Wannon and Mac Park long weekend 28-30 September

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Wannon and Mac Park long weekend 28-30 September

Post by Jules Pearce on Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:22 pm

Seven riders and Rob A with his car & caravan set off from Waurn Ponds under cloudy, threatening skies on Friday 28 Sept. Ron H (Gentle), Mac, Nigel and I had our bikes loaded with camping gear and Richard S, Mal S and Phil R had their bike trailers - that were soon nicknamed the ‘B Doubles’ by Nigel. 
Mind you, before the weekend was out we were all very thankful for the catering gear and esky’s that those trailers contained, in addition to the owner’s camping gear. This was my first moto camping trip since my late teens, and this was very much a ‘make or break’ trip in terms of future motorcycle camping for me!

Our ultimate destination was Mc Namara Park race circuit at Mount Gambier, but with the first night at Gary & Paula Foley’s camp at Wannon, just outside of Hamilton.
We decided to take a more northern route to try to dodge the cold front that was moving across the state. Gentle led and we headed up to Skipton and then along the Glenelg Hwy to Lake Bolac for lunch. It was pretty cold with the temp hovering around 11C, but then dropping down to 6C as a brief hail storm blew through. 

From Lake Bolac we had a pretty good run along the Glenelg Hwy to to Dunkeld and then on to the supermarket in Hamilton for fuel, drinks and food to BBQ at Wannon. Rob had travelled independently of the ride group and arrived at about the same time as us. We actually arrived at Wannon in bright sunshine. We allocated ourselves rooms, unloaded our gear, broke open some refreshments and the fun began! 

The fully enclosed recreation room at Fole’s place is a fabulous facility with a kitchen, lots of lounge chairs and tables, three fridges, a great sound system, an open fire and an indoor BBQ. As it cooled of we lit the fire and cooked a meal on the indoor BBQ. 
We were then treated to the circus that was Foles’ intoxicated neighbours – who lit the outdoor fire – a little too close to my ZX14 for comfort. The evening flew by to the soundtrack of lots of banter, reminiscences and Joe Bonamassa music pumping.
This is Rossi (yes named after Valentino) willing me to share my chops with him!

The sound track for the evening's festivities - and Foles likes it LOUD!
I checked the temperature as I was going to bed. It was 4C in Hamilton at 9.50pm - it was going to be a cold night! Glad that we weren't in the tents. 

We awoke to a clear, frosty morning. It was going to be a great day for our run over to Mt Gambier and Mac Park.
Now that's a cockpit.
The bikes were coated in frost and Nigel's Suzuki wouldn't start. .... but, we were treated to the sight of Gentle actually running as he pushed Nigel's machine (which started). I think seeing Gentle running was a first in the time I've known him. Mal S couldn't believe his eyes and just shook his head - or was that at my rookie error of another initially non starting bike - due to being in gear with the side stand down! I told Mal quietly that we will never speak of that again. 
Foles was packed up and ready to lead us off to Casterton for brekky, and then on to the supermarket and Dan Murphys in Mt Gambier for more supplies. From there he led us directly to Mc Namara (Mac) Park road racing circuit.
You can't go wrong at a bakery with a Vespa in the window and a statute of a Kelpie out front.
A really nice spot trackside to camp. $10 for entry to the track and another $10 camping fee - with free firewood delivered to our site. 
Perfect really - except for those bloody noisy motorbikes!

The sun got low and the breeze became cool and we all reached for extra layers. Here's Phil, modelling the latest in trackside camping gloves.

Phil and Mal did a terrific job cooking the evening meal for all of us and then repeating it for a bacon & egg brekky for everyone. 
Thanks fellas! You two made the catering look easy.

Here's Nigel Sunday morning ... when he's not downing fine tawny port he's guzzling Sunkist! 

Now what's that sheepish look about Gentle? Did someone get into trouble with the groundsman for riding without a helmet?

We packed up first thing Sunday morning with dew on the tents and then went for more coffees and to check out the first few races. Gentle and Foles stayed on as Ron was staying in Wannon again Sunday night. The rest of us decided to hit the road around 10.00am ish as it was roughly a five hour ride home.
We topped up our fuel tanks in Mt Gambier and Jules led off along the Jubilee Hwy which became the Prince's Hwy goatrack in Victoria with a ridiculous number of lengthy stretches of 60kph and 80 kph speed restrictions due to the crappy condition of the road surface. 
Thanks to everyone who participated for a great weekend. Many thanks to Gentle for organising the ride and huge thanks to Phil and Mal who went out of their way to purchase lots of food, carry it in their esky's and, seemingly effortlessly, cook for us all to make sure that we were all fed properly and not buying trackside garbage. This was all done with good cheer and a 'no worries' attitude. You fellas really were terrific ... thanks again from us all. 
Cheers Jules.

Last edited by Jules Pearce on Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
Jules Pearce
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Re: Wannon and Mac Park long weekend 28-30 September

Post by Mark Nicoll on Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:28 pm

Sounds like you had a great weekend Jules - thanks for the report!
Looks like a good time was had by all who went.

I'm glad you dodged the harshest of the weather for the camping bit, but you haven't said whether or not you will do it again...
Mark Nicoll
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Re: Wannon and Mac Park long weekend 28-30 September

Post by Jules Pearce on Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:35 pm

Absolutely I'll moto camp again. My basic gear was fine, but I do need to find a better self-inflating mattress or air bed as mine was just too thin. I'm not a huge fan of air beds though. Any recommendations for a self-inflating mattress tht can be carried on the bike OK?
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Re: Wannon and Mac Park long weekend 28-30 September

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