Shit Box Rally – OMG they made it to Cobar

Hullo again sports fans around the globe – Hüllő kai páli na fílathloi se ólo ton kósmo – Bonjour le fans sportif

It’s probably been a while since the fair citizens of Cobar (population 3,817, birth place of Manly Sea Eagles player Nik Kosef) have seen a shark. But at dinner, at the Cobar Bowling and Golf Club (‘The Golfie’) they saw two!

Yes two denizens of the deep north, Byron Bay’s Ben Wallace and Todd Knaus, donned their shark costumes to eat with fellow Shitboxers in the dining room of the newly renovated Golfie.

Despite the bistro being managed by Freddie and Vinnie, who specialise in traditional Australian Chinese food, our excellent meal was prepared by the wonderful folk from Tilpa (population of town and surrounding 159) who had travelled all the way to The Golfie when they learnt our rally route through Tilpa had been flooded out.

And what a night it was readers!

Two grown men dressed up as sharks, some very large lads dressed up in short tennis dresses, some other larger lads wearing normal frocks from French designer Targee and some women even wearing women’s clothes. No wonder most of the members immediately made for the door once they saw 400 of the rally’s finest turn up to sign in.

Ben and Todd also appear in this story for their role in selflessly looking after Michael McMichael (so good, well you know the rest) and his very attractive daughter Libby. As you remember Michael’s BMW 7 series died on the side of the road in a truly wonderful display of noxious white smoke. Driving an antique two door Honda Prelude with the team name ‘Most Easterly Pointers’, Ben and Todd put their own comfort to the wind and invited Libby to share their car.

This left a dilemma. How would Michael continue the trip? Of course Ben and Todd had the answer – their Byron Bay friend and my co-driver Jay, would go with them and Michael would go with me in the ute. This lead to some participants naming the Honda the ‘Kid’s Car’ and our ute the ‘Falcon Home of Peace’.

Yesterday was the short 550 mile drive from Cobar to the lovely thriving town of Cootamundra (population 5,750) where, as the council say, ‘come and experience life the way it is meant to be lived. Come to Coota’. But before we could take Mayor Jim Slattery and his eight councillors including Rosalind Wright, who does a fine job as Chairman of the Noxious Weeds Committee, up on their invitation we had to drive the roads less travelled including those through Lake Cargelligo, an unexpected oasis in central NSW where its beauty and tranquillity has remained unspoilt and relatively undiscovered by the travelling public.

But the two hundred rally cars costing less than $1,000 (each) and our support vehicles certainly discovered it. It would be fair to say it was more in the manner of the rats that caused the black-death discovering London. Both pubs – the Royal Mail and the Commercial, did ten year’s business in a day, the local servos ran out of fuel and Julie Blacker at Cargelligo Collectables was struggling to find enough antiques, collectable furniture, glassware, china, pottery, wood ware and Bric-a-Brac to satisfy the demand from the sophisticates on tour.

Today it’s a shortish run of 500 miles through the snowy mountains to Dargo (population 144) home of the annual walnut festival.