FEBRUARY IN THE HIGHLANDS

Being the world’s worst navigator ( if I’d been Captain James Cook we’d be calling the South Pole home – instead of Australia) I tried to plan this trip so that it would be completely “idiot proof”. However after getting information that part of the “Tourist Drive” at the back of Mittagong – (which was to be the centrepoint of the journey) was going to be closed for repairs – panic set in. To enhance ( and thus lengthen ) the journey to compensate for the lost kms – a modification was made to take the Yerrinbool turnoff from the Hume motorway rather than the Mittagong turnoff. We’d booked for lunch at the Moss Vale Hotel for 12 midday – although with minimal member responses at this point the numbers attending was more a range than actual numbers.

Some members did point out the “Achilles Heel” of the excursion – that the journey may be too short and we might be twiddling our thumbs waiting for lunch at the Moss Vale Hotel.

With a few days to go there were suggestions made to change the journey by adding a different beginning and ending to the journey. Last minute panic set in. I then looked at increasing the route by bypassing most of the Hume motorway and using Menangle Rd to get to Yerrinbool and from another member’s suggestion – adding Fitzroy Falls to the end of the journey.

The situation now was analagous to having a blind man living in a house where he knew where every stick of furniture was positioned – and an interior decorator changing everything around ( refer world’s worst navigator).

The club members were meeting at the Crossroads Hotel at Casula as the starting point.

Our family bravely set off towards Casula on the day. I turned onto Narellan Rd heading towards the M5 . Out of the corner of my eye I saw two red flashes zoom past – Anthony & Courtney .

When we caught up with the “kids” on the M5 I noted that Courtney was drifting across four lanes of the M5 heading towards the curb. The thought flashed through my mind ” that’s a weird way to park your car!”

She had apparently fallen victim to a combination of a wet slippery road, massive torque from the overboosted twin turbo engine and tyres that were not the manufacturers ‘s recommended kit.

Courtney decided that she couldn’t continue the journey in the 300ZX – so she headed home – Anthony went with her to provide transport back to Casula.

The stoic Z Car members group(10)  took off from the Crossroads Hotel  at 9.15 AM  with the plan to meet Anthony & Courtney at the Camden bypass.

We collected the two outlanders at the Camden by pass ( now 12 members and nine vehicles ) and headed towards Yerrinbool via Picton along the Menangle Rd.

After passing through Yerrinbool and cleverly finding the Old south Rd turnoff ( the signpost is half hidden in shrubbery) we somehow missed the Kangaloon Rd and hence the Tourist Rd.

However, by this time ( about 2 hours into the journey) I developed the

“Mustafa Leak” syndrome  (apologies to any Arabic members).

– NOTE : I WAS NOT ALONE !!

Being lost has its upside !

Moss Vale 2

We ended up at the Moss Vale Hotel considerably early and after responding to Nature’s call – reversed the journey and headed towards  the Tourist Drive. After doing a “Keystone Cops” impersonation by lapping a roundabout twice and waving to members as the tail met the head of the column (twice) we got back into gear – found Kangaloon Rd and then (praise the Lord) – the Tourist Drive.

After a pleasant Drive , Craig took the lead as we headed towards Fitzroy Falls. Then it started raining !

It was decided then not to stop at Fitzroy Falls but merely to drive through and enjoy the scenery. Craig ( the intrepid explorer) took the lead again            ( much to my delight)

After a “pit stop” for Les’s 260Z which had the opposite problem to full bladders – empty fuel tank – we descended on the Moss Vale Hotel – Deja Vu !!

Moss Vale 1 February

The Porterhouse Bistro in the hotel was a sight for sore eyes. The table was nicely prepared with cutlery and serviettes and a “Z Car” notice on the table.

I feel everyone had an excellent meal as a large number of members went back for sweets and coffee after the “mains”.

After about 2 hours of talking and eating the Z car members starting leaving.

Despite the frustrations, I feel that all members enjoyed the day.

Ray & Robyn (the navigator)

(We certainly did! –Ed)

– Ray