Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Ulysses Odyssey - Denmark 2012

Five Beemers in a row.

Luckily by Friday of the Ulysses Odyssey weekend, the hail was gone and the skies had cleared the way for a good ride to Denmark. We were up at 5am and on our way by 8am. Ten minutes later we were stopped on the side of the road, re-balancing the Red Devil’s luggage as the tent had been tied on top of the wrong pannier. I was thinking of soldiering on, but the F650GS was complaining, rather loudly, every time I stopped. Then we were off, wind in our hair and the heated grips on full bore. We stopped for a TaT (Tea and Toilet) just outside Harvey. In an act of pure frustration, for causing me to ask for assistance to deploy my side stand, I had the Red Devil’s camel toe (side stand extension plate) ceremoniously removed right there and then in the car park.

We were in Bridgetown for lunch, shivering into our cup-a-soup and sheltering from the fine mist that had descended on the valley. We rode on through Manjimup and Walpole, the tall trees distracting our minds from the freezing maximum temperature. In the end we were riding in our full wet weather gear to prevent the cold from seeping right through to the bone. By 3:30pm we were at the Odyssey venue. I spent some time fussing over whether the Red Devil was sinking into the soft grass; perhaps the camel toe had been removed rather prematurely! Then I served tea as someone had forgotten to pack the bottle of port. The Ocean Beach Holiday Park is a great facility, with a well appointed camp kitchen and spotless ablutions, where no one has to queue.

We headed into town for an early dinner and managed to snag the last table at the local Indian restaurant. As we sipped a glass of local wine, a master chef served Onion Bhaji, Seekh Kebab, Lamb and Lentils and a Kashmiri Naan to die for; all at a reasonable price too. A couple of coppers had set a trap on the highway, but they let us off as we rode home; there was nothing to worry about anyway.

We slept like babies in the simplicity of our little tent. The dawn chorus gave us permission to get out of bed at 6am, the camp kitchen making an ideal escape from the cold morning air. Over breakfast we caught up with many an adventure and at 9am we joined an unofficial ride into Albany. We easily devoured a cake and coffee on York Street before making our way to the Boston Brewery. At the brewery we spent a torturous couple of hours, drinking orange juice, too scared to sample the full strength beers just in case the unthinkable happened on the way home; the Red Devil would never forgive me.
Ocean Beach Holiday Park, Denmark.

Saturday night saw us all warm and cosy in the mess tent. The Great Southern Branch worked tirelessly to cook and feed 250 people; it never fails to amaze me the achievements of volunteers. Some of us went to bed early while others enjoyed the quiz night. Even the “early to bed dudes” had fun testing their knowledge, as the questions and answers could be heard from 100m away.

Sunday ride to Walpole.
Sunday’s group ride was wonderful, taking in some of the sights and lanes around Denmark. The only mistake we made was not stopping at the toffee factory or the ice creamery or the chocolate shop on the way home; all three would have been a very good idea.

Cleverly the “cook your own” Sunday BBQ came ready to serve and we were once more fed by the tireless workers in the camp kitchen; thanks a million Great Southern Branch.

It was with a heavy heart that we packed up our little tent; the weekend had come and gone so quickly. I said to Steve, as we tied the tent onto the left pannier, “if I could I would live this weekend all over again.” That’s a sure sign we had a good time.

Leaving the Porongurups, a few days after the Odyssey.