Sorry Troy, I do not like Taree

Well, the weather started quite good, but I had one of those days where I just kept finding the rain. After stopping off at the lookout behind Laurieton, I pushed on down the Pacific Highway to Taree where I exited to find fuel. Troy Bayliss originated from Taree and I had the pleasure of meeting the man once at a ride day at Phillip Island. You would have to travel a long way to find a friendlier more laid-back person. So I almost feel guilty saying, "I don't like Taree." The town seems to have 27,000 bazillion motels but only two service stations. Having decided that I had done a lap of the town without finding a third, I turned back to get fuel from the Shell. This turned out to be an epic piece of weather-misfortune. By the time I had fuelled the bike the rain arrived. Switching back to the clear visor and donning the wet-weather pants over the leathers I set off just in time for it to get really heavy. I somehow think Taree has mutual feelings about me.

With bad weather seemingly all around, I ditched my plans to ride the Bucket Way through to Gloucester. It's a beautiful ride through stunning scenery, but when it's wet I'm happy just to put in the miles and save the scenic detours for better weather.

Five minutes down the road, and I was back in sunshine. What gives? I persisted with the Pacific Highway, and when I stopped for lunch at Buladelah pored over my maps trying to work out how to save the planned trip down the Putty Road. Checking the rain radar convinced me that it just wasn't worth it. There were only scattered showers, but they were everywhere I wanted to be. In the end I gave up and picked out Gosford as a likely destination.

In Gosford, in the rain, I rang around for accommodation before finding a place to stay in Ettalong. Using my phone to its abilities, I used the maps functionality to find my way there. If only I had some weather proof container that mounted to the tank of the bike, I would have got there easily, using the Navigator software. Maybe a Bluetooth headset for the helmet instead? - After all, it can read the instructions.

My ability to memorise turns on a map has never been great. Sometimes, the real world doesn't quite match the imagination I have based on reading the map. So, I stopped three times - in the rain, to recalibrate my bearings before finally finding my accommodation.

I happened to notice a cricket match being played nearby. They just abandoned play as I arrived, suggesting to me that the rain had only just reached there. All up, I reckon I spent about an hour in rain today, most of it heavy and most of it when travelling around town. At low speeds, me and my luggage get no benefit from the wind protection of the bike, so yet again the entire contents of my bags lay strewn around the room, this time, waiting for the bags to dry out.

This is by far the wettest East Coast Odyssey I have ever undertaken, and the forecast doesn't look to be getting any better. Boo!