Day Two - The trip with no name - Saturday 9 Feb 2013

Today was about covering roads that I had either ridden before but did not have time to really take it all in, or roads that I have driven and enjoyed but not yet on a bike.

Unfortunately I had to miss the School or Arts Museum at Tenterfield. Rain was coming in by 9:15 am, the museum opened at 10:00 am and I needed to purchase a new laptop bag to ensure its safety. The nearest town that I could be sure would have a range was Armidale, about two hours drive away and so away I went. This museum does look like it would be a gem and one which Karen and I can enjoy together on a future trip.

Just out of Tenterfield is "The Bluff". This is a beautiful piece of geography but surrounded by the sadness of a massacre of Aborigines in the 1800s.

After leaving the bluff, I rode into the charming university city of Armidale. Here I was able to pick up a laptop bag marked for $49.95 but when presented to the checkout, rang up at $12.00 flat. After purchasing the bag, I pulled into the main park of Armidale, which is surrounded by churches for the Anglican, Catholic and Presbyterian churches. Whilst all of the churches were attractive, the Catholic church was particularly stunning. These photos are for you, Karen:

After Armidale, there is a small town called Uralla. In the main cemetary is the grave of Captain Thunderbolt, Fred Ward. Captain Thunderbolt was a bushranger who roamed New England of New South Wales during the 1800s and his legend is well worth reading up on. 

After Uralla, through Tamworth and futher down the New England Highway. This is the sort of road that begs for a Suzuki Hyabusa and no police, but that would be another story. Travelling down this road is a town called Wallaballah and this town is the host to the First Fleet Memorial Gardens. These gardens commemorate the arrival od the First Fleet, the group of ships full of supplies and convicts. Sent out from England to establish a new penal colony these souls had an unknown future waiting for them. Why Wallaballah, some three hours or more out of Sydney? Why not? The convicts, sailors and soldiers came from all over Great Britain. The man with the vision for this garden is from Wallaballah and the local council supported him. Regardless of the location, these gardens tell a great story of both the First Fleet and the Second Fleet and is a worthwhile visit from the historic interest as well as to have a greater understanding of the hardships of our early pioneers.

 Finally, Muswellbrook. The Vietnam Memorial on the way into town is designed to remind the viewer of the courage and sacrifice of the men who fought in that horrific war. It succeeds. Even after you leave the main part of the memorial, it continues along the road, with signs reminding you of the units that served and the numbers lost in those units. Courage, honour, sacrifice. Lest we forget.