On the queen’s birthday everyone here has as a public holiday. It’s not fair, we don’t get the queen’s birthday off and she lives in the same country as us! Anyway back to the weekend. We went back up to the mountains but this time kept going and went through to the countryside on the other side. We went out to Mudgee - which is a town, not an adjective to describe the place. A friend’s parent’s have a farm there and they invited us to come and spend the weekend with them. It was amazing!
We got up at 4am on Saturday (yes there is a 4am on Saturday when you’re sober!) to drive there. We arrived about lunch time and started one of the best weekends I have ever had!
|The view at 5am|
I woke up the next morning and stumbled sleepily across the porch towards the barbeque where I could smell eggs and bacon cooking. Before I got there I was interrupted by someone handing me a rifle and challenging me to hit the metal sheet nailed to a tree on the other side of the field. I could; I got my eggs and bacon.
|I'm the king of the castle....|
I also got to do some bouldering when I could sneak out of sight so no one could see what I was attempting to climb without a rope. But as one of the group said: if I fell it wouldn't be fatal just unpleasant and expensive. I found this great rock which just cried out to be climbed. I found a lovely route with a chimney and a plug hole to climb through! But I didn’t think I would be able to get down it once I was at the top. I kept shimmying round the side until I ran out of ledge. Disappointed I turned to come back but then thought that I might be able to fit though the small hole a few feet up and that the ledge might continue on the other side. I could fit and it did continue. I found a much safer route up on the other side and emerged on the top to see my friends at the bottom wondering where I’d gone. It felt great to be up at the top and I managed to come back down fine and squeeze through the hole again. I thought I had gotten away with being slightly less cautious than some of the group would be comfortable with until one of them came and dusted the rock dust off my back.
One night we had a huge bonfire. I’ve never seen a fire so big in my life! We sat about the fire with a beer and looked at the stars. It was incredible. I’m getting good at the southern hemispheres stars now. I think I might be able to point out more constellations here than back home!
|So much fun!|
The rest of the time was spent hanging onto the back of a Ute or doubled on a dirt bike. I have to get a dirt bike! They are so much fun! The guy I rode with hit 130 at one point and could do wheelies and jumps with me on the back. It also meant we could get places that were too far to walk and couldn’t take a car. We went up onto the highest hill to watch the sun set one night and it was just breath taking.
We also went round some of the vineyards that make the region famous. Tasted some lovely wines but I realised that unless I start drinking some of the wine I’ve bought already then I’ll be coming home with just a suitcase full of wine. While that sounds idyllic, I couldn’t leave my shoes!!!
The more time I spend in the countryside here there more it makes me want to scrap the science thing and open a vineyard or a retreat somewhere here. I could have some land and build my own house and be very happy! Donations to the Deb’s Vineyard fund are very welcome!