Day 1: Gold Coast, QLD to Walcha, NSW
Since at this stage I wasn’t sure whether I would be leaving the Gold Coast for good or not, I enlisted a ride buddy for the 1st day. My riding instructor would ride with me all the way to Walcha for the 1st night. Next morning I would ride on southwards and him back north.
We had some beautiful times, riding the known local roads, through The Head, and onwards towards Grafton, refueling and taking the most delicious, Armidale Road. Almost 200kms of twisties climbing the land towards Ebor. There was another stop to see some waterfalls and take the opportunity to stretch out the legs.
From there heading towards Armidale, for another fuel stop, and grabbing the now-flat and straight highway past Uralla and into Walcha for the night. Staying at the Apsley Arms Hotel for the night, which includes a continental breakfast, there’s a garage to lock up the bikes and the dinner is not too bad. Rooms don’t have aircon, so we were lucky that, that night it wasn’t particularly hot and mozzies weren’t about. Once arriving in town, we made the best of it by taking a stroll.
Quite picturesque with the main part of town having lots of street art and other curiosities. Or should I say ‘titties’? For some reason someone decided to carve a ‘tittie’ post on the main round about! My friend was very amused by it ;)Quite picturesque with the main part of town having lots of street art and other curiosities. Or should I say ‘titties’? For some reason someone decided to carve a ‘tittie’ post on the main round about! My friend was very amused by it 😉
Once the sun began to dip, we decided to go back to the hotel to get a drink, talk and generally relax. It was a bit of a somber affair as we both weren’t sure if this was the last time we may meet for a looooong time or not. No one wanted to say the obvious, so we just lightly talked and enjoyed a dinner with nice company.
Next morning I got up early. And packed and I wanted to get out there as fast as I could. Feelings were threatening to overwhelm me; I felt like crying and I was afraid for what lay ahead. Today would be the 1st day without distractions so having no one come along would mean that the voices in my head would get louder.
In the junction of the road; we stopped to take a self-timer photo. And this, in my opinion, is the best photo I have of my friend. My mentor. My ‘grandpa’. My family. This is how I’ll remember him in my mind’s and heart’s eye.