|Pirate Pete with his flagship|
Despite the noise pollution, we managed probably our best night's sleep since leaving Tamworth but woke to the start of what would be a morning of rain. Pack up was simple and quick and we were back on the bitumen, having escaped the dirt out of Limburner's, soon after 8:00am.
We tracked north, on route to Yamba and planned to catch up with Jenny Robinson at Urunga. Jenny is a friend of Sue's from the days of the brown uniforms and smokes in the common room of Armidale High School. We tried for an off the cuff morning tea but arrived too late for it to reach fruition.
We had been delayed by a detour at Macksville, which took as out through Newee Creek. It was here that John Gibbens, father of Sue, bought his first farm. We had looked before in the area to try and find the farm armed only with a few old photographs from Sue's uncle, Wal Gibbens. Wal had been a reluctant helper on the farm at the age of 14, joining his grandmother there to try and help John get established after his return from occupied Japan. Before that, he had been a Commando in New Guinea, among other Pacific theatres of war. This time, we had a land map from the council which Wal had obtained a few years ago, making his enquiries all the way from Western Australia. In fact, the map was in Tamworth and I was working from my head but we saw enough to whittle it down to two. Unfortunately, with rain outside, a caravan behind and no where to turn off the road, the best we could do was a slow flyby. Another trip needs to be scheduled and this time, before the end of the year.
Despite missing out on Jenny's always bright company, we stopped between the bridges at Urunga, beside the Kalang River, at a pleasant waterfront Cafe whose attractions include a great soundtrack of seventies classics and a pirate boat floating just off the starboard bow. The orange mudcake gave me indigestion, as did the tariff.
The rain was easing as we pushed on to reach Yamba by lunchtime.
There awaited that singular pleasure of going to pay the accommodation charges and realising that I did so two months ago! Bonus.
After we set up camp (including the most recent addition of a TV), we went into town for some bits and pieces. I'm not sure if the new bike helmets we had to buy were a bit or a piece but they were substitutes for the ones at home that I forgot to pack, kept, apparently, on the same shelf as the family maps. A definite piece of the action was the arrival at the Post Office of our new credit cards. These were replacements for the ones the bank failed to send us in time before we left ... the same ones I had overlooked at home and got cancelled! It all ended well, which is the main thing. We visited our chocolate overloaded cafe and I reckon I got as much chocolate in a mocha and complimentary truffle as I need for the rest of my life - so much so that my headache started to resurface.
Eventually, we found our way to the Pacific Hotel for our traditional sundowners but someone let a lot of tourists into the room and the noise was too much for my still tender head, so we left after one drink ... mine a lemonade!
Pushbikes off the rack tomorrow and some touring around to be spoke-n about later.
(More photos later as the camera has flat batteries.)