Swansea - Cessnock.

Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
Trip End Jul 23, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Thursday, May 2, 2013

It rained during the night and as we had the roof vent open, we felt a little spray in the night which woke us both up - funny.

We drove into the nearby town of Swansea so that Terry could have a browse in JBHifi for the piece of hardware he required to free up some memory on the IPad. After a quick chat with an enthusiastic salesman, who gave his word this would work, he bought a Seagate GoFlex Satellite Mobile Storage. We then spent an hour on a bench outside the NAB Bank, as needed Wifi to download an app for the Seagate to work (free Wifi at all NAB Banks) After a successful download, he then tried to get the Seagate working, but couldn't. I pointed out that the Seagate was displaying a red light which, when we read the instructions, meant it needed charging up. Terry never wastes time reading instructions.

We left Swansea and drove to the Hunter Valley, through Kurri Kurri and Weston. We made an unplanned stop at Potters Brewery, one of the smallest micro brewers in Australia. We tried four Hunter Valley beers and shared a huge Ploughman's lunch of Eggs (had been pickled in Soy Sauce), Cheese, Ham, Pickles, Chutney, Mustard and a LOAF of bread. We both choked on the Mustard, it was so hot it made our eyes water.

We left the brewery, driving further into the vineyards of Hunter Valley. On the way we spotted our first sighting of wild kangaroos gathered in a field by the side of the road - fab.
We drove to the Information Centre to enquire about vineyard tours and were advised that all but one in the area conducted their tours in the morning. We decided that rather than stay the night to attend a morning tour, that we would attend the slightly more expensive afternoon tour, which started at 15:30 and was just a couple of kms. down the road. It had just turned 14:00 so we had time to spare so we trickled down the road in Tub's, stopping at a parade of little boutique shops all selling local produce.

And this is where our well laid plans went to pot.

Terry stayed in Tub's while I went to explore the little shops. I got talking to a lady in a Winery who asked me if I would like to taste a few local wines. She got out four shot glasses and filled each to the brim, no sooner had I finished one then she refilled it. I had to stop her after the eighth glass, I think she just wanted to keep me there to talk to me. I told her I would probably be back after the vineyard tour.

I went next door to the Smelly Cheese shop feeling a little heady. I did intend to buy some Cheese so decided to take advantage of the testers on the counter. I took a cocktail stick out of the box and using both ends, tried two of the cheeses. I then went to get a clean cocktail stick for a third tasting but accidentally put my used cocktail stick in with the clean ones. Some posh lady, also tasting, looked horrified and screamed at me 'You've put your used stick in the clean sticks!' It was too late, I'd moved my hand away but, thinking quickly, just pulled one out and said 'this was mine' and threw it into the used sticks box. It wasn't mine, I knew it and so did everybody else. The shop went silent and, as is usual for me in a crisis, I started laughing. I made a quick Blue Cheese purchase and left the shop.

We couldn't go to the 15:00 vineyard tour as I was drunk, the eight 'tasters' on an empty stomach had got the better of me. I could hardly sit up straight in Tub's and my arms felt heavy, all I wanted to do was lie down. I felt bad for Terry as it had been my idea to go inland to the Hunter Valley specifically to visit a vineyard. I said to forget the vineyards and that we could visit one in France, but Terry made the executive decision to stay around the area overnight and see how we felt in the morning.

That's all I can remember.
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Mum on

O.M.G what a laugh I got from this letter, I can just imagine you in the cheese store , I'll bet you were swaying in front of the cheeses giggliing, too bad you couldn't move on. I hope you never got a hangover. the Ploughmans sounded delicious, you really seem to be having a great time. love you both lots.xxxx

Moira on

Hilarious - at least you won't see those people again. I hope terry has forgiven you. X

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