We had 12 cars join us for the start of the run to the south of Trafalgar, and the weather predictions were right. They said it would be fine but with some drizzle later. We gathered and chatted under an overcast but dry sky in the carpark behind the IGA in Traf. Then, just as we were about to depart, the drizzle started! We had a great mix of cars (see pics) – the Lukes (MGA), the Richards (Mini), Hatfield (MX5), us (MX5), Williams (Merc Convertible), Duggan (WRX), Whitney (Monaro), the Mollisons (EH Holden), the Swinglers (Mustang), Thorpe (XY GT), the Ireland (Porsche), and the Murphys (BMW Z4).
The start saw us travelling up the delightful windy & uphill Sunny Creek rd through the trees to Childers, but as expected by now, Baw Baw Shire has yet to fix the few potholes in the first few kilometres. (Their road repair program is abysmal – if they have one at all!) Andy Thorpe was behind me in his large blue XY GT Falcon, and he must have been fairly busy in there on the tight windy roads, because he still kept up with his Armstrong steering. At the top we waited for those who had been enjoying the scenery, before we took off downhill to Thorpdale, enjoying the sights of the ploughed red ‘spud’ soil in amongst the rolling green paddocks. Lovely!
From Thorpdale we turned south again towards the Strzelecki Hwy and Mirboo North. Many will fondly recall this wonderful stretch of fairly wide open windy downhill road through the trees with its regular sweeping turns! It was a great run, but in the dry and without a mobile handbrake it is an even more fantastic drive. We waited at the Hwy for everyone to catch up again.
At the Hwy we turned left towards Yinnar, and enjoyed the open flowing gently downhill roads through the open farmland with forested sections. Just past the Yinnar turnoff, we turned left into the Morwell-Thorpdale rd which is another enjoyable winding open road through a mix of farmland with patches of trees. We noted how so much of this lower section of road was lined with burnt trees and out into the paddocks. The recent Morwell fires must have been scary for these farmers. Looking back along the road, it was fantastic to see the line up of different coloured makes and models of cars snaking along behind. Then we caught up with a Low Loader! It was travelling at 25 to 35km/hr with a Kato-like log mover, and was impossible to get past. Still on the (small) plus side, we were able to study and enjoy the passing green farmland and tree-lined roads, until we eventually got to the right turn to Narracan.
We started this section along McDonalds track through the freshly ploughed red spud soils between the bright green paddocks, and then we descended rapidly into the steep valley of Narracan. Up past the refurbished historic Narracan Hall, and uphill on the Narracan Connection rd through the forested hills with the occasional farm property we wound. Up near the top, the countryside opened out to more potato country, and we turned right into Rogers’s road. This is another great drivers’ road, with some tight turns as well as sweeping bends whilst going uphill and down through attractive farmland. At the top, we came to a tee junction with Lawrence’s road on the right and from here on Rogers rd was a wonderful winding downhill twisting road with spectacular views over Trafalgar and the Valley. Unfortunately, just at this point some fog appeared which shrouded everything in mist – which was a bit disappointing – particularly for the passenger.
All too soon in the fog we came to an open sweeping bend to the right – but with a large red stop and town signs on the opposite side of the road – and we had to stop. This was a somewhat blind intersection to the left of main the Trafalgar -Thorpdale rd. As I stopped, I heard the big Ford brakes lock up behind me, but all was fine, and we trundled down into Trafalgar. In amongst the shops we turned right into the main car-park behind the Highway shops and into the Cantik cafe private car-park. It was still drizzling.
Anyway, inside it was a lovely atmosphere in the old converted bank building with its high ceilings, decorated with many Balinese and other artworks on display and for sale. Most of the tables there were reserved for the 28 of us, with 10 travelling straight there to join us for lunch – including the Weymouths, De Groots (Merc), Riley, McKibbin, Fitzpatrick and friends (Arnoldt Bristol). The light lunches of foccacias, quiches, lasagnes, wraps, etc were very tasty and well presented, as well as being very reasonably priced. The Cantik ladies did a wonderful job in processing our orders and getting them to our tables quite swiftly. Most were tables of six or eight, and there was a lot of great social chatter going on as well. It was a very relaxing way to finish the day, and most stayed for almost 2 hours of socialising.
This mid week tour was once again very well supported and seemed to be an enjoyable hour and a quarter trip, finished off with great food and great company.
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