Rainbow Chips and Liquorice Allsorts..

Got back yesterday from the road trip – we had a great time! We didn’t end up camping – way too wet – but we explored the back roads, and had fun 😀

The main purpose of the trip was to pick up a trailer my friend had bought online, so we headed for Grafton to do that… I don’t know New South Wales particularly well, so I left the sightseeing itinerary to my friend. She’d been wanting to check out the Lions Road over the mountains, so we went that way.. Up the top there’s a lookout called the Border Loop Lookout, where you can see the railway line as it spirals round the mountain (and, presumably, trains, if you’re there at the right time..) We stopped there for a cup of tea and a look… we’d been hearing the bellbirds from the car as we drove, but they were louder when we got out.

The other sound you hear would be rain…

We travelled the rest of the way to Grafton… the Lions Road is winding and climbing and bumpy. Normally I would be quite travel-sick… this time, my boys prayed specifically for me to be OK, and we had a box of liquorice allsorts in the car there and back – I didn’t even have a twinge of nausea, so I figure the combination of prayer, liquorice and sugar must have done the trick 😀

Picked up the trailer about half an hour out of Grafton.. the sellers also bred puppies, so we squeed over gorgeous puppies (how do their tails wag so fast!?) and were also gifted with some fruit from their trees (grapefruit, guava, passionfruit,oranges and a grapefruit/orange cross)
Back to Grafton for some lunch by the river..

From there we went straight to Maclean, where we were booked in to the Maclean Hotel for the night..

We were by the river but couldn’t really see it too well from the balcony, so we braved the drizzle to have a walk by the river and up the street lined with old brick buildings..

Maclean is a fishing town on the Clarence River… it also calls itself “The Scottish Town in Australia

The telephone poles are painted with different clan names and tartans, and there’s a map at the Information Centre/Scottish Shop where you can look up your ancestral clan… here’s mine..

 We wandered up and down the main street… there were some interesting shops and a lovely little teashop, but they were closed, and we left in the morning before they would have opened… we got hot chips for tea and settled back in the hotel for the evening. The Maclean Hotel is a nice pub/accommodation place, with a fire downstairs in the winter… the room had a lovely high ceiling, and doors leading on to the balcony – it would be nice in the summer… a little too cold for the winter… nothing a big woolly blanket couldn’t fix 😀
It rained heavily throughout the night, but let up enough in the morning for us to pack the car… the downpour resumed as we left Maclean…

We had planned to take the coast road back, but we both agreed that we’d always wanted to visit Nimbin, so it was back up the mountains again… still raining, and lots of potholes..
Nimbin is known as the “Alternative Capital of Australia”… it reminded me of the Montville/Maleny area, but with more hemp (of all kinds..) I’d love to go back and visit when it’s not raining.. I liked the vibe..
We passed the Nimbin Rocks on the way in..

… and encountered rainbows on the outskirts…

This is the school at the other end of town..

We walked up and down the main street..

… checked out various clothes shops, as well as Happy High Herbs, and the Hemp Embassy, and then stopped at the Rainbow Cafe for lattes and rainbow chips (various coloured root veges, thick cut, fried and salted – perfect for a cold, wet, windy day!)
There’s a fair bit of drugs/paraphenalia at Nimbin (we inadvertently gatecrashed a couple of deals while visiting the public loos on our way out, and it’s the place to go if you want to learn more about legalising cannabis) but there’s also alternative lifestyle, as in sustainability and creativity. I’m not interested in smoking pot, but I’d be interested in checking that out a bit more..

We finally wended our way home, back over the range… the creek was noticeably higher and wilder after the previous night’s rain, nearly reaching the bridges at some points…

All in all, we had a fun time together… weary after a long road home, but – yayyy! Road trip! 😀


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