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Ashby, NSW

S 29°26'17" E 153°11'43

Tue 6 - Sat 10 Feb 2001

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Tuesday 6th

We awoke to a bright sunshiny day and found that the road to Maclean was open.

We stopped to shop in Grafton before heading to Ashby to stay a few days with the Kerrs.

In the afternoon we walked around Ashby Village to see the signs of the flood. The lowest lying roads were still impassable and some of the fields were still under water.

I had cooked some curry so we were able to provide dinner for us all.

Wednesday 7th

In the evening les and Val took us into Maclean to have a pub dinner, really tiny whiting fillets, very nice indeed.

Thursday 8th

Les and Val had to go to Lismore so Jean went with them while I stayed in Ashby to work on the Highway Wanderers web site. I got the update done reasonably quickly and did the upload without any drama but I had lots of trouble trying to get the email out. I had only just succeeded when the arrived back from Lismore.

Friday 9th
photo of grey kangaroos

Les and Val took us for a drive to Brooms Head. We spent some time on the beach at Red Cliff where we came upon a mob of Eastern Grey Kangaroos. As in all the National Parks, the kangaroos here feel so secure that one can get quite close to them before they move.

In the evening we took the Kerrs to The Spice Rack
for dinner. The meal was even more delicious than usual.

Saturday 10th

We had planned to leave today but Les had gone out and bought mackerel steaks from the fisherman's co-op so we had to stay one more day.

The local paper had a puff piece about a house right up on the top of Ashby Heights which was coming up for auction so we thought we'd go and pretend the we were in the market.

The place is part of the remains of a failed development which included the Health Mountain, a new age resort built by an over-ambitious guy named John Crisp who set out to make his millions by buying the whole top of the mountain, building the resort and a house for himself on the best bit , and selling off the rest for building blocks. It had all gone wrong and the creditors have subdivided his land into four properties in a effort to get back some of their money. The property we went to look at was his house on 80 hectares (200 acres) of mostly bush.

The house has a stunning view right out over the Clarence River from Maclean to Yamba and Iluka and could have been really nice. Sadly the execution was pretty awful and the house which had once been quite ordinary is, after a year of being empty, showing severe signs of jerry building.

The agent still thinks I'm interested in buying.

We had the last part of the afternoon left so Les took us down the back road to Lawrence where we had a beer and on to the ferry at Ulmarra.

We thought the ferry was still out of action because the barriers hadn't been moved but we rang the bell and he came over for us. The Ferrymaster told me he had been out for seven days because the had had a 5.4 m (18 ft) flood. He had only been able to get going again yesterday then last night he had an electrical failure due to water in the works so we were pretty much his first customers after the flood.

We stopped at the Brushy Pub at Brushgrove on Woodford Island for another beer. Some of the houses had been flooded but everything was pretty much back to normal. The island which is between the main channel of the river and the south arm has the distinction of being the tallest island in Australia with an elevation at the peak of perhaps 150 m (500 ft). It is one of the 100 islands in the Clarence River estuary, what a river!.

Our mackerel steaks were just wonderful.

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Created by Robin Chalmers on 02.02.2001 and last revised 13.02.2001