Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Yamba 2014 - Day One

The road beckoned ... screamed, actually. After months of watching nervous energy and the decision making of my son and his now new bride, two days after the wedding of the century, we answered it's call.

We didn't answer it quickly though. There were suits to return, items to pick up from scattered locations about out town and the last of our guests to farewell and there was ... as Dylan once put it ... one more cup of coffee for the road. Somewhere after mid morning, that suggested a fast approaching lunch, we left the city limits for Yamba on the NSW North Coast.

Our track was the more convention one, given that we are now towing the Avan Cruiser on it first excursion longer than a few days. North to Armidale and Glen Innes and the eats to Gratfon and Yamba.

The external temperature which had only just been in double figures when we left Tamworth, dropped suddenly as we crested the Moonbi Hills and started out plot along the Northern Tablelands and by the time we reached. Guyra for a late lunch, it was sleeting and 2C. The Caltex Roadhouse on the northern outskirts of town served up a roast lamb lunch and a bottomless mug of tea that hit the spot nicely but sooner, rather than later, we had to make a break for the car and the weather was foul.

After our turn to the east at Glen Innes through scenery which is always at its starkest on days like these, we had settled into the rhythm of the drive and I was noticing a sway in the trailer which hadn't been present on our shorter trips. It didn't take long to realise that mounting of the push bikes on the van's trailing bumper and the extra weight of a full pack of clothes and food, had changed the weight distribution and towing characteristics. Anti-sway bars will be necessary after this trip.

We had a brief stop at Gibraltar Range NP information kiosk and picnic area so Sue could stretch her back. It wasn't sleeting but it was still cold.

Down the mountain and onto the coastal plain under very light traffic conditions and on to Yamba. Arriving an hour after dark - something I am quick to criticise in others - we quickly and quietly set up like a well drilled team.

No traditional first night seafood as everything was shut!

The weather promises warmth and clear skies and we intend to hold it to its promise. Better still, we'll be meeting up with old friends, Markus and Virginia Richardson from Melbourne who are on their way home after completing the Big Loop. Rich stories to share.

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