Okay so it’s been a while. Turns out that regular blogging requires a certain level of discipline that we don’t yet possess. We’ll try our best to correct this.
We’ve done a couple of trips since our last entry and there’s been some mechanical dramas as well. So let’s get down to it with the story of trip #1.
Back in March (17-18) the Swarm set about heading north east to join up with our Shoalhaven and Illawarra members for an all-inclusive overnighter. The route was one of our favourites – Bungendore, Tarago, Bungonia, Marulan, Southern Highlands, Kangaroo Valley, Berry and finally Kiama. Only two riders left Canberra followed by two cars. Nicky and Nikki were forced to drive which neither enjoyed but extenuating circumstances demanded it be so. Chris and I straddled the ponies and gave them the whip the whole way. The only regular rider missing was Steve who was unable to attend owing to some last minute weekend work commitment. He was sorely missed.
Wet weather threatened as we approached Fitzroy Falls and it was here that we met up with our coastal friends Scott and Dave who had made the trip from separate approaches. We all explored the antique store for a while before saddling up once more to slowly descend through the slippery corners into Kangaroo Valley. We regrouped at Berry after having had several near misses, slips and slides on Kangaroo Valley Road. It was in Berry that we met up soon-to-be-Vespa-owner Luke (aka Luke Cougarwalker) who arrived on his V-max and then promptly lost his house keys.
With the group now complete, we trundled up the coast to our destination – the Grand Hotel Kiama. After finding rooms and laughing at the absurdity of Scott’s bed the group set off in search of a thirst quencher. This took way way way too long and I can’t actually remember where we ended up. Oh wait, it was the local leagues club. Coincidentally, it was St Patrick’s day and the club was running a special on Guinness. Nikki furnished me with the dark brew and the nattering began. It had been a while since we’d caught up with Scott and Dave (September last year) so it was good to finally be relaxing. It was here that Scott decided he needed green beer. Luke, being the generous soul he is, furnished him with same – lager generously laced with Midori. Scott was so taken aback by this act of selflessness that he was heard to utter, “F*** off! I’m not drinking that!” What a champ. To be fair, he managed to score a green beer later that he begrudgingly downed.
The middle pub in town was next on the agenda and somehow we managed to jag some seating in the very trendy VIP area – yeah, we’re players. Here we were joined by more friends – Illawarra Swarmer Jason with partner Rob and ‘Crazy’ Ben from Picton. More beers, snacks and serious scooter discussions ensued. Before long (I think) we headed back up the road to a Chinese restaurant opposite the leagues club. Yet more friends arrived and we were joined by Dave’s wife Carrie and son Jonno. Many Tsing Tao arrived followed by food I don’t remember. I’m pretty sure I had a spring roll though.
Back to our accommodation and the final pub for the evening. The place was filled with locals and so it was that we found ourselves in the zer bier garten sinking schooners and laughing at the cougars. There’s only so much that leopard print can do. We made some not so subtle attempts to catch them on film in their natural environment.
Another dawn and another morning after. Sore heads and bleary eyes. It’s always at this point that we decide on an adventurous route home. It wasn’t too adventurous really, just up through Jamberoo, Robertson – making a bee-line for the Hume boring-way. A stop for tea at the Marulan Service Centre was less than successful. Seriously, the businesses here need to sort their stuff out. ‘Service’ is last thing they provide. The wind had whipped up and Chris and I struggled a bit after joining the Federal Highway. Nikki mentioned later that she had seen us wobble around a bit as she followed in the chase car. If only we’d known how windy it was going to be in a few week’s time when we’d be on this road again, our appreciation for the favourable conditions may have been higher.
All in all, a great scooting weekend with the crew. Enjoy the pics!