The January mid-week gathering has a history of being lightly supported (only 20 members last year) – but we were in for a pleasant surprise when some 47 enthusiasts in 28 fine vehicles congregated at the Darnum Stump Tearooms. The smoke from the East Gippsland fires was thick but didn’t deter people from attending. If you had given up smoking recently it was as though you had revisited your old habit!!!
The coffee and scones, as per usual were accompanied with good company and friendly banter. At the designated time, our intrepid leader mounted the picnic table and proceeded to detail the day’s route. I think John Fowler must have an extremely good series of road maps or the latest GPS that doesn’t send you up the proverbial goat track. Well done John. It was disappointing that the smoke screened the beautiful views that the drive had been designed for. Even the cattle were sheltering under the shaded leafy trees. We will have to revisit some of the roads on a fine and sunny day.
We exited Darnum past the school and turned right into East West Road. Now the deviousness of John’s mind came to the fore with many tricky turns to follow – Stockdales and Hamilton Roads to Lardner’s Track, right into Sheehan and left onto the Main South Road only to turn left into Torwood – Topiram Road (mate what a beaut little number that was) leading us to the Korumburra – Warragul Road at Tetoora Rd. The red Camera-car on the side of the road before the Eliinbank football ground did not photograph any of our cars because we were all under the 100kph speed limit. (Alan Richards went back and asked!) But wait John wasn’t finished yet! At the bottom of the hill past the footy ground, we turned right into Bull Swamp, right to Gainsborough, left into Hazeldean and so into Parkers Road and via the Darnum Allambee Road back to the Darnum Hotel (phew!). I believe that in all of these twists and turns there was only one occasion where some cars missed seeing one of the turns. They quickly realized they had overshot the mark and re-joined the group. Well done to everyone!
The hotel staff were expecting our large group of 53 persons (6 met us there) with a suitable number of tables being reserved. Luckily car people are very patient and understanding and enjoy a chat, as not a lot of extra staff had been employed for the large gathering, but good food came out steadily and good camaraderie made for a very pleasant end to the drive.
Thanks again John and Jan for setting us such a wonderful course. Pity about the smoke that prevented us from admiring the many spectacular views.
Happy driving, Marg and Paul (Z3 BMW). Photos by John Fowler