What a ripper day for a tour! Sun Shining, no wind, and so a definite day for Tops-Off!
Strangely it also bought out a huge number of British Classic cars – and mainly Sports cars at that with their roofs off! We had 14 cars line up for the start, although a few were there for the tour only, and a few decided to go straight to Mirboo North and the Cafe. (See Steve’s photos of the cars en-route on our website.)
I had mapped out an hour and a quarter of touring over some magic winding bitumen roads to the south of Trafalgar to end up arriving from the south at Cafe Escargot – near Mirboo North.
We started off up that wonderful scenic and winding Sunny Creek Rd to Childers, and I must admit I led off at a brisk pace in the old Sprite and really enjoyed the twisty stuff up through the trees to the open spud land further up. We waited at the top at Childers and reformed as a group for the rest of the drive down to Thorpdale.
From here we went back towards Trafalgar for a few kilometres before turning right into the Narracan – Connection Rd. What a lovely scenic road through potato country it was, up and down through the trees and the farms, whilst at Narracan the refurbished hall looked a treat, and then we eventually turned left into the Morwell – Thorpdale Rd. This was a more open winding road through grazing-land with some woodland and was very attractive, before we eventually met the Strzelecki Hwy – which we were only on for a couple of hundred metres – before we then turned left towards Yinnar.
Off through this open farmland area admiring all the neat dairy farms we went, enjoying the wonderful roads, before we stopped at the Yinnar township for a half-time pit stop. We all enjoyed the time for a chat about the great variety of views we had seen, and there were many complimentary comments about the fantastic scenic good roads we had driven over.
From Yinnar we travelled along the more open roads and grazing-land towards Boolarra, and just at the towns edge we turned left towards Boolarra South. This uphill road was very attractive as it wound back and forth up the ridge-line through mainly open farmland to the top of the range.
Here the road made a ‘y’ junction with the Grand Ridge Road at Boolarra South, and we turned right along it. This followed the ridge-line with wonderful views to distant hills on either side as we twisted back and forth through the farmland. We soon met the intersection with the Mirboo North – Mirboo Rd, and continued on across some flats towards Mirboo North, and then as we rose uphill we eventually came to Cafe Escargot on our left.
The ‘Tourists’ of our group continued straight on to Mirboo North, whilst the rest of us parked in the grounds of the Cafe for another chat in the sunshine. Some ventured into the workshop of Club-member Mathew (the owners’ son) to check out his projects before we all went inside.
Vincenza had set up two long tables for us and we ordered pre-dinner drinks as we chatted and a few ordered Escargots as an extra entree. These were very enjoyable by all accounts. Then the first of our platters arrived. As arranged, we shared these platters in groups of 4 people (2 each side), and these platters were very attractive, stimulating and extremely tasty! We had heaps to eat, and when the 4 alternative deserts arrived we either shared some or chose one each after a bit of discussion, and then had to ‘fit it all in’. Complementary tea or Coffee followed which was a nice way to finish off. At $25 a head we agreed the meal was excellent value, and one of the best we had had.
After the meal we watched a DVD of the history leading up to the 3 years of Cafe Escargot and how to the snails are prepared and then cooked. The group then thanked Vincenza for the delicious meal, and Doug then took us on a tour of the ‘Snail Hatchery’, and further explained things, which was fascinating. We thanked Doug, said goodbye to everyone, and headed off up the road to Mirboo North.
If you have the time, we would firmly recommend Cafe Escargot, and they have a very extensive ‘standard’ menu as well as our pre-set one (as well as Escargots of course!).
At Mirboo North (home of the Brewery of course) some went to the famous ‘Dalliance Chocolaterie and Providore Cafe’ – whilst others went straight back through Thorpdale to Trafalgar and home after a very full day.
We had great weather, great roads, great food, great company, great cars – what more could you ask for?!
ESCARGOT : A FAST RUN TO A SLOW LUNCH by John Weymouth
We started at the IGA Super Market car park in Trafalgar at about 10.00am on Sunday morning in sunny warm weather. Director John Fowler handed out route instructions and conducted a drivers meeting before leading off in his A.H.Sprite. First stop was Sunny Creek Road, where we waited for those caught at the lights at the Ashby St. crossing. Then it was on to our first stage up the Sunny Creek Road Hillclimb to the Yarragon South Road intersection. From there the route wound around the hills to the Childers -Thorpdale Rd. where we regrouped for a passage stage through Thorpdale and down the Trafalgar Rd. to the Narracan Connection Rd. The first section of this road has been widened and hot mixed to accommodate the B-Double Semi spud trucks from Durkin Produce . This Hillclimb stage is short, but open with smooth, wide, sharp turns allowing a good view of on coming traffic. Continuing down to Narracan brings us to the third special stage – up the hill from the creek to McDonalds Track. The road is narrow and steep and opens onto a quick straight after a sharp left hander at the top of the climb. Narracan Rd. then takes us on to the Morwell – Thorpdale Rd where we were supposed to turn left toward the Hyland Highway, however some navigators wouldn’t or couldn’t read their pace notes and turned right back toward Thorpdale. Tose behind them followed suite ,thus incurring a wrong direction for the tail end crews. However we all regrouped for a pit stop at Yinnar. Unfortunately it was only a one bay pit so many drivers had to pit behind some trees at the back of the pits. It was then onto the next passage stage to Boolarra where we turned left onto Foster Rd. for the fourth special stage up to the Grand Ridge Rd. and Boolarra Sth. We then continued on the Boolarra South -Mirboo North Rd. to Old Nichols Rd, and then into the drive way to Escargots.
John set a cracking pace which saw the field split into two sections those at the front enjoyed the special stage hillclimbs while those at the rear enjoyed the views, while we all enjoyed the drive .
We thank John for organising the day.
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