Sunday, 22 January 2012

Hunter Valley: albino roos and red vino

One of the best things about being in a camper van, is waking up before the bricks and motar dwellers, or not being able to get to sleep at all, then you don't even need to do the waking up part. A few weeks ago, I had a cycle around Noosa one morning at 5.30am. Most of Noosa is awake at that time of the morning - running, doing surf life saving pracise, taking their first latte of the day for a walk alng the beach - that kind of thing.

Here, I jumped on the bike at 6.30am, just outside Cessnock in the Hunter Valley, and tried to loose myself in the vines and blue gum trees. Sorry, at a glance that looks like I just mentioned bubblegum trees. Anyway, I ended up on a track, under a hot air balloon, right outside the local town zoo. The driveway next to it had the gate open, so I let the bike fall into the verge and crept into the entrance to see a couple of white roos, having a grassy breakfast. Dukan diet - who knows? They were massive and had some large Emus running around randomly behind them.
We visited a couple of local vineyards, Tempus Two and one of the oldest in the valley, Audrey Wilkinson. Most of the vineyards were started up by French, Italian and German immigrants who made Sherry for almost a hundred years. Tempus Two is big, glizty and smelly, thanks to the Smelly Cheese Shop that does an equally roaring trade here. We went round the back to where the giant oak, French (soft taste) and American (loud and brash flavour) barrels were racked up. As we walked into the barrel room, INXS burst out of the stero system. Has Digs paid this guy? 

Hunter Valley: on my early morning cycle - didn't see a soul.

White roo at Hunter Valley Zoo - best seen for free from next door's driveway.

Vineyard entrance.

Tempus Two Wine Tasting: this chap was strangely reminiscent of Guy Watson from Riverford.

Watch out for wombats! Our favourite aussie creature.

About as low key as zoo can get.

Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard.

I accidently called it the Margery Wilkinson Vineyard. Audrey was clearly a bloke, who looked like the farm-hand in the wizard of oz before he becomes the scarecrow.

Always nice to take a picture, of someone taking a picture, of Japanese tourists jumping...said Dr Seuss.

No comments: