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ACT Covid delayed Christmas in July ... in November 2020

  The Report  

Xmas at Millthorpe, November 2020

The ACT Xmas in July 2020 run that was postponed because of Covid-19 was finally undertaken on 19th and 20th November 2020. We had eight cars in total – two from Canberra, four from the Sapphire Coast and two from Sydney.

On Thursday 19 November, the Canberra and Sapphire Coast cars departed Canberra at around 8.30 am for our first stop for coffee at Boorowa. We had coffee at the "Pantry on Pudman", an eclectic little café which was set up with a number of different lounge areas with couches and lounge chairs and was very comfortable. There was also a variety of "treasures" on display that could be purchased at very sensible prices. The coffee was good, and the staff did a great job of catering for the twelve of us without any advance notice. It was also very popular with the locals with a continuous stream of people coming in and out while we were there. It is well worth a stop there if you are passing through Boorowa.

From Boorowa we moved on to Canowindra where we strolled the main street before deciding to have lunch at the local RSL club as most other venues could not accommodate us as a group because of the Covid social distancing requirements. Whilst in the town there were several purchases made – some in the bookshop, and a few others from the lovely dress and gift shops.

With the temperature rising into the early 30's we set sail for Millthorpe via Orange, arriving around 3.00pm. We were joined by the Sydney cars at around 3.30pm. The check-in arrangements at the Millthorpe Motel were different. There was no staff in attendance and all contact on the day was done via telephone, with keys left under the relevant doormats.

Some of us headed down to the Railway Pub at around 4.00pm for the obligatory happy hour drinks before arriving at the Tonic Restaurant for dinner at 6.30pm. Tonic is a "one hat restaurant" offering a degustation menu comprising five courses. The restaurant was full so our expectations for a delicious dinner were high and we were not disappointed. We had our traditional Secret Santa gift giving which is always worth a laugh or two and also kept a number of other patrons amused.

We had breakfast at the Railway Station Café on the Friday morning before heading off to Goulburn via Blayney, Trunkey Creek, Tuena and Binda where we stopped for morning tea at the local Post Office/Café/General Store. We had made arrangements to stop there some weeks ahead and were offered tea and coffee and Lions Club fruit cake. One of our objectives when travelling is to put some money into the local economy and the store proprietor was very grateful for that. Whilst we all gave her generous tips she said that she would donate them all to the Lions Club.

The countryside between Millthorpe and Binda was spectacular with lots of winding "TR" roads and many hills. The roads were in remarkably good condition for out of the way country roads and also proved to be very popular with motorcyclists.

From Binda we went to Goulburn via Crookwell where we passed by the windfarm with their enormous wind turbines that totally dwarfed our little cars.

We arrived in Goulburn around midday and checked in to the Abbey Motel which has only been open since July this year. The Motel is built on the grounds of the old Catholic Girls School and while the Motel was new the old period brick school buildings still remain with plans for them to be renovated in the future. They expect to have a restaurant and Café completed in those buildings by June 2021. The Motel was very comfortable and only one block from Goulburn's main street. As there was no planned activity for the day in Goulburn everyone was free to do their own thing. The temperature on arrival in Goulburn was 34 degrees and after being on the road in 30 degree temperatures for a number of hours in the TR's some of us just had a rest in our rooms while others opted to walk into town for lunch in the park. A group of us had happy hour at the Workman's Club around 5.00pm and most stayed on to have a meal there.

We all departed for home on the Saturday morning after a very enjoyable couple of days on the road in our beautiful little cars. Many thanks to Graham Brohan for organising yet another very successful event, especially considering all the reorganisation that needed to be done because of Covid-19.

Hopefully we can have Xmas in July in the month of July in 2021.