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  • Day2

    An Indian Summer in Tumbarumba

    April 30 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    For most of last year Melbournians endure a crippling series of Covid 19 lockdowns, curfews, travel restrictions and toilet paper shortages. It was terrible. During the worst of the lockdown we were not even able to share rides with our Ghostrider friends. All overseas travel was banned and we couldn't even travel more than 5 km from our own homes.

    As our freedoms were gradually restored, I looked for alternative avenues to experience cycling adventures. A couple of months ago I heard about the brand new Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail that had only just opened. It seemed like a suitable place for the Ghostriders to explore. Although Victoria is spoilt with a surfeit of cycling choices, it is surprising to discover that the Tumbarumba Trail is exactly the first such rail trail in NSW.

    Plans were quickly made to combine the Tumbarumba Trail with the Wodonga to Tallangatta and Wangaratta to Bright Rail Trails. It did not take long for the word to spread and very quickly we had over 25 riders recruited.

    Of course, everyone knows that the Snowy Mountains are called that for very good reason. "It will be freezing", I warned everyone. "You will need thermals, hats, gloves, coats, scarves, leggings, arm warmers, leg warmers, and ear warmers", I added. "And then the really cold weather will set in".

    I figured that it is always better to be prepared than be sorry. Our riders set about packing cases full of arctic gear and snow riding clothes. We were prepared for the very worst that the Snowys could throw at us.

    It was only when the weather forecasts started to come through that we could see that maybe the conditions would not be as brutal as I had anticipated. After a rather gloomy couple of weeks in Melbourne, the clouds finally scuttled away, the sunshine broke through and we were presented with the very best day that we had seen for some time.

    Our riders set out from Melbourne for the 500 km drive to Tumbarumba in high spirits. We all felt like kids on the eve of Christmas. It just felt so good to be finally heading away on a trip.

    The sunny weather followed us all the way to Tumbarumba and the long drive was made all the better for the never-ending kaleidoscope of vivid autumn colours that followed us the whole way.

    We stopped at Yea for our morning tea stop and a chance to meet up with Gordon and Sue and Gael and Gerry. From there we formed a sort of three-car convey to complete the rest of the journey. It did help the long km to flow past relatively quickly.

    Our final stop was at Holbrook. A late lunch in the park, indulgently feasting on sandwiches and cakes, seemed like an appropriate way to punctuate the drive. From there it was only another 80 km of absolutely delightful driving to reach our destination of Tumbarumba. I was glad that we had taken the time to clean the inside of our very smeary windscreen before we left Melbourne as the scenery was breathtaking. There was no doubt that this was absolutely the very best time of the year to explore this region.

    After checking into our motel, 17 of us decided to head for the nearby Tumbarumba Hotel for a pub dinner. Then we enjoyed a short walk back under the stars to our waiting rooms. We are so looking forward to the next few days in this beautiful region.
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