River pub crawl
By EMMA CORNFORD
AS 14 Tamworth locals ? dressed in white Cancer Council shirts, boardies and some dripping wet ? piled into the Commercial Hotel at Ulmarra on Thursday, they took stock of their surroundings.
Most ordered a beer, but to this group of mates the hotel was more than just a place to stop and have a drink ? it was the first port of call for their pub crawl with a difference.
They will spend the next few days paddling their way down the Clarence River from Grafton to Yamba as part of the first Paddle to the Pubs tour, stopping at Brushgrove, Lawrence, Maclean and Yamba to eat, sleep and possibly partake in a drink or two.
"My parents-in-law are from Maclean and I've said for years that I've never seen between Grafton and Yamba by water, and it pretty much grew from there," said Liz Lollback, who organised the trip.
Armed with their laminated maps, the group of friends and workmates will also take part in local knowledge quizzes written by Mrs Lollback to encourage interaction with Clarence Valley locals. So if you get asked a question by a tired and wet traveller on the weekend, don't be too surprised.
Although most of the group are first-time paddlers, they haven't let that minor detail stop them.
"No", they chorused, when asked if any of their arms were sore.
"Well, not yet," one paddler admitted on the quiet. "But I don't know what they'll be like in the morning."