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Farmers Arms & Chocolate Cottage – Cabarlah

A fortnight before this ride, we had the Wild West Ride hosted by Jethro. This one, thank goodness, was less eventful but still a great day. It was my first official go at Ride Leader and a great number of members and visitors turned out.

David turned up in his car (arm unslung but still in a little pain, he is a machine) to be Tail-end Charlie and had High Beam in the car to keep him company for the day. High Beam had done her elbow in some tennis-related incident or something like that. I can’t be privy to all the conversations going on that morning.

Some friends of Mr Doo Bee & Cackles turned up for the ride, Sue & Chris. We also had a fair few members on the day – SexyBeast (aka Giblets), Blush, Popeye, Chilli, Happy Feet, Stoney, Bangers, Mash, Locked Up, GT, Diane, Jethro, Coco, Bling, Spotlight and Smokie.

Great early turnout for the ride, it was actually a “meet at 8:30am for a 9:00am leave” but a bit of confusion on our new website meant most peeps had turned up at around 8:00am for the meet and expected to leave at 8:30am. We left at 8:55am, so if you turned up late, my apologies.

Pretty standard ride route to start. From our meet, up the Logan Motorway towards Ipswich, took the Warrego Highway exit and headed up to Brisbane Valley Highway. Nice ride through Fernvale. I must mention this before we go much farther, it was a great day for riding but it was cold, very nippy.

Just out of Fernvale, we chucked a right onto Wivenhoe Somerset Road and headed up through Splityard. As you would all know, that brought us out at the T Intersection on Esk Kilcoy Road. Beautiful countryside out there and though the roads for a bit bumpy, it was clear of traffic so we had a great run. As ride leader, I did take it quite slow through these areas to try to keep everyone together but I was probably going a bit too slow as I received a few whacks in the back from my co-driver telling me to get going.

Back down to the Brisbane Valley Highway and back into Esk for morning tea. I had done a “Reccy Drive” the week before and had a perfect spot picked out to stop but as it always happens, I took the wrong turn and ended up in the wrong spot. It all worked out though as the parking spot was right next to the bakery.

After morning tea, we headed up towards Cabarlah through Ravensbourne. At the Social night at Thunder’s place, on the other side of the world, Chuckles suggested that I should take the ride up past Perseverance Creek Dam which was worth it. Thank you Chuckles. This brought us back onto the New England Highway, with a quick trip back towards Cabarlah. On the way there, the storm clouds were gathering right in front of us. This dropped the temperature further and we were in with a real chance to get drenched before we got to the Pub. Luckily, they were just passing through and we arrived safely.

From the Farmers Arms, it was a short 5 minute ride down the highway to the Chocolate Cottage at Highfields for afternoon tea. It gave a chance for the boys to rest up after a hearty lunch and the girls to do some shopping. A few treats were purchased like chocolate musk sticks, chocolate snakes, fudge, nougat and all manner of little chocolate treats.

From there, we headed down through Murphys Creek, onto the Warrego Highway and onto our final stop at BP Gatton. All in all, a great ride. Thank you for the opportunity to lead the ride. See ya next time.

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