Monday, 3 December 2012

A Weekend at the Hunter with Kanga Kong

I've been enjoying myself in the beautiful sunshine and ignoring my blog duties for far too long so here is an update on my adventures so far.

Hunter Valley
If you thought there wouldn't be any way to top seeing the Blue Planet at the Sydney Opera House then think again.  North of Sydney is the very popular wine region, Hunter Valley, or 'wine country' as the locals (and I imagine Raol Duke) affectionately call it.  We woke up early on a Saturday morning and drove along the hot dusty road for a day of wine tasting, cheese tasting and dog petting.  Jen was our designated driver and so Jo and I were free to try as many wines as we liked; thanks Jen!  The first vineyard we got to was Petersons, a family-owned-and-operated winery.  The surroundings were stunning with undulating vineyards spreading into the distance in all directions.  But we were here for the wine, and so we quick-marched through the cellar door and a nice chap talked us through the tastings on offer.  Of course we tried every single one as our host regaled us with wonderful stories of wine and cheese, wine and sommeliers, wine recipes and the most exciting; when wine goes bad.  I bought a bottle of fizz that is apparently a great accompaniment to watermelon sorbet and we moved on to the next vineyard for much of the same.  Five vineyards, the smelly cheese shop and two famous vineyard dogs later and we were very merry.  Earlier this year I had discovered my love of Port but I didn't know that white Port existed-delicious.  The Semillon also went down rather well but the name (semi-on) caused much sniggering.  Eventually the vineyards shut up shop for the day and we made our way to our hotel which turned out to be an old haunted orphanage (and that isn't the cheese before midnight talking).
What almost occurred 

The next day we drove home via a National Park come mental hospital and after driving through some spooky woods arrived at a big stretch of grass.  We were here to see kangaroos and we weren't disappointed.  This was my first kangaroo sighting (if you don't include the roadkill) and I was positively terrified.  Stories of kangaroos disemboweling people, not to mention their tendency for boxing, rushed through my mind.  We spotted a big group out with their joeys to catch some of the good weather and watched them from a safe distance.  As we enjoyed their cute hopping and grazing I started to relax. But then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Kanga Kong bounding up the road heading straight for us.  We started to walk back towards the car and he bounded towards us further.  At this point I started running- and wondering why these dangerous and blood-thirsty animals were allowed to walk around willy nilly.  It turned out he was just heading to his troop who we'd just been watching and we marveled at his size from the safety of our car.  Don't mess with the 'roos.

Next time. Melbourne Cup, Ben Harper in concert and Spit to Manly walk. Yes, there is a place called Manly!