Walking back, we’re delayed somewhat by a lady from Yorkshire who’s making the mistake of walking a Pomeranian dog near some excitable children. Back across the river and round the headland, Harry slows down to a excruciating pace, complaining that all the walking has made her legs hurt. Of course, this is bullshit, as whenever her sister up ahead says there’s something worth looking at through binoculars she manages a sprint. Christ, children eh?
Another 1.5km or so beyond the accommodation is a brewery, which is good. This is Black Hops, which is you drop the H like a Londoner seems a bit like some covert operation. Upon arrival me and Kevin order an eggnog stout, and are told by the friendly barmaid that it was the first beer they ever made. Wow!
Because Kevin finds it too cold, he leaves most of his stout alone and almost instantly buys an IPA of sorts to drink while it warms up. I go for some coffee porter or something (Chair Force One, IIRC), and then a tasting paddle. All the beer is delicious, frankly.
The kids’ grandparents live in Murwillumbah and are expecting us all for lunch. It’s cottage pie and cake. There’s three people in the house - Mike & Maureen the grandparents, plus Mary, Maureen’s sister. I’ve met the first two before but never Mary. Conversation amongst the adults goes through a pretty wide range of topics, the most interesting being that Maureen and Mary’s dad played cricket with Don Bradman. That’s very cool!
After a couple of hours there we’re back in the car, heading to the Balter Brewery for a whole ton of takeaway beers en route to our accommodation for the next two days: more relatives of the kids on their mother’s side of the family tree. This is Nige and Jo and their three boys, who live in Palm Beach where we’d lunched the day before.
Jo is off work and welcomes us in. They have loads of outdoor space at their house, and we plonk onto the sofa and immediately make a pretty significant dent in the beers we’d bought. I also make the acquaintance of their 16 year old cat, Taylor. Taylor is very cute.