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Trip report by Keith Faulkner
The Montville Run has been a feature of the Club event calendar for over a decade and usually proves exceedingly popular. The year 2002 was no exception, despite the Sunshine Coast hinterland not quite living up to its name and providing a damp reception for our band of Alfisti.
Fourteen cars made the trip up the range, although only a convoy of thirteen left the northern suburb briefing rendezvous at the Aspley Hypermarket carpark. I was somewhat of a late starter, having been out to dinner with some friends the previous evening and subsequently not getting to bed until the wee hours. Around mid-morning on Sunday, I prised my eyelids open, dragged myself from beneath my nice warm quilt, made a couple of cups of strong coffee, then sent a SMS text message to President Ken Percival, telling him that I'd join the party at Montville.
Despite the weather forecast for a fine weekend, I noticed the sky was definitely overcast as I backed my 75 out of the garage and pointed her northward. The quickest way to Montville is, unquestionably, up the Bruce Highway before veering of to Landsborough then straight up the mountain. However, that route is not terribly exciting, especially when behind the wheel of an Alfa, One alternative route is to head west out to Dayboro, across Mt Mee, on to Woodford, then along the Woodford-Beerwah Highway before turning off on a winding gentle climb that brings you out behind the township of Maleny. A variation of this is to substitute the Dayboro and Mt Mee legs with a run up the Bruce Highway to Caboolture before continuing on through Woodford, etc. I chose the latter course and enjoyed a pleasant drive along some of the excellent rural roads - only being held back on one hilly section by a slow BMW!
I think we frequently take our little corner of South East Queensland for granted. There are some absolutely terrific day drives within about a hundred kilometre radius of Brisbane CBD. If one takes the opportunity to stray away from Highway 1 there are some great discoveries to be had. Country towns such as Woodford, Kilcoy, Nanango, Esk, and the like are excellent destinations and now have enough cafés, markets and antique shops to satisfy most city-dwellers seeking a break.
But, I digress - back to the Montville Run. When taking the Woodford-Beerwah route, I usually travel the "long way around" to Montville, through Maleny. However, the Obi Obi bridge leading into Maleny has been closed for the past few months due to construction works. Heeding the detour signs, I turned off at the junction leading to Mary Cairnscross Park. This road affords magnificent views southward past the Glasshouse Mountains towards Brisbane. I was motoring along briskly, taking in the scenery, when suddenly I came upon the even more impressive sight of thirteen Alfas parked by the side of the road. I had made such good time, I had caught up with the convoy.
After a brief chat, the fourteen-strong motorcade now continued on to Montville. It was perhaps fortunate that I had caught up with them when I did, for not far ahead the local constabulary had set up a speed camera. My brisk motoring hadn't been excessively so, but probably enough to earn the displeasure of the uniformed chap sitting behind the wheel of the waiting patrol car. As we rolled past, I believe Kim Percival gave the officer a wave and one of her cheery smiles to brighten his vigil.
You would think that a cold, damp Winter's day would have kept a few people away from Montville. Not so, dear reader. We arrived to find it humming with activity. The Mini Car Club was also out in force and had taken over a portion of one of the asphalt car parks. We Alfisti had to be content with continuing on to one the unsealed (and thus, muddy) carparks beyond. The Mini owners good-naturedly suggested that the early bird gets the best parking spot. Our Club Promotions Officer, Jan Wickham, quipped a reply to the effect that at least our cars had sufficient ground clearance so we didn't need to find a billiard table before we could park!
Our destination for lunch was the Monkey Business café in the heart of Montville. The Club has dined at this excellent little venue on a number of occasions and has never been disappointed. We were shown to our row of tables on the verandah overlooking the street below, well protected from the inclement weather by clear vinyl curtains. As usual, the service was friendly and efficient, with our meals being served quickly. At my table, the Ploughman's Lunch was a firm favourite, while I enjoyed a delicious bowl of hot pumpkin soup accompanied by fresh pesto bread. Coffee finished things off nicely for us, although some of the other tables went on to desserts. After lunch, it was time to browse through the many shops in Montville, before heading back down the mountain.
For those planning to attend Alfesta 2003 (and that's all of you, isn't it?) you will have a chance to try the Monkey Business menu, as they are the caterers for the Alfesta "show 'n shine" display to be held on the Montville school oval. If you can't wait that long, drop in the next time you are at Montville. John, the proprietor of Monkey Business, is an automobile lover and offers discounts to AROCA members, on presentation of their membership card.