A Graunchy ride to Hill End

“So what’s at Hill End Nige? Will there be swings for us to play on?” Lucky was pretty sure he knew the answer to this but was still hopeful he could avoid an afternoon/evening of drinking too much beer. “Of course there’ll be swings Lucky and hooly-hoops and a merry-go-round but first there must be beer.” “Will there be a blessed chapel for those of us in need of spiritual guidance” asked DD with little hope the Royal Hotel might cater for that sort of thing. “Of course DD” Replied Nige “And we will all receive the sacraments together. But first there must be beer.” With this Sideways, Moey, DD, Lucky, Nige, and new friend Shannon (Yet to be given an appropriate Nige Name) set out past Broke and on to Bylong Valley Way to Rylstone then Sofala and then Hill End. The weather was warm enough when we left Maccas that morning and apart from some pretty ordinary road surfaces this side of Bylong all was going well. Some lousy pick pocket, however, who could really run fast nicked Sideways wallet out of his jacket somewhere between Tuggerah and Broke but was kind enough to return it anonymously to his letterbox next day minus the cash. So that was good news.

The Royal Hotel at Hill End. Did not see one member of that family.

 

We stopped off at the other Royal Hotel in Sofala. No Prince Philip there either!

So anyhoo we arrived in Hill End around 4 in the afternoon tired but keen to hit the swings WHEEEEEE. ‘Ceptin there were no swings. No swings. Nor were there hooly hoops and no chapel off the side of the hotel. We were devastated or “Devvo” as the younger ones amongst us said (That was no-one so no-one said it). “There’s beer youse lot. Foller me.” And so we followed Nige into the pub. The bartender was a friendly bloke and keen to make us welcome. “Hello fellas, what’s you’re pleasure?” Nige reached across the bar and grabbed him by the lapels pulling him roughly to within an inch of his snarling face. “Six Four X’s, big ones and right bloody now.” “Certainly. You must be Nige. I’ve heard of you.” without breaking his ear to ear grin at seeing six cashed-up and wifeless men enter his bar. We all sat down quietly as Cheerio Pete (something like that) brought over the drinks, being sure to give the first to Nige. ” I think you might have been a little unfair, even graunchy (pronounced: grawn-chee.) to Pete there Nige” Moey said. “What is it with you and that word. Everything’s bloody graunchy with you these days!! Find another word.” “Nah I like graunchy. It has a plethora of applications.” Moey happily replied, clearly proud of his word. “Yeah we like it too Nige” said Sideways, “Don’t we boys!!” “Oh absolutely,” “yes indeedy,” “truly glorious.” And so it remains. Moey’s favourite word.

 

Graunchy Yeah!!

 

“Sofala beer is pretty graunchy” Moey announced. “I’ll just grip my legs and grit my teeth and say nothing” Nige thought pensively.

 

After temporary release to take our bags up to the rooms we could see why the fifty or sixty dollars was so reasonable. Lucky had a queen size bed in a room about the size of a king size bed. The walls were papered with old newspapers but did have a hook for your jacket or for killing yourself if your stay was more than one night. Everybody else had the same except of course for Nige who scored two single beds. “This room is beneath my status” He mumbled and repeated most of the evening. Dinner, however, was magnificent and included in the price. Old style porterhouse steaks on mashed potatoes. Delicious and big. Our new friend Shannon hit the rooms first still recovering from a hip replacement only a few weeks earlier. He never whined once about it though. He, by the way, bought Nige’s old Ninja. Turns out it’s a very nice shiny black colour. I always thought it was a kind of mottled grey and brown with grass growing off the sides but there you are.

 

Lucky’s room.

Nige’s room. What royal ever slept here?

Breakfast was Fruit Loops and full cream milk, toast and tea etc. also included in the price. Headed home about 8.30 and almost got to Ilford when Sideways’ newish Yamaha Virago with a tank the size of a sippy-cup ran dry. Luckily we met a guy in Ilford who had fuel on hand but looked tired and bent from carrying armfuls of tattoos around. He rode a Rocket Three after spending many years on Harley Davistowns but had lost his licence several times on them and was proud to say that he had now gone almost eighteen months without having to go to court for various traffic violations. Sadly, he then admitted, he was off to court tomorrow and expected to go without his licence for another extended period. What you could ever do on a Harley to be fined is beyond me by the way. Maybe leaking oil all over the place or noise or littering various parking areas with them. Certainly not speeding. Anyway he was a nice fellow and wouldn’t accept any money for the fuel. We wished him good luck for his court appearance and headed on.

 

“This tank Sideways! Theres only one word to describe it and I think you know what that word is!”

 

The usual route took us back through the farmlands behind Jerrys Plains and nobody fell off. The sealants that were sprayed on the dirt section just before we arrived on the trip out, causing us to backtrack through Denman, was long gone and easy to navigate. Our goodbyes were held at Broke as Moey headed off home turning left at the servo. ” Graunchiest ride ever boys!! ” he shouted happily as he turned towards Cessnock. DD and Sideways decided to search for Sideway’s missing wallet which had already beaten him home. That left Nige and Lucky and our new friend Shannon to enjoy one last coffee at Jerrys. Then DD turned up as well. “Thought you were helping Sideways find his wallet” we all said. “Charity only goes so far boys and, instead, I prayed it would be found for him and returned to his letterbox.” A collective sense of goosebumps enveloped us all. Glorious.

 

Blessed!!!

 

 

 

 

One Response to “A Graunchy ride to Hill End”

  1. Thanks Lucky for blowing the dust off the Nige website.
    Once again, a Hansardesque ride report. The image of Blessed Bobby is just as I saw him in the hallway after a few beers.
    However, I would check your camera as the shot of you and I coffeeing in the main street of Oberon??? seems to have virused its way into this report.
    Not all pics have been corrupted. Shot of me and Bobby working hard to get the show on the road again, also witnessses Nige, hands on hips, talking shite whilst standing next to his beloved Ninja. Genuine!
    Mo

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