Day 9 - Canberra to Tallangatta
5 Dec 2017
|We set the sails at about 8:00, the sky was grey but showing some glimpse of blue, so we went for half raining gear, as forecast were not with us.
As I start riding out of Canberra, looking better at the sky I thought to stop at the fist petrol station to wear the full rain gears. Didn’t made it! We got 10minutes of eater, luckily not that heavy, before we got to the first service station. Filled up the tank and wear the full gears. Off into elements through the Barton Highway, then by the time we reached Hume Hwy rain was stopped. We struggle to recognise this piece of road we did Saturday as back then was looking more like a river rather than an highway. We took the South Gundagai exit and from there we were on the Snowy Mountain Hwy. Hwy means a lot of things in Australia, the Hume Hwy we left was two lanes each direction and you could have driven at 200 km/h with no risk, on the Snowy Mountain Hwy in certain pieces was difficult to reach the 60 km/h speed limit!
That’s why we came all this way far!!!
So we start going up, the tarmac was dry and with a good grip. Few trucks carrying logs, but luckily in our direction, so you had just to be bothered to find a straight run to overtake them. The beginning was a 100 speed limit and curves were made for that, with just few 4th and even less 3rd, all really nice, uphill, to be just enjoyed. Then a 60 limit appeared, and the road shrank: well the speed decreased dramatically and reaching 60 was only coming out with the 2nd and opening up, before cutting again to do another over 90 (few will understand what I’m talking about!). You are barely moving, but you drop the bike down and open up and the aircooled boxer is kicking you out of that angle. Pure pleasure!
We reached the pass and on the way down the road widen again, speed went to 100 and rain start coming, along with fog and cold. Bloody cold!
Pity,, because we were in the high part of the snowy, the part with the yellow stripes on the ground. The tarmac must have been redone in the last few months and despite the wet the grip was exceptional, but you don’t want to push you limit there, specially when you have a “L” following you. It will be a good excuse to come back!
Descending on the other side, rain ease and we stop at Adaminaby to fill the tank and get some heat into the body. I look more carefully the itinerary I made back in Perth and realised that the way I plot from there to Corryong was one and half hour longer than another road we just passed. So we decided to drive back 32km from where we came to take the Snowy Ridge Road. Never a choice was more happier. Firstly because by the time we left the service station, the rain had stop and the sun was slowly making his appearance; the tarmac was drying quickly and the lower part of the 32 was a joy, then going up was still wettish, but still fun.
We turn into Snowy Ridge Road and the vibe was already fully tuned. Tarmac not exceptional, but clean and no stupid lines that with the wet can be quite slippery. The landscape around was just stunning, as everything was since we left the Hume Hwy.
Up, down, left, right, tight, long, short… how you like your curve? You would have found more than one of those on that road. Couple of times I even had the feeling of turning back to do the same stretch on the other side… but again, it will be a good excuse for the future!
This region is simply amazing and different. Mountains. We reached 1580 meters a.s.l. on a pass and the mountains around are not that higher. Exactly same elevation as Corvara, where I like go skiing in Italy, but the nature is so different. And is different from the valleys around here too. This place deserves some time ti be spent on, and not just a drive through. I bet there are a lots of nice tracks you can go hiking and enjoying the scenery.
So we really enjoyed today even if the little devil that is trying to give us hard time, decided to pour more rain on us, starting from 30km to where we wanted to stop, Tallagatta in Victoria, just to have us getting wet again and having to dry everything overnight, again.
At the end of the day we totalised 573km and we did ACT – NSW – VIC, one territory and two states, to keep Alberto’s records on track!
Tomorrow we have another mountain chain crossing, that is promising more curves and nice scenery. Weather forecast are still not the best, but with a little bit of luck, I hope we will enjoy the ride.