059. Week 10. Day 64. Saturday 16th May 2009. Vehicle woes force us into staying in one place for 4 days…

 

 Wake to what seems to be a clear day. The wind is whipping the trees and leaves are falling around the gardens already overblown with leaves. On the other side of the house big black clouds have grown out of the west and are heading this way. Rain is not predicted but you never can tell.

The vineyards in the Lovedale district (part of the Hunter Valley / Pokolbin wine growing area) have an annual festival called The Long Lunch.

Here is how it works.

Choose any vineyard participating in the LL and buy a wineglass printed with the Lovedale emblem. The glass has a strap so it can be worn around the neck. It will cost $5 and entitles you to wine of your choice at all the participating vineyards. Just produce your glass and they fill it. Next a menu is provided. This shows all the meals offered by each vineyard. Some sell hors douvres, some entree’s, some mains while others a dessert. Some have a full menu. You can choose to wander from vineyard to vineyard, sampling wines and eating or just stay at one and eat and drink. Yesterday, we were told 10,000 people have booked to arrive by bus from Sydney and all accommodation is full. We thought it might be fun to attend as yesterday the sun was shining and we saw white marquees, tables and chairs being set up on lawns around each vineyard. Now the weather has turned dark and forbidding and we know there will probably be 20,000 people wandering around, it seems the decision to go to Nelson Bay

 

 

 

 

 

Catherine, Roy, Frank n Donnis at lookout over Nelson Bay.

Catherine, Roy, Frank n Donnis at lookout over Nelson Bay.

 

 

instead may have been the correct choice. Still, the Long Lunch would be fun.
Yesterday, sampling wines became a bit confusing as well as a lightheaded experience. Something to eat with the samples would have been a wise move. Years ago Tyrell’s Wines had salt crusted bread rolls on the bark slab bar for those, like me, who need to eat with wine. It seems the bark slab bar is still there but instead of a dirt packed floor covered with sawdust it is now just dirt packed. Gone also is the salt crusted bread rolls.

After a late breakfast and a lost morning it is too late to go to Nelson Bay. Instead, the decision having been made we went to Newcastle, a city in the process of re-inventing itself. After the earthquake a few years ago and the closure of BHP facilities the city went into a decline. Now new money is being put back into making the city attractive both as a place to live and a place to play. Still, a drive along Hunter Street reveals many empty buildings. Parts of the city, close to the dock area have been converted to apartment buildings with lots of open spaces and parklands although to my eyes it appears to be ugly sameness and car parks.

We arrived at the main beach, Nobby’s,

 

 

 

Weather Sation at Nobby's Beach.

Weather Sation at Nobby's Beach.

 

 

to find the offshore winds have flattened what little swell there may have been. Although the water was clear and clean there was not a surfer to be seen anywhere until we drove around the point and even here only a few surfers bothered to ride the little reef break. Nobby’s was the scene where a super container ship ran aground last year and became a news and tourist spectacle for two weeks.
We returned to Australian Motor Homes at Bennetts Green. Roy & Katherine wanted to have a look at various styles of MH to help them decide if they will join the thousands already loving the lifestyle. Donnis and I were sorely tempted by a couple of rigs, which appealed to us. A two-year-old vehicle stood out. Its negative features were twin beds, Fiat front wheel drive and an auto gearbox robbing it of power. The price tag was a bit more than we can afford as well.

We returned to Australian Motor Homes at Bennetts Green. Roy & Katherine wanted to have a look at various styles of MH to help them decide if they will join the thousands already loving the lifestyle. Donnis and I were sorely tempted by a couple of rigs, which appealed to us. A two-year-old vehicle stood out. Its negative features were twin beds, Fiat front wheel drive and an auto gearbox robbing it of power. The price tag was a bit more than we can afford as well.

I am looking forward to your comment. Any questions.

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