Monday, May 31, 2010


It is said that to ride alone is good for the soul; and that to ride with friends is good for the heart.

I chose to lay aside soul-work for some new winter heartening. So my friend Rosy and I spent yesterday on the road. We followed in the footsteps of Burke and Wills, Major Mitchell, and the gold diggers.

It was a day pregnant with the ghosts of pioneers. Do you know who flew the first Australian-made aeroplane in Australia?

No, it was not Harry Houdini at Digger's Rest. He was a foreigner, in a foreign aeroplane, and he wasn't even the first to fly in Australia.

The first Australian-made aeroplane flown in Australia was made and flown by the Duigan boys, at Mia Mia. Its construction was based on...a photograph of the Wright brother's aeroplane.

That was July 16, 1910. When, almost exactly one hundred years later Rosy and I found ourselves flying past the place on our motor cycles, how could we not stop?

Later we sat in the Theatre Royal in Castlemaine, upstairs in a private room on armchairs drinking coffee. The building, both in facade and furnishing, is Art Deco.

Above and below, are images found on the internet - I did not think to photograph the place. If I had, even the toilets would not have been spared.

I feel close to a friend when I ride with them, particularly when following them as we weave through the hills in formation. It is a wonderful way to spend time, alone together.

We made south for Daylesford in terribly strong winds, then west for Woodend in the wet, then south down the Calder Freeway in the freezing cold, to meet with Fee and enjoy a hot dinner together.

Oh!, I do enjoy a good day of motor cycling!

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