Day 6 started out very warm in Byron Bay and my plan was to try and beat the weather en route to Gloucester. I had a number of choices of roads and as I hadn’t touched the Pacific Hghway for 10 years decided to see if it was any better. It certainly has a reputation for traffic and roadworks. Nothing has changed!
It took me two hours to get down to Grafton and that included a couple of stops. One of my stops was at a new “New” place. I’ve been to New York (alias New Amsterdam), New Orleans, New Zealand, New England (two of them) and even New South Wales – this counts as I was born in Old South Wales. Today I visited New Italy.
New Italy was a settlement of a group of Italians who brought their culture and started to grow produce from home to continue their cuisine. There is a statue of one of their founders (and dog):
It was a good run from Grafton to Coffs Harbour, fewer cars and warm dry conditions made it much quicker. I could see in the distance that the weather was closing in and the morning forecast was that I would meet it somewhere.
I got passed Port Macquarie and was about 30kms from Taree when the wind picked up and started to really push me around the road – it didn’t help having the tank bag on as this acts as a sail with cross winds. The the rain came, and it wasn’t a small shower, it was a torrential downpour mixed with high winds and very low visibility made it one of the worst rides I’d had.
So I pulled into the Cundle Motel near Taree to get dry – so much for Gloucester, The storm was still going 4 hours later and I decided that day 7 was more suitable to finish the run off through Gloucester, Dungog and the lower Hunter.