Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Port, Wauchope, Upper Roland Planes and that tree.

From Point Plomer we continued to drive up towards Crescent Head then back towards Port through the hinterland via the Maria River Road. The GPS was trying to direct me through some extremely questionable tracks that I'm sure would have seen us trapped and petrified into bog-men. We caught the ferry back and devoured a plate of pasta each at a slap up Italian joint.

Wednesday we drove down the south coast checking out Bonny Hills, Laurieton and Diamond Head at the north end of Crowdy Bay National Park which has a fantastic camping area I'm looking froward to taking the kids to in future, beach access and lots of wildlife - there were even wallabies were grazing around the tents.

Thursday we packed the car and headed to the farmstay via Ellenborough Falls

View Larger Map
Rereputed to be the largest single drop of water in the southern hemisphere.
The roads are amazingly windy, which induced Annaliese to vomit over everything, including her teddy. Adrian was initially amazed at the bush turkey in the car park but it has undoubtedly been fed by humans and became brazened and the little guy freaked . Please, don't feed the wildlife. They become dependent, get all sorts of diet diseases and die. It's a death sentence. And that includes you Curtis feeding the bloody cockies next door.
The country up on the escarpment is fantastic. Alternating between thick bush and rolling hills with a backdrop of mountains much like you would draw as a child. The dirt road winds from hillside to hillside often precariously winding along ridge tops then suddenly opening out into cleared pasture. We lunched at the Udder Cow Café. In my case the burger was so big I was in fear I would need to be rolled out in a barrow. Given the amount consumed at lunch we thought it prudent to take precautions least the kids vomit on the hundred plus k's of winding roads we still needed to negotiate.
The Farm stay was tucked away in the picturesque valley of Upper Rollands Plains, more or less south west of Kempsy.

View Larger MapP9030386
Annaliese and Adrian feed the chooks and the lambs and basically just enjoyed being able to runaround and just be.
Thursday was a little rainy (a sign of things to come) so in the afternoon we took the $X$ off into the mountains for a look around.
I'll post some movies of the tracks later but it is exceptionally pretty, albeit rough country.
We got back in time to visit the local dairy to find out where milk comes from.
And then down came the rain.
Friday, drive home day, my 38th birthday, my nearly died day.
It rained exceptionally heavily most of the night and continued into Friday afternoon. Communities in the area were cut off due to flood waters so were were very careful on the 400 or so k drive home.
Only just out of the farm stay the trip nearly ended when a 15m high dead poplar tree fell across the road in front of us. Eroded by the stream undercutting its banks it blew and bent in the wind like the other trees, then it seemed to hover for a moment and then in slow motion it lay down across the road. It was a huge tree. I had nowhere to go. We were probably doing 60kph but jumping on the anchors, ABS blasting away we caught the tree across the bull bar. It exploded. Showered us with fragments of kindling. It took about 15 minutes to pull branches as thick as my leg out from where they were jammed in the wheel arches and clean out and check the radiator and break lines, fan belts and everything else I could see. So far it seems that the only damage is a twisted and smashed IPF fog light - so much for the bullet proof hardened glass lens. I'll have to get the steering checked and wheels realigned but we were lucky. A tenth of a second later on the breaks and the tree would have been through the cabin rather than caught on the bull bar. That's one tough ARB bar - best 2K I ever spent.
About 5 minutes after we hit it a council truck ambled over the hill, cleaning fallen trees and repairing washouts in the road. I'd walked back to try and clean up the bigger bits and make it safer for following vehicles. The first worker jumped down from the truck and immediately asked if we were all right, had we run into the tree? - I replied that it had fallen on our car - hit the bar
1st council worker- 'FarrrrrrrK'
1st council worker to 2nd council worker- 'Tree fell on 'em'
2nd council worker- 'Farrrrrrrknelllll'
2nd council worker to 3rd council worker, rolling a larger bit of trunk back and forth under his foot as #3 steps down from the truck - 'Farken tree fell on this blokes car'
3rd council worker - 'Jesus fucking Christ, you ok, anybody hurt, you still able to drive, you need a lift or an ambulance" as he looks at the branches and bits of lumber up and down the road "farrrrk - that must have been a fucking big bang - lucky it was dead or we'd be cleaning you up with a broom".

So there you go - that was my holiday


Mark Lawrence said...

Ohmigawwwd! You nearly got squashed by a tree!!!?


I'm so glad you're okay.

When I saw your dairy pics on flickr, I thought 'oh, nice. they saw the moo cows.'

Little did I know what else happened on your holiday 'til now!

Memphis Steve said...

Puking on the teddy is always a traumatic experience.

unique_stephen said...

Mark > :-) me=glad too

Steve > She was really upset about it.

Anonymous said...

Fark alright. Thank god you were all ok. It's not as if poor Alex hasn't had enough of those 'near death' experiences. Damn!

Lights can be replaced, cars can be fixed.. not so easy to fix people who've been squished.

Aside from your 'near death' experience, sounds like you had an awesome time though. Nothing like getting out of the big city for a while and having some fun. You certainly prove that.

unique_stephen said...

Lisamaree > better squished by a tree than death by Ikea. I note that you've almost had an Ikea overdose these last few days.

Fusion said...

Damn, that was too close!

Glad you had a good rest of the trip though... nice photos again, beautiful country.

thanks for explaining the ghost crabs, never heard of them before.

( . )( . ) said...

I love council workers they make me smile.

But yeah thank god you and the fam are ok and not hurt. How did the kids handle it? Did they freak out or stay fairly calm?

Glad your still with us! :)

Leesha said...

Seeing as you were in the area... did you go to Timber Town? Is it still open??

And Happy Birthday for Friday!

Mark Lawrence said...

oh, ya. In the excitement over falling trees, I forgot to say Happy Birthday, mate!

Thought you could slip that one by us, didn't you?

Considering you had a close one on the day, hopefully you're making up for it in spades.

Cheers to you.

unique_stephen said...

Fusion > It's great living here, and I emphasise the LIVING bit.

Boo8s > the kids were oblivious to it Alex and I needed a drink when we finally got home.

Leesha > still there, drove past it, still ripping ye olde tourists off, no didn't go.

Mark > Thanks mate.

jennifer starfall said...

fark is right! wow. glad you had a beautiful trip and didn't die.

happy birthday!

unique_stephen said...