Friday had finally come around and we were assembling for our ride to Albany at our usual departure spot. Rain was forecast from the north east with a possible storm but we were not concerned as we were heading south. After a briefing from our ride leader Alan W and a few photo opportunities we saddled up and were on our way.
The group of twelve traveled up the Southwest Highway to Nettleton Rd and through Jarrahdale before turning on to the Albany Hwy and travelling to Williams where we stopped for morning tea. We then continued on south before turning and heading towards the Great Southern Highway where we again turned south and travelled through Wagin and onto Katanning where we stopped in a park at the edge of town for a leg stretch/toilet stop. After the usual joviality we headed off south and took the Gnowangarup turn off. This is where the God of Technolgy decided to get involved. At the previous stop Bruce had either left the keys of the GTR on the top box or in the lock of the top box, anyway just after the Gnowangarup turnoff an ominous red light appeared on the dash of the GTR and Bruce pulled over to investigate. He then ascertained that the bike had sensed that as the electronic fob that was attached to the keys was not in proximity of the bike that we had a major problem.
Both Gerry and the Triton took a run back to the carpark at Katanning but could not find the keys, checks with the local constabulary and a couple of gardening crews didn’t shed any light either. So after a slow road side check we found ourselves back with Bruce. Gerry continued on to chase up the group that were travelling through the Peronerup's while Bruce enacted the only solution possible! "Super Economy Mode"! This is when you ring the RAC at Katanning and get a flat top truck to rescue you. We waited with Bruce and assisted with the loading of the GTR which was a little precarious, the road had a very steep shoulder and only one corner of the flat top touched the ground. Anyway after some pushing and shoving at strange angles the bike was loaded and strapped down. We left Bruce to travel to Katanning with the flat top while we spun around and took the direct route to Albany.
We arrived at our digs in Albany to find the rest of the team settled in and enjoying themselves. As it had been a long day some decided on pizzas while the remainder of us, now joined by Marc and Danielle who had also driven down, went into Albany for dinner. After a long walk around town checking out eating establishments that all seemed to be booked out we settled on a Chinese restaurant which ended up being a good choice. After finishing the meal and asking for the bill we all estimated our contribution and added up the total which was $169.70, the exact amount of the bill???
Saturday morning was mild and cloudy and after breakfast we headed to the centre of Albany for the Show and Shine Bike Show. There was a terrific amount of all sorts of bikes and we made several trips up and down the street viewing some fabulous machinery. Carparks for visitors bikes were set up at each end and there were worth while examples to view in those areas also. Cafe's were located in the middle of this area so the morning passed away quickly.
After lunch we proceeded to the Anzac museum and I would suggest that it was a moving experience for all of us. The museum is world class and you leave the various displays with a graphic understanding of what these men and women went through. Additionally the location gives you stunning views of the harbour from various large windows in various rooms through out the display. Highly recommend a visit to anyone that has not been. There are also exhibits outside the museum, a souvenir shop, separate cafe, various historical buildings and a walk that takes you to the lookout from where you can imagine all the troop ships anchored their those many years ago. The walk is lined with signs detailing the names etc. of all the ships from those first two convoys that took so many soldiers to war, one of them was the Ulysses!
We returned to our digs for more fun and frivolity with the usual suspects offering plenty of entertainment. Dinner was at Rustler's Steakhouse at 7.30pm, the Triton and Hilux ferrying the crew into town. Rustler's was a great choice, food service and the ambience were terrific and we had a great night.
Sunday morning came around to quickly, Ray, Jen, Colin and JB headed back to Perth while the rest of us drove/rode back up to the hillclimb. It was great to see that almost all the bikes that were at the Show and Shine were having a go at the hill climb. We had an entertaining morning viewing all sorts of bikes of various ages having a go, certainly some great sites. The crew decided on an early return to Perth and left the hill climb a little after 10.30am. Carolyn and I stayed in Albany an extra night and on the Monday returned to Perth via Castle Rock and checked out the Granite Skywalk, hopefully the venue for a future weekender down south.
Thanks to Alan W for organising a great week end way with additional entertainment.
All the photo's are below, just click on one to enlarge and click the arrow to work your way through them.