Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I headed west into gold-field country last Friday, making for Clunes. A psychopathic bikie gang once pulled into this town:

Bikie: "We're here to meet a friend, coming in on the evening train."

Local: "There's nothing coming in on the train except some crates and a, uh, coffin.

Bikie (nodding slowly): "Our friend."

I rode through Daylesford, on back roads to Clunes; north to Avoca, Logan, then Maldon. I have added 11,000km of joy-riding to the bike since buying it three months ago.

Below, the garage of the agent who signed the papers, releasing the “poor bastard” in the coffin. That was a rude thing for him to say, and The Toecutter is correcting him in the photo above: “His name is the Night-rider! Remember him when you look at the night sky.”

On the way to Logan a great wind arose, washing the paddocks in dust and felling trees.

The gold-fields area is a medley of shifting scenes, both natural and man-made, which I will explore in detail in the coming months. I've been reading travel-writing accounts from the 1880s of the towns here - from Cassell's Picturesque Australasia - and will draw on them when describing what I see. Such reading informs my experience of these places.

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