For once we made the right call in cancelling the weekend trip to Ballina.
The weather forecast was not good and that was confirmed as conditions on Saturday were atrocious and only a fool would take a convoy of classic cars over mountain roads and back roads in such conditions.
With the forecast for Brisbane on Sunday being fine but with the Northern Rivers area of NSW still the same as the previous day, Captain Bob Ward planned a quick run over and around a place where he and I have spent most of our working lives – Mount Coot-tha – the home of the television stations.
We started our run at Nudgee and headed through the upmarket suburbs of Bridgeman Downs and Albany Creek. We had plenty of practice with hill starts as Bob managed to time just about every set of traffic lights as they turned red!
Eventually we made our way the foothills of Mount Coot-tha and headed up the very windy road to the top, dodging the many cyclists, joggers and walkers! Just as well we were only in Minis!
We were a bit concerned with our leader as he was not being too polite as we passed channel 10 and 7 – the fierce rivalries of the Nine Network where he works as the Chief Helicopter Pilot and where I did for 20 years – but we were all a bit puzzled when he put on a big hat and pulled it down over his eyes as we passed the channel 9 helipad??
Finally we reached the summit lookout, along with half of Brisbane to enjoy the great views over the city and have a coffee and a chat.
Then it was back down the mountain again trying very carefully to keep to the 50kph speed limit as the local boys in blue have a liking for that road too – I think they use to it to raise their quota of tickets in a hurry!
After heading through Kenmore at the base, we travelled the Gap Creek Road around the back of the mountain to Samford for a very nice lunch at The Flying Nun Café.
Thanks Capt Bob for proving that you can navigate when you are on the ground and not only when you are flying the Channel Nine Chopper!