Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Ulysses Odyssey 2011 - Wagin

The catering officer looked after us on our ride to the 2011 Odyssey in Wagin. Steve found the Pinjarra bakery for morning tea, and served a homemade sandwich, a crisp apple and a strong brew of coffee for lunch in Williams. By 1pm we were riding into the little outback town; early enough to select the best camp site at the Wagin Show grounds. Luckily there were no birds roosting in our tree and the tent remained clean all weekend!

Our little three man tent was pitched in one fluid motion, and when I went inside, to release the self inflating mattresses and pillows, the rustic smell took me straight back to my childhood, where I liked nothing more than to play inside a small tent during the school holidays. As soon as the tent was up, the billy was on and Steve and I kicked back, in our large camp chairs, entertained by each and every new arrival.

The focal point of the campsite was two wonderful camp fires, which were kept smouldering or blazing depending on the time of day. As soon as the sun was past the yard arm, we wandered down to the meeting place, with a beer and some biltong, and listened to a few yarns about the morning’s ride. At sunset we strolled into town for a steak and a pint. The dining room was full so we snuggled into the front bar, which was noisy, but the locals were friendly, and we had a great time. Our little tent was warm and dry and we slept like babies, for we had nothing to worry about and everything we needed; food, shelter and the bikes parked right outside!

On Friday morning Steve and I hung out at the town cafe. We sat on the pavement in the most comfortable chairs ever afforded to us at a street cafe. The food was good and cheap. Just goes to show, there is many a country town to be found on the road less travelled.

The Friday afternoon ride was fun and it is always enjoyable to watch a train of bikes meandering along a lonely country road. We were home in time for another camp fire happy hour, followed by the first communal dinner – the local swimming club did the town proud feeding us a roast dinner nearly as good as mum makes.

On Saturday we rode to Narrogin with the promise of morning tea laid on by the CWA. It made me smile when I noticed several riders checking their iPhones before stepping back in time for some good old country women’s hospitality. Then we browsed the wares at the local spring fair before riding home again.

The Saturday night dinner was accompanied by some entertaining conversation about aliens and nudist camps, most of us not believing in either! A predominately male Karaoke bar showcased some good singing and a lot of courage. I just couldn’t think of a cover song to sing!

The last night in our little tent was as sweet as the first. As I sipped my coffee and licked my wind burnt lips in the early morning light, I had a vision of me and Steve riding into the rising sun. We were on our way to Mildura for the 2012 AGM. Now that would be a good ride!