Hello dear friends

Okay … okay, so Day Two of The Autumn Leaves Road Trip was yesterday. I know that! Arriving late yesterday to our Hunter Valley idyllic location saw us exhausted,so here I am today fresh and rearing to go. Thank goodness my blogging every day of the year is now over. I took one look at my computer last night and said, “Naw … it aint going to happen” and promptly went to bed.

Yesterday was an amazing day. Surrounded by various types of trees dressed brilliantly in their autumn colours, we left our Motel early so as not to miss out on one single moment. There were look-outs and streets lined with flaming orange and red trees plus the avenue at the university lined with giant trees covered in yellow leaves.

Geoff and me with Verson outside the beautiful Catholic Catheral in Armidale

Geoff and me with Verson outside the beautiful Catholic Catheral in Armidale

Dear friends, I hardly know where to begin to tell you the tale of our continuing road trip? So much has happened, but top of the list (besides taking the most beautiful photos of autumn leaves) would have to be meeting Fairy Lady and visiting her at The End of The Rainbow Fairy Shop at the Heritage Railway Station in Armidale.

Next on the list would be chatting to Vernon – an old man full of wisdom and stories – in front of the Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary(Armidale)  when we stopped for some photo gathering. We also met the Vietnamese Deacon (about to be priest) who kissed me when I answered his question correctly: which country do you think I come from? Apparently no one can guess!

When we left Armidale, we headed for the amazing little church called Gostwyck Chapel at Uralla, a town 20 minutes south of Armidale and on the way to the Hunter. We tried not to be disappointed when we arrived to find the chapel was not totally covered in a ivy which turns red in autumn. We were about a week too late for the full cover but still, it was not completely over either. A lot of other people had the same idea and keen photographers were buzzing all over the place.

Now happily ensconced in our little unit in Pokolbin Hill at the Hunter Valley, I will leave you with a snippet from my Travel Journal. Enjoy!

Sat 27th April 2013  (Armidale)

“When I entered the Fairy Shop I felt as if I was in Nirvana; a fairy land covered with green vines running up the walls and across the ceiling, moss growing in various places, fairy houses nestled among tiaras and costumes for sale, things every fairy would need. In the middle of this fairy jungle was a giant glittering spider web.

The Fairy Lady

The Fairy Lady

Entering this shop was like stepping into an enchanted forest by accident as one tramped the woods. For this Fairy Shop was NOT a shop, it was an experience! I longed to take a photo, but oh, how I just KNEW that to do so would be a travesty. For this was a very private world inhabited by fairies who lived under mushrooms and wore jewelled crowns in their hair.

It was then that a Fairy appeared from behind a counter – that looked like no counter I had ever seen before or ever will again, for beads and beautiful things hung from a canopy over it. The fairy said “Hell0, welcome to the End of the Rainbow Fairy Shop, I am the Fairy Lady.” And I swear that there before me stood an older lady … who may or may not have been born a fairy, but was now indeed a fairy!”

Miniature, she was dressed from head to toe in a long fairy dress with spectacular jewels in her hair and she wore slippers that only a fairy would make … or wear. She addressed me as “Fairy” and said, “I am so glad you like my Fairyland, Fairy. for only people who believe in fairies can appreciate it.”

Fairy Lady never once deviated from her persona as a fairy. Thus began a conversation that included calling Geoff Mr Gnome and telling me when he left “Really Fairy, I think we’ll just sprinkle Mr.Gnome with fairy dust and turn him into a frog if he begins to get impatient” which really pleased me no end.”

Give yourselves a treat and see what I mean about this shop. Visit Fairy Lady’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/The-End-of-the-Rainbow-Fairy-Shop/

 And there you have it folks. One of my many encounters with ‘the natives’ as we travelled down the New England Highway having adventures and talking to people as we clicked the camera in all directions. Those damn autumn leaves were just too beautiful to be true!

PS Fairy Lady would not tell us her REAL NAME. Everyone calls her The Fairy Lady she said … and that was the end of the conversation despite my attempts to get her to change her mind.