March Drive – BC (Before Corona) Gillies Range and Village hospitality
Story and photos by Drew Dundas.
This particular Sunday morning was met with both excitement and also trepidation.
Trepidation, as the seriousness of the Coronavirus was evident overseas but possible impact upon us was yet unknown… if we only knew.
Excitement because (after some detective work) we managed to round up another two Lotus from Cairns to join our usual three suspects on our morning outing. Welcome to Ro and Shixiang.
Four Lotus and the Mini met for an early coffee on Cairns Esplanade. Talk was enthusiastic as all drivers took the opportunity to escape for a few minutes from the current global issues and carefully compare stats and specs of the five cars.
A very short drive found a spare car park for the obligatory photo shoot. Following that, a short drive south of Cairns saw the cars heading up the infamous Gillies Range. For those of you who have yet to be acquainted with this road, here are a few statistics. The Gillies range allows road access from Gordonvale, to Atherton on the Atherton Tableland. It has 263 corners and 800m elevation change in only 19km of road. Not a good road for the family if the kids get motion sickness but a swag of fun in a Lotus.
We drove directly to Yungaburra and stopped at the Whistle Stop Café as did the multitude of bikers and other car enthusiasts out on the day. They must have known what restrictions were coming to keep us on the deck in the coming weeks.
Delicious food, great coffee and good conversation was had by all. The crew separated with most heading back down the 263 corners of the Gillies Range while some returned via one of the well-known wineries near Mareeba and onwards to the Kuranda Range.
We now know what it’s like to be grounded and to take the Lotus grocery shopping just to give it a run.
Stay safe and until next time – Tight Wheel Nuts.