Time: February 15, 2020 at 8:30am to February 16, 2020 at 4:30pm
Street: Zen Den Cafe, 736 Main Road
Website or Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ArrapseF8…
Event Type: ride, weekend, camping
Organized By: David Atkinson
Latest Activity: on Thursday
Clunes is a charming town in Victoria's central goldfields. Its main street is wide enough to turn a wagon and is lined with a splendid collection of well-preserved 19th century buildings - a streetscape set in aspic. Clunes has become renowned as an international booktown and an annual hub for Australia’s literary heavyweights.
Clunes is 140-kms northwest of Melbourne but you wouldn’t expect us to go the direct way there. We’ve chosen some amazing roads with interesting sights along the way to make getting to our destination half the fun. Our adventure starts at Eltham taking in some lovely roads to Romsey. We skirt past Hanging Rock to refuel at Kyenton. We’ll ride between the Upper Coliban and Lauriston Reserviors. Lunch will be at the Malmsbury bakery. There is a short bit of dirt road at Glenluce on our way to Vaughan and Guildford. We’ll explore the Yandoit Hills to admire the few remaining drystone houses built by Swiss-Italian settlers. It feels a bit like Tuscany. Clunes is not far away. After setting up our little tents checking the stays are nice ’n tight and feeling faint-headed from blowing up airbeds, we’ll amble over to the pub to recover and unwind. After rousing on Sunday morning with sore hips and a foggy head, we’ll crawl out of our sleeping bags to seek a cure for the lack of sleep with a strong coffee in town. As we ride towards Smeaton, we’ll be surrounded by many domed hills which rise out of an otherwise flat plain. Each was once an active volcano. A highlight of Sunday’s ride is the splendid 1862 Andersons Flour Mill. A non-stop meander around Daylesford will include its two lakes and Wombat Hill. We’ll then ride up the side of a volcano and into its caldera. We have another short 8-km dirt road to negotiate which leads us to a secret spring, an oasis of green amongst all the dryness. We stop by the quaint Glenlyon General Store. Lunch is planned at the Pig and Whistle, a cute little pub in East Trentham. Our route home is via Woodend and Clarkefield finishing at Moonee Ponds.
Bleached landscape, summer heat, vast blue skies, dry scrubby bush, yellowing grass, flies, camping and discomfort (I won’t mention snakes) - the quintessential Aussie bush experience - simply wonderful. Pack sunscreen, a hat and water bottle.
Camping and scooters go together like a horse and carriage - a kind of marriage. Aussies are supposed to be outdoorsy people but one can’t help observe that Europeans embrace it more than we do. We’ve become soft. Let’s redress this failing in our character. Let’s toughen up and reclaim our pioneering past. Remember this event is about camping not “Glamping”. Okay if you must Glamp go ahead and make your own nancy-pansy arrangements. The rest of us will be tenting at the Clunes Caravan Park. Make your own booking here:
Cafe Zen Den, 736 Main Road, Eltham departing at 9:30am sharp. You’ll need to arrive earlier for breakfast. Park down the drive behind the cafe or across the road. PLEASE ARRIVE WITH A FULL TANK as the next fuel stop is 120-kms away.
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