Monday, March 16, 2015

Shark-hunting bear goes wine hunting instead

Monday, March 16, 2015

Usual morning routine / wash / pack / leave etc. 

Well - it is meant to be.

<----  Hmm I have to say a certain bear - not naming names - decided to have a bit of a sleep in!  Come on Fonz - time to get cracking!!

First stop – the smoking mountain. Thought we can get there and back, just a short stroll – turns out it was a 2 hour uphill and downhill walk – so not good for Mamabear and her dodgy knee – thus very sadly and reluctantly flagged that experience.  

Then headed towards the Hunter Valley with  morning tea in 'Willow' - lovely spot! Visiting the info center and asked about the flags further up the road - turns out it is some kind of memorial for the first shipments of prisoners arriving in Sydney. The attending lady told us the story of one of the passengers, a 80 year old convicted person ( for perjury) who survived the journey and a year in Sydney before she ended her life - it must have been so hard for her.  We ended up having a very interesting chat about previous generations and so forth.  Australia certainly has some historical challenges ahead.

Lunch turned out to be on a road side rest area with nothing being there except a log drop and one table in the shade - so had lunch inside the van where the air-con kept us cool! 

Then a quick stop in Singlton which has a very large sundial. Seem to remember it is the largest in Australia!  It is true to its time and even has a board telling how many minutes you have to adjust by for, from various earth movements etc.  One thing it does NOT do (and so do all sun dials) is to ADJUST for day-light saving.  Would be super if there is one made that has a movable ring that can be moved forward or backwards by one hour . . . . . 

Anyhow - quick stroll through town then pressed on towards final resting place – Cessnack, set at the heart of wine country!
Well folks - the famous Hunter Valley is really more like a Hunter - urm plain/plateau.  It is true that on one side are the Blue Mountains - a cliff top type leftover remnant from a zillion year ago ocean bed of sorts - - turn 180 and look the other way and the  "Valley" extends as far as they eye can see - some 60 - 100km in a more or less flat area.  One part of the "Valley" has a horse breeding industry and looked lush and green.  Another large part was used extensively for open cast mining - and you saw lots of tailings.  All up it is a bit of a misnomer to call it "Valley". 
Hmm rant over

We found our camping ground and seeing it was so nice and warm sat outside for about 2 hours enjoying the warmth and 'Traminer' white wine!!! Lovely drink!!!

From reading this it would appear we spent most of the day on the road traveling and you would be almost right.  It was the longest leg to travel. We also had plenty of stops along the way to break up the driving.
Anyhow we made plans for next two days – booked a camping place – then wandered of in search for Asian food (with the local on-site Thai place closed on Monday's, drats!).  The stroll into town looked long-ish but we decided to stretch our legs and had the long stroll into town (3 km) and  ---  found most eating places there shut as well!  Sighs
  Eventually found a place called 'Bellygood” - main trading was takeaways but they also had 3 tables to sit down and eat – so we did just that. Then the long walk again back home.  In-between I snapped this evening mood! 

We had finished the wine and all stores were closed so - we just sat and enjoyed what warm air there was left - except for Fonz - who yet again wanted to be tucked up in bed!! hmmmmm
He must be traveled out - or is he disappointed with the shark-hunt and sulking?!?!


It was peacful and no birds were screeching and one felt almost compelled to sing Taps!
Anyhow the next day should be a cracker.

Here the Fonz started breakfast - then had cold feet so moved back to bed - tut tut bear! 
I finished the brekkie and snapped this - just so we have a proof that once the bed is made - there was little room for much else.  It goes seamlessly from bedroom to kitchen! Puts a new meaning to 'having breakfast in Bed'!
Mamabear catching up with the temperatures - seems Brisbane will win the days high - with Christchurch being the coldest!
The Fonz decided to helpful after all (and this had nuthin' to do with his love for a glass or two of red - so he tells me) and looked to plan the next days journey - but as they say, that's another story.
The bed made up - back into a lounge! wohoooo

bear print

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