Today’s challenge was great as it meant there was no need to venture outside into the atrocious weather we are experiencing as winter takes its grip on our southern highlands town.
In our garage sit our two long wheel base Landrovers. Inside the house sits our collection of Landrover scale models.
Firstly, here are three scale model Landrovers. Looking from left to right,their dimensions are:
1 6 and 1/2″ x 2 and 1/2″
2 4″ x 1 and 1 and 1/2″
3 2″ x 3/4″
Now, the two long wheel base Landrovers in the garage each measure 181″ long by 70.5″ wide.
One is green, the other is brown. As the smallest of the model Landrovers is also green, it was the logical choice for an experiment with size and scale.
Here is the visual result of the 3/4 inch front width model Landy, sitting on the what we call the bull bar on the Landrover Defender’s 70.5″ front width.
I think the scale ratio is about 94 to 1.
Apart from the colour, I chose the smallest model in order to make the real Landrover look absolutely enormous by comparison. I think I was quite successful.
For the curious, the greyish tapering cylinder on the right of the image is the base of our HF radio transceiver. This radio with its long range capacity is a vital piece of safety equipment when we travel into the isolated and basically trackless areas in Australia’s vast, largely unpopulated arid interior.
Our Australian Communications and Media Authority issues us with a Radiocommunications Apparatus Licence and lists our licence type as an Outpost non assigned appliance. I believe the non assigned tag means that our outpost is mobile. Sounds great don’t you reckon.
She Who Must Be Obeyed and I are members of our local Landrover Club. I say local even though the club is based in Canberra, our Nations Capital. It’s only a 100 klm drive from home. Just down the road really.
On a regular basis the club organises what is known as the Breakfast, Lies and Coffee trip. If there happens to be a bit of driving ‘off road’, then that’s a real bonus.
Yesterday, Sunday, we met up with 17 other club members and their 10 vehicles just out of Canberra to start our BLC run. Departure time was 8am and after a short briefing by Russell, our intrepid trip leader, we were on the road, exactly on time.
Our destination was a little orchard and cafe called Wisbeys Orchard Cafe in a location called Araluen.
After about and hour and a half of uneventful driving on bitumen roads we arrived at our destination.
The staff of this delightful orchard cafe, under the watchful eye of our hostess, Robyn, served us all in record time with our individually ordered a la carte breakfasts, coffee or tea.
After breakfast, and in a surprise move, orchestrated between Robyn and our trip leader, Russell, we were invited to follow Robyn in her Landrover Defender 110 to her private, off road, valley view point Robyn refers to as Champagne Hill. We were a really privileged group as previously, only family members had been welcome there.
After following Robyn on a pleasing hill climb with 360 degree scenic views we reached a spot on Champagne Hill were we anchored our vehicles and walked a short distance uphill to our observation spot.
Robyn waited for us near a fallen tree that provided ideal seating for those of us not quite as sprightly as we once were (I mean me). After taking in the wonderful panoramic valley view, we posed for the compulsory group photo, courtesy of our hostess, Robyn.
On the way up to Champagne Hill we had passed through a mob of curious Black Angus cattle. On the way back down, Robyn invited us to watch her hand feed them with the fodder she had piled roof high in the back of her Defender.
Before we started our descent Russell, our trip leader, gave us a briefing on the narrow dirt road we would be traversing should we decide to accompany him to the small mining village of Captains Flat. He advised that on the way a short stop would be made at Clarke’s Lookout, a worthwhile break. Many of us decided to follow along.
The descent nearly over, It was fun to get a dose of rural life first hand and the cattle were most obliging as we all looked on.
After farewells, we left the farm and those of us heading towards Captains Flat followed our trip leader’s vehicle. He was spot on in his briefing, the road was narrow, winding and in places hard to comprehend how two vehicles travelling in opposite directions could pass each other. Steep drop offs abounded and concentration was required. Fortunately the dirt surface was well maintained and presented no problems.
It wasn’t long before we reached Clarke’s Lookout and it was well worth the drive. A wonderful valley view presented itself, framed nicely by trees.
It won’t be too long before the club organises another brecky run, it’s a great way for the members to get to know each other, not demanding on the vehicles and the breakfasts, all I can say is, ‘What bloody rippers.’