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Published: October 16th 2015
Leaving the coast we headed inland to Lismore. Sooner or later we had to cross the Great Dividing Range and we knew it would be challenging. The road to Lismore was narrow, winding and quite steep at times as we passed through incredibly lush country. You can see why the Hippies chose nearby Nimbin as their nirvana.
When we arrived at the caravan park of our choice (with no booking) we discovered that caravan sites were closed for renovations. The friendly owner directed us to another caravan park nearby and soon we were settled in.
Lismore is a big country town with an obvious Hippie and associated low socio-economic population. A significant part of our caravan park looked a bit like a slum and big steel bars on windows hinted that security might be an issue, so we made sure we packed everything away overnight. However the weirdest residents by far were the large lizards that roamed about everywhere. They looked to be a type of Iguana and were obviously quite used to people. We never worked if they were everywhere in this district or just in this caravan park.
had we set up than it began to rain heavily. By the look of the country it must rain here on a daily basis. The next morning welcomed us with a fog so thick you almost swam through it, but it was not cold at all. Of course now we were in NSW, morning began an hour later than in QLD.
If we thought we had driven through hills on the way to Lismore it was NOTHING like the drive to Tenterfield. The road wrapped itself around mountains with terrifying drops into valleys way below. The road was often so steep we ground our way uphill in second gear. On one memorable climb we got stuck behind an even slower vehicle (naturally it was a campervan) then had to stop on a steep incline for road works. Many vehicles built up behind us until at a crest Greg found a place to pull over. This prompted the campervan to do the same. We were sure many drivers were very relieved to get past.
This drive seemed to go on forever as we climbed over ridge after forest covered ridge. We knew the Great Divide
was big but this was massive.
Once in Tenterfield we joined the New England Highway and although it had some steep bits it was nowhere near as challenging.
Before we knew it we were in Glen Innes, just in time for a Friday lunch. We found a promising local pub and went in. The first thing we noticed was the tartan tablecloths, and then the mannequin decked out in full Scottish regalia. Greg was astonished to notice a gentleman customer in a full kilt, right down to sporran and with a dirk stuck in his sock. This was feeling quite weird. We later found out he always dresses like that and is a local icon. Glen Innes has a major Celtic festival (which explains all the tartan) and we just had to visit the official Australian standing stones. Glen Innes was not at all like we expected.
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