We did a short trip to Inverell just recently, my wife wanted to scratch for a few sapphires so we got away for about a week. Had a few nights at Glen Innes showground which is a great big rig stopping place, 25 acres to spread out in, both coming and going. Then we headed up to Inverell, to a sapphire mine about 30 K’s from town. Horrendous road in, 1st gear most of the way but very peaceful place once we got there and she found a few of the wee blue stones so she is happy.

Coming back we decided to drop down to Grafton and come home up the coast road, BIG mistake ! The road from Glen Innes to Grafton is about 160 K’s and in the middle you drop down off the great dividing range. The drop is 18 K’s of steep, very winding road. NO part of the 18 K’s is level or slightly upward, it is an 18 K descent. The hairpin curves took all of the steering lock I had on VP and of course you are supposed to be in low gear all the time so you can only creep down, using the brakes in short jabs, lots. If you went over the side you would be dead so I don’t know what you do if you start to get brake fade. Compunding this was the fact that I had added my water injection control circuit to an existing circuit (which the jakes were on as well, and that overloaded fuse blew just before we started down, so no engine braking.

Once you get to the bottom, you relax, you are beside the headwaters of the Clarence River and it is easy going. Not for long, the rest of the way into Grafton is easily the worst 60 K’s of road I have driven in VP. Hilly, bumpy, jump ups half way around 85 kph corners (that’s scary) so that by the time we got to Grafton my left arm was aching from gear changing and I had a screaming headache. Onto the highway, all smiles again, no further dramas on the way home.

Now we are making a few small changes as we will probably not go anywhere until after school holidays are done, all in all a very pleaseant trip, apart from that one minor problem VP ran perfectly.