25 July 2021 / Written by: Rob Emmett
Well, the morning was cool and overcast but members of the Hunter Chapter aren’t perturbed by that. Nine clean and shining MX5’s carrying sixteen members also clean and bright lined up in the car park at Cameron Park Shopping centre. Originally today’s run was headed to lunch at the Wyong Milk Factory on the Central Coast but replanning for covid-19 restrictions saw us turn north to Bulga on the Putty Rd near Singleton. As all members had turned up early, we set off a little earlier than intended after the usual rules and instructions were voiced by the run leader (me) and then a radio check performed by Chris trialing their new in car UHF radio.
Away we went via George Booth Dr through the sparse outer suburb, passing Newcastle’s Mount SugarLoaf lookout and on to Richmond Vale Rd leading us past green paddocks and their resident fat cows. Continuing through the lush country side over not so well-maintained roads via Mulbring and Sandy Creek Rd - a road well-used by Hunter MX5’ers because of the twisting tight bends along one section - but alas roadworks stopped us dead with a red traffic light. There we sat for the next ten minutes. Those corners will bring many smiles to MX5 drivers when the road work is completed. By the time we reached the top of the bendy section our shiny cars were now covered in grey road base. On we went through Quorrobolong and a couple of the old-style Hunter Valley Pubs at Ellalong and Paxton (Mention was made that a tour of this sort Pub around the Hunter could be interesting. Something for the future). At Millfield we joined the Wollombi Rd and 17 Kilometers to morning tea.
A stop at Slack’s Park at Wollombi for morning tea was enjoyed by all and then it was on to Bulga. Departing the park we headed north to Payne’s Crossing where the road surface is deteriorating and our cars were bouncing around a bit on the corners so the pace was steadied up. This annoyed another road user in a heavily loaded twin cab Ute who had caught up to the back of the convoy. The driver of this Ute flashed lights blew the horn then overtook our nine cars all on blind corners. There was nowhere to pull over to let him pass but that didn’t deter him and we were really glad to see him go. At Broke we turned left passing vineyards and holiday cabins and continuing to the Putty Rd where we turned towards Bulga six kilometers up the road.
Due to covid the Bulga Pub hasn’t been operating its dining room but opened it specially to accommodate our group and we thanked them for that. The meals were delicious and delivered promptly - except for one which had been forgotten but was quickly remedied, hey Glenn!
A funny incident happened on arrival at the hotel, the local Highway Patrol was booking a motorist (not funny) opposite the pub as we pulled into the carpark. When the motorist departed with ticket in hand the cop crossed the road and walked into the bar where Hunter’s members were sitting at tables or standing at the bar ordering their lunch all wearing face masks. The cop checked with the barman where we were from, shrugged his shoulders, left then walked round the carpark each of our cars and scanned each number plate to ensure none of us were from locked-down areas. Satisfied we were all legitimate he headed back to his car & drove off. (Damn, no bookings here!). Kidding apart, it’s very reassuring to see the police taking time to do this and ensuring everyone’s safety.
Another successful outing with nice people. Thanks to all who attended, sorry for those restricted by covid from attending. Rob