2nd November 2017–Grafton and About

Distance: 80.5Km
Fuel: 58L

I have never stopped in Grafton before but I have been over its bridge on several occasions and wondered who designed it to be such a difficult bridge to negotiate. It is very high and narrow for two lanes of traffic with very tricky bends at each end and no footpath either side. I never had to cross it often enough to wonder why.

Today I had a serious look at it. It is a two level bridge with a railway and two footpaths occupying the lower level – you would never know that from driving to or on it.. At one time it was possible to raise a section for river traffic to pass but that was sealed up years ago. It needs a good coat of paint as it is covered in rust but the reason for that could be seen next door where a $240 million bridge is being built.

171102 002 Grafton Bridge171102 004 Grafton Bridge171102 008 Grafton Bridge171102 009 Grafton Bridge171102 011 Grafton Bridge171102 013 Grafton Bridge171102 015 Grafton Bridge171102 019 Grafton Bridge171102 022 Grafton Bridge171102 023 Grafton Bridge171102 020 Grafton Bridge

I suspect the town has been waiting for this new bridge for a very long time as it is such a bottle neck with queues at either end almost continuously yet otherwise Grafton is just a typical country town.

One of the reasons for visiting the bridge was to see the wreck of the SS Induna which was supposed to be at the SW corner of the bridge but I couldn’t see any sign of it. Winston Churchill escaped the Boer War on SS Induna before it became a rail and vehicle ferry across the Clarence River.

Headed south to Shannon Creek Dam 18km away. Not the most exciting dam that I have visited but it was full and nearby they had created a very nice picnic area.

171102 031 Shannon Creek Dam171102 027 Shannon Creek Dam171102 029 Shannon Creek Dam171102 033 Shannon Creek Dam171102 036 Shannon Creek Dam

Then it was north to Junction Hill to visit an Open Garden we had been given a postcard about at the Festival. It was a very beautiful garden in a suburban street which charged $2 for entry (worth it). They also offered morning or afternoon tea of scones etc for $10 and, as it was well after lunch time, we tried that. I wonder how they get on with their neighbours – remember the fuss and eventual closure of Janet’s Royalty Rooms in Woonona?

171102 045 Open Garden171102 047 Open Garden171102 048 Open Garden171102 050 Open Garden171102 051 Open Garden171102 065 Open Garden171102 068 Open Garden171102 075 Open Garden

Returned to Grafton to look at the Arboretum in See Park but it was a bit underwhelming so spent the next hour trying to get round detours for a festival event and road closure. It was hell! (especially when you have no idea where you are going).

Late afternoon took down the gazebo ready for tomorrow’s departure.

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