Grampians Weekend 22-23rd May 2009
Auszcar members from Victoria recently attended a weekend cruise to the Grampians about 200 kilometeres outside of Melbourne. In spite of a mechanical issues for a couple of members most had a great time.
Woke up Saturday morning to a fine overcast yet cold day. Lurch dropped around to my place at 8.30am ready to jump in my car for the weekend as navigator. (His car isn’t on the road at the moment). We arrived at the meeting point around 9am Westgate Shell Servo where Sulio was waiting along with Michael who dropped by to say hello but couldn’t make the weekend. We hear on the two way that Evan was waiting for us on the other side of the Bridge due to road works so we soon got going as planned at 9.15.
With 2-ways set to 16 we picked up Evan in his Subaru wagon and headed for Dale’s place in Ballarat. Arriving in good time we met up with Mark (Scoota) and Dale. We had a quick look around his Zed shed (4) then off to Mark’s local only a few klms away for some pictures with his beloved Zed cars out front.
With all tasks completed we commenced the drive to Halls Gap where we did the traditional stop along the way at Chuckers for some health food. Just before Halls Gap we stopped for a wei break and I let Lurch lose for a drive of my car as we approached the much anticipated twisty stuff. We cruised into town and turned right up into the hills onto some great roads. Lurch hooked in as did the others. Sulio was keen to test out his new tyres which certainly lived up to expectations. We stopped some 25klms on, at a nice little BBQ area to catch our breath and chill out. Sulio was having his usual fuel problems but soldiered on since it was an intermittent thing. We loaded up and shot back to Halls Gap and stopped for another gossip before our final leg.
The road on to Dunkeld is very picturesque with steep rocky mountains on either side. We took a bit of a detour into town along a road which was a little more bumpy than I remembered 10 years earlier. This short section of road was a little hairy for two reasons, one because it was nearing dusk and the roos were scampering all over the place and secondly a few unseen dips in the road had the suspension bottoming out. Hmmm maybe we should have driven this section a little slower. Nah!
We arrived at Dunkeld and booked into the Royal Mail Hotel which had some great rooms with even better views. A few drinks were had before heading out for tea in prime position in front of the big open fire. A bit warm but was still great. We were all a bit tired so back to the room after a great meal for some more chat, nibbles, drinks and video on Lurch’s Lap Top before retiring for the night.
After a bit of a sleep in we all met up for breaky and were soon packed ready for the return trip home. The weather was closing in so we decided to take the more direct route home. Along the way Scoota had floored his car on one of the straights and alas his engine started making funny noises. We stopped in a small country town where Lurch and Mark set to work. Off with the rocker cover and Mark quickly found the problem. A lash pad on no.5 had come free. During the process Sulio went into a media frenzy clicking away on his camera at every angle. Man that guy loves a good story.
Anyway the problem was sorted and we headed back to Ballarat where we had a nice lunch at a favourite cafeteria of Dale's while Mark took his car home and diagnosed his engine troubles in more detail. Being close to home he walked to the café and showed us a bent spark plug which obviously meant he had terminal problems with in the block. He wasn’t worried since the engine was going to be pulled down in a few months anyway. So that afternoon he pulled it down while we headed home for the uneventful last leg.
All in all the 6 of us had a great time. I hope to see you all at the next cruise.
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