DECEMBER EXCURSION – ST ALBANS

Despite the threat of rain, the weather for the day beamed bright and cheerful. The Zedders had the option of travelling directly to the Settlers Arms Inn at St Albans or meeting up at McDonalds at Thornleigh to form a convoy. Most Zedders opted for the latter. However, the car spaces at McDonalds were packed – which meant that Zedders and machines were dispersed all over the grounds and not in one discrete location.

Members and guests started dribbling in after 10.00am. Some ordered coffee and /or light breakfasts and the numbers starting looking good. Around 11.00am it was time to start the adventure.

As mentioned, the carpark was rather crowded, which was going to create some difficulties in creating a meaningful convoy, as there were already “interlopers” creeping into the middle of the convoy.

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Getting to the gate of McDonalds and Ray gasped in amazement as some Zedders incorrectly turned right and the others turned left. After doing a “u turn” the “right wingers” joined the back of the convoy.

Getting back onto Pennant Hills Road proved something of a nightmare (what else is new with Pennant Hills Road!), with the lights changing quickly and the convoy split into small pieces. Never mind, head towards Boundary Road (the jumping off point).

Andrew appeared (like an angel of mercy – having managed to get ahead on Pennant Hills Road)) from a nearby service station to lead the way. The convoy behind was still a bit shambolic, but eventually managed to catch up and form an “ad hoc” convoy – although some members had disappeared completely (later discovered they had gone on ahead).

The traffic was extremely heavy on New Line Road at Cherrybrook. There must have been some sort of exotic car show on as Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Jaguars, Mustangs were appearing everywhere.

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Finally reaching Old Northern Road, Dural and the traffic jam began to disappear. As the convoy hit River Road, Wisemans Ferry the road became convoluted and the bends more accentuated. And, yes, that “boy racer” spirit deeply embedded in the Zedders’ psyche became more apparent as the Z cars zoomed around the bends with gusto. Finally, Wisemans Ferry was reached.

Due to prior advice (yes, those numerous E Mails sent) it was necessary to locate the Webbs Creek Ferry where a tarred road was assured on the other side of the Hawkesbury River as distinct from the Wisemans Ferry where a disasterous dirt and gravel road awaited to spoil the Zedders’ carefully nurtured “rides”. The Webbs Creek Ferry eventually sailed without hitting any mines or encountering any other difficulties and all Zedders arrived safe and sound.

The road ahead was Wollombi Road. This was 20kms of “boy racer” territory – yes twice in one day! Some of the bends were 45 degrees (where you almost meet yourself coming back the other way!) Blasting down the slopes at 80kms/hr – not knowing whether the hidden bends were going left or right added to the fun, as creaking Z car suspensions and creaking joints fought to keep up!

All Zedders eventually arrived at the Settlers Arms Inn intact. The large crowds present meant that there was a wait for meals. Meals were a tad overpriced but there was a reasonable selection. The Zedders spilled over into two tables (exceeding the original “booked” numbers).

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The ambience of the venue was very pleasant, with the main “rustic” inn and a number of similar buildings, constructed in the 1840s. However, it was getting rather hot and the “great Australian salute” was constantly in operation to swat the ever increasing quantity of flies.

A head and car count revealed 18 cars and 23 members and guests – which was an excellent response. The excursion had proven to be very successful with an invigorating drive, a pleasant venue and an excellent number of people attending.

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