|Sue on our Yamba balcony|
Our route took us up to Armidale and then east to Ebor, where we took a look through misty rain at the falls. Ebor really is a miserable little place on such winter days. Even the hardy residents of these parts know well enough to stay indoors so the quick trip through Ebor's one street revealed a cold, expressionless shirt front of fibro and weatherboard where people live without evidence of their existence. The hotel/motel - a bar and two deserted bare-boarded rooms - churned out smoke as we passed, inviting us in as that spider once did to the fly. We managed to catch a glimpse of a forlorn face in the window of the cafe counting the motorists as they slipped by.
From Ebor, we ignored the turn to Dorrigo and went straight on through Hernani and on to Nymboida and knee deep into hippy territory were they only grow hemp for making handbags ... honest. Somewhere in between, we stopped for a lunch of bread rolls and tea, both of us revelling in the freedom we already felt lapping at our feet. From here it was 90 minutes to Yamba but not before Sue was prompted by proximity to tell tales of campdrafts at Nymboida and Coutes Crossing - a village with a name that could launch an Aussie TV drama but hopefully won't. What an amazing life the little Gibbens girls had, living every small girl's dream of riding their ponies in dusty showgrounds against the same faces in different places. Only Mandy, as that final wonderful afterthought, missed out.