The “Visit Gunnedah” website promised cycle routes around the town and out to two hills for views over the same. I am pleased to report that all expectations were met.
The drive to Armidale was made more interesting by a side trip to Captain Thunderbolt’s Cave. Little did I know when I pulled off the highway that the way to the cave was by an ever narrowing and ever rougher dirt road. Mrs GPS reckoned the track would eventually rejoin the New England Highway but at times that looked like wishful thinking!
I escaped the sugar cane burning smoke of Yamba and went to Glen Innes and into rain. How unusual. The countryside around here is extremely brown as the last decent rain was some years ago. Oh well, the caravan needed another leak.
Glen Innes. Altitude 1,135 metres = cool to cold in winter. District settled mainly by Scottish (newspeak for pinched from the Narabal people) in 1838. The original name was Gindaaydjin which means “plenty of big round stones on clear plains” and there still are.
Leaving Port Stephens we headed north to Forster/Tuncurry. According to an information board, Tuncurry means “Plenty Fish”. Certainly this was proven by the fishers cleaning their catch using special tables – while surrounded by pelicans.
Newcastle – a day trip. When we got going on the main road to Newcastle we had a recurrence of a flappy, bashy noise that initially made itself known as we were finishing the drive to Shoal Bay. We thought it was something loose on the caravan but no – it’s the car. We diagnosed the noise as we drove along. It didn’t get better or worse in time with anything the car was doing, accelerating, braking, turning, gear changing and all that – but seemed to respond to air currents. Eventually we traced it to the left rear mudflap/wing assembly and something has definitely come adrift there. So, no major issue as yet but something that needs fixing before we go much further.Continue reading “Port Stephens and Newcastle”