidence today with the combination of strong wind and fire damage with huge amounts of bark leaves and broken branches in evidence.



Looking towards Lake Glenmaggie, recovery efforts underway.



Devastation beside restoration is the reality. Must be tough to tackle day after day.

After being surrounded by so much country and wooded areas which were fire affected it was almost an assault to my senses to travel through the intense green of irrigated crops in the Cowwarr region on our way home. One extreme to another.

Services available:

See the previous entry for this area, follow the link below:
http://blog.branstrans.com.au/index.php ... 217-105925


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Mar
11
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Traralgon to Seymour (via) Tyers, Yallourn North, Neerim South, Neerim, Neerim Junction, (lunch at Powelltown), Yarra Junction, Launching Place, Healesville, Kinglake, (a cold drink and ice cream at Strath Creek), & returned via Yea, Glenburn, Yarra Glen, into the burbs down the Mountain Highway to Glen Waverly (for a well-earned cold shower, meal and sleep)then off to zig zag through the Dandenong Ranges (lunch at Olinda – yum) and again back through Powelltown, (a cold drink at Noojee), Hill End, Willowgrove, Yallourn North, Tyers and home.

After seeing that a Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk had been officially opened on Saturday and having all the servicing done we decided to ‘get out of dodge’ and climbed on the bikes on Sunday and headed for Seymour.

We were very impressed with the Memorial. It was tastefully done and in the time we were there (late in the day) there was a constant stream of people coming quietly through.



Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk (double sided) amongst a planting of several hundred Rubber trees which will one day form a dense leafy canopy which will be reminiscent of the jungle no doubt.

To say the weather was brutally hot would be a gross understatement. The ride along the river valley to Powelltown was a welcome break of comfortable to deliciously cool moist air and our lunch at the Powelly Pub (Powelltown) delicious as always. A good spot this, warm welcome, great coffee spot, lovely veranda amongst magnificent ferns and really generous and yummy pub meals as well as snacks. Definitely worth a look.

The only photos I have taken were at the Memorial as it was just way too hot to consider stopping and spending time we didn’t have to but I will definitely come this way again in cooler weather to take some pics of what the areas we passed through have to offer.



The Listing of those who didn’t return

We were well and truly overheated by the time we got to the Novotel Hotel at Glen Waverly which is one of our homes away from home. They are undergoing a big refurbishment program and we had one of the new rooms which was lovely. The food is always good and the bed magnificent ….. until 12.20am when the fire alarm went off. Bottom line we didn’t have to evacuate, there was a Wedding on and this was reminiscent of another occasion a lot of years ago when the same thing happened. That time a party reveller had broken a fire alarm box, don’t know this time. Happy to report we both slept well when we got to return to bed.



A Plaque which is self-explanatory.

Tips to remember for the roads we covered:

The roads we travelled on were in good condition and very little traffic (on all the roads we were on) we assume the rising cost of fuel is biting into people’s budgets. The road surface, camber and alignment was overall good and roads well signed where there was anything out of the ordinary. A nice comfortable ride all round.

Services available:

Large towns:
Fuel:
Multiple choices including Premium Unleaded, most BH but also some 24hr
Accommodation: Hotel, Motel, B&B and Caravan Park and Camping options and maybe some Serviced Apartments
Food: Multiple choices from small cafes to bistro’s bars and fine restaurants
General Store / Supermarket: Multiple choices, small to large

Small towns:
Fuel:
Limited and often BH only if any at all
Accommodation: Limited Hotel, B&B and Caravan Park and Camping options
Food and General Store / Supermarket: Limited and not necessarily open on weekends

Small isolated Localities:
Fuel:
Not likely
Accommodation: If you’re lucky and have done your research
Food and General Store / Supermarket: Unlikely so bring your own



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Mar
03
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Traralgon to Shepparton (via) Morwell, Moe, Trafalgar, Yarragon, Warragul, Drouin, through the burbs via the Monash Freeway through the tunnel over the Bolte Bridge, around the Ring Road and up the Hume Freeway to the Goulburn Valley Highway and headed for Shepparton through Nagambie & returned via Euroa to Merton, (a coffee at Yarck), Alexander, Marysville, Lake Mountain, (lunch at Warburton), Yarra Junction, Powelltown , (Neerim Junction for fuel), Neerim South, Nilma, (cold drink and nap at Yarragon), Trafalgar, Moe, Morwell and home

We headed off to Shepparton to attend a nephews Wedding and had a great ride there and back though it was very hot hence the photos are limited (to the extreme) so will return at a future date when the weather is cooler to take some pics of some of the sights to be enjoyed along the way.

On our way home we investigated Euroa and were delighted by the number of old and quirky buildings and will definitely come back to explore this area in the future.



The third National Bank built (in Euroa we assume) which is National Trust listed and believed to be the best example of a Queen Anne style building in Victoria



The Euroa Hotel a stately old building. To the right side of the building is the Soldiers memorial Hall unfortunately abandoned and falling into disrepair and across the street another intriguing building which was the one we spotted from the highway which prompted us to explore the town.

Tips to remember for the roads we covered:
The roads we travelled on were cambered well and good surface overall and well signed with targeted advisory speed signs. Lots of long straight stretches and very little traffic. Lots of nice curves and climbs as we headed through the ranges.

Services available:

Large towns:

Fuel: Multiple choices including Premium Unleaded, most BH but also some 24hr
Accommodation: Hotel, Motel, B&B and Caravan Park and Camping options and maybe some Serviced Apartments
Food: Multiple choices from small cafes to bistro’s bars and fine restaurants
General Store / Supermarket: Multiple choices, small to large

Small towns:
Fuel:
Limited and often BH only if any at all
Accommodation: Limited Hotel, B&B and Caravan Park and Camping options
Food and General Store / Supermarket: Limited and not necessarily open on weekends

Small isolated Localities:
Fuel:
Not likely
Accommodation: If you’re lucky and have done your research
Food and General Store / Supermarket: Unlikely so bring your own


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