Trip Start May 18, 2005
72Trip End May 18, 2006
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We rented a car for the entire weekend and headed north across the Harbour Bridge for about an hour and a half until we got to the Hunter Valley. This is the place where they make all the famous Aussie wines (Lindemans and Rosemount are based here). We stayed in Cypress Lakes Golf and Country Club, a very swish place right in the middle of everything you could want to see. They gave us our own 2 bed villa woth beautiful views across the valley. The main reception is at the bottom of a big hill, and the villas are a good bit away up the hill. But it didn't matter because they had thier own 24 hour shuttle bus that will bring you anywhere you want to go on the grounds and back to your villa afterwards
Aishlings parents are into the golf and had a nice round on the first morning. You have to play early because its just to hot otherwise. Since neither Aishling or I can hardly swing a sack of doorknobs - least of all a golf club - we left them to it.
Luckily the weather for the entire weekend was great, up around the mid to high thirties, unlike the weather for the previous week in Sydney which was pretty shite. It rained for the entire week. The weather folk are saying its the wettest January in 20 years.
Anyway, back to the Hunter Valley. As I said, the villa was fab, but what made it even more fab was the fact that each evening at near 7.30 you could see around 60 Kangaroos outside the window hopping around and chomping the grass. They come out of the forest when the sun goes down so they can graze and not be scorched by the sun. It was weird to see them. And they didn't seem to mind us. We could sit out on the veranda with them about 10 feet away and they wouldn't flinch. Even when you walk up to them they just stand up (they are about 6 feet tall or more when they stand up) and make wierd scary noises that can only mean one thing - feck off or I'll kick your head in with me big feet
So there was much eating, drinking (wine of course) and sight seeing. There's loads to see and do and some of the vine yards are massive. Also, the grapes had just ripened and it was mad to see them hanging from the vines. The best thing though was the day long wine tasting tour we took. We got picked up at 10 am and whisked away to seven different wineries to taste all they had to offer. You taste about 6 or 7 different wines from each of the wineries, which eventaully leads to mucho drunko. Its all serious up until around the third winery, trying to look like a wine connosieur, but after that all the wines start to just taste the same (as in great!!) and you just laugh at everything. One place, apart from making wine, made loads of liquers and other wierd stuff I can't quite remember. But the one drink I will definitly remember was the chili liquer. It was made from, you guessed it - chili's. After you knock it down the throat it feels like any other spirit, bit of a kick etc. But its not until about 3 seconds later that your throat feels like someone just stuck a lit blow torch down it. It was unreal!! It took about a litre of water to douse it. Mad stuff. Naturally, we all had another one.
After the wine tasting we went to the 'Smelly Cheese Shop'. And yes, it was smelly but some of the cheeses were amazing. We bought some and had it at home on crackers in our drunkeness.
There was a long drive home planned for the next day...