What makes a good holiday getaway?
It all started with an early morning dentist appointment which meant leaving home at 7am on a Thursday morning.
Don’t all holidays start this way? 🙂
We decided to work around this ‘opportunity’ by arranging a short cycling getaway, making an extra long weekend of it – hence the ‘cheeky’ in my title.
Sometimes the best holiday is the one you’ve just been on.
We initially asked other friends to join us and had loose plans in place for a fun long weekend away with a group of us. Closer to the day, our friends were unable to join us, and for a minute my sister and her husband were going to come along, but sadly that too fell through.
My search for accommodation went from looking for houses for a group of six to share to something for just the two of us.
I contacted a friend who had holiday accommodation in a nearby rail trail area, and luckily (for us) she had had a cancellation for her loft apartment for that weekend. We were in!
Sometime spontaneity is a good way to have a holiday.
Holiday Destinations – how do you decide where to go?
Usually for us any favourite holiday is one that involves family and second on the list would include cycling or some other activity. Over the years we’ve been on some amazing holidays, all over the world, combining family and cycling. Those heady days are long gone given the fact that we can’t leave Australia at the moment and so a more local getaway was on the cards. Travel, for us anyway, has been limited to family visits and we know we’re very fortunate to be able to get together at all.
We only live an hour or so from the Victorian/NSW state border and always enjoy riding on the Victorian Rail Trails. We realised as we were driving, that we hadn’t been into Victoria for over two years – yet we live so close to the border!!!! Last year with the lockdown on, it was difficult to get out of NSW and we needed border passes to get into Victoria and with everything else we had on our plate we just didn’t look over the border, although we missed seeing my sister and her husband.
Carefree and fun
So off we went to Myrtleford to ride sections of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, staying in a cute loft apartment with perfect autumn weather forecast for the whole weekend.
We ended up riding roughly 175kms over the four days away and loved every minute of it!
Our accommodation was perfect for our needs and was on top of a previously very popular cafe – Lupo’s Kiln Cafe – I say previously, as the cafe is for sale and waiting for new owners to take on the venture started by our friends.
The building is unique, based on the old tobacco drying kilns that dotted the area back in the 1940s and 50s. Once tobacco went out of favour the mainly Italian families in the area had to look at alternative crops to make a living, and have since moved into blueberries and hops. The kiln buildings are made of corrugated iron with a little window near the top so they could climb up and check the temperature inside. The loft has been made very homely and is nothing like the original buildings on the inside, apart from the high roof line and distinctive styling.
I loved the little window to the world and made sure I took a photo each morning. It was like a photo on the wall when the window was open.
On Thursday afternoon we unpacked and rode through Myrtleford and onto almost Everton – a ride of 38km up a big hill, down through farmland and bush and then back to our warm and cosy accommodation for takeaway pizza and bubbles (the bubbles were kindly left for us as a welcome).
I decided to share our little trip on my Facebook page as it felt so good to be out and about again. I’ve included my posts here.
Day 1 Thursday afternoon
We had an unremarkable trip to the dentist and headed out to Yackandandah for a walk around and lunch in a delightful little cafe, before making our way to Myrtleford.
My facebook post reads: Some shots from Day 1 of our little cycling getaway to Myrtleford, riding the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail – Ride High Country. We managed a decent 38km ride from Myrtleford to (almost) Everton and back yesterday afternoon in lovely autumn sunshine. Our accommodation is in the fabulous loft apartment at Lupo’s Accommodation. I just love the little window to the world.
Day 2 Friday
Friday morning was foggy but we knew the day would clear into a sunny day so we set off early-ish for nearby Everton and rode to Beechworth.
Facebook entry for Friday reads: Cycling some of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail – Day 2: a foggy cool start to the day which brightened into the most glorious autumn day, saw us drive to Everton and slog (mostly uphill) to Beechworth along the very pretty trail. Stopped for refuelling in the always popular town of Beechworth, where the trees are red and almost at the end of their autumnal showing, then back to Everton at a very fast pace! The downhill trip was amazing and saw me rolling most of the way (no pedalling was required) at an average speed 35kph! Total distance for the day 52km. Finished the day with drinks with our host Michelle and a demonstration of how to make gnocchi from scratch – and it tasted delicious!! Then our little loft beckoned….
Day 3 Saturday
Saturday was a frosty morning but the forecast was for warm autumnal sunshine later in the day. The ride into Bright was cold in places but it was very enjoyable seeing so many happy people out riding and walking.
Saturday morning (Day 3) started a tad frosty and fresh, but after rugging up, we set off from Myrtleford to Bright along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail. Wow was this part of trail busy! Maybe because it was the weekend, perhaps because it was a beautiful day or maybe it’s always a busy trail – whatever the reason, it was great to see so many people, of all ages and capabilities out there enjoying themselves. The ride was flat all the way and passed by some picturesque scenery – hop fields, cattle farms, vineyards, the Ovens River & was full of fading autumn colour. A stop at the Rail Trail Cafe at Porepunkah is always worth the break and then onto catching up with family friends in Bright. Return trip was faster and we clocked up another 60kms, making our total so far, in excess of 150km for the 3 days. Not bad at all! And I’ve been practicing my photography skills along the way!
Day 4 Sunday – end
This morning we had a late start and packed up our gear. Before we left Myrtleford Michelle wanted to show us their Iso Project – a hut they built on their property overlooking the river. It was amazing and a credit to them. A great little spot to escape the world, go fishing, canoeing and relax with friends.
We had a quick look around town as we’d been far too busy to do much else than ride, eat and sleep, and then we headed home via Hume Dam and Lake Hume. We parked the car at the Huon Reserve on the banks of the lake, along with many others, removed the bikes and went for a ride to Tallangatta, for a late lunch, about 12kms away. I always love the Sandy Creek Bride and the water was sparkling in the afternoon sunshine, with the drowned trees reminding me of a synchronised swimming performance.
Sunday Stills and Life this Week
I’ve also joined in with Denyse for her #lifethisweek prompt of Self Care – this is my idea of self care, getting away for a few days can be so good for the soul! It was the first time in absolute ages that we have had a carefree and totally fun few days away – it felt so good!! I’m also doing a short on-line photo editing course with some friends and used the time away to practice my photography – more on that to come later. It’s all about self care!
Although the trees had passed their best autumn colour we were still surprised and pleased. This photo is one of my favourites from our time away. I’ve used an app to highlight the pop of red and it makes the photo something special doesn’t it?
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed our few days away too. It was so good to write a post with the word travel in it!
PS. Meaning of cheeky: (of something pleasurable) consumed or done in an unplanned, rather self-indulgent way – ‘a cheeky pint’ or in this instance ‘a cheeky long weekend away’
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A tragic accident at age 17, resulting in a Bravery Award from the Queen, didn’t deter Debbie from travelling the world. A young retiree, after being made redundant from her 22 year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre, she now loves reading, blogging, riding her ebike and a good cup of tea! Also known as Granny Debs to her 4 grandchildren.
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