Hello dear friends

You have to give me ten out of ten for dedication. I am blogging LIVE from our resort in Pokolbin Hill. I am sitting in front of the lake – on the grass, lap top on my lap – watching the sunset over the hills in front of me. It is an ambitious project as my legs keep getting cramped and I have to move continuously in order to keep typing.

What I do for the sake of my blog! The sunsets here are magnificant and after being a little ‘sunsetted out’ taking photos, I have handed the reigns of the photography over to Geoff, who did a good job last night and will again tonight, I am sure.

A sunset from yesterday

A sunset from yesterday

The thing is about these sunsets is that they are different every single night. The positioning of the cloud (or no cloud) makes a difference, as does smoke. For the last three nights, we have had a night of each and therefore all the photos are different.

LATER: Here I am back inside. The sun has set and the damp air has sent us indoors. Here is Geoff coming with a small glass of red wine and a plate of cheese, olives and grapes on a plate. I am impressed! Food for the body after nourishment for the spirit … or is the wine nourishment OF the spirit?? Who knows but it’s all good anyway.

Once again, I have some bits from my Travel Journal to share with you: a couple of nice things about our day out in a little town called MORPETH which is north of Maitland (a 40 mins drive north of the Hunter Valley).

Tuesday 30th April 2013

“Today we took the advice of Mitchell (the waiter we met yesterday) and set off early for the Heritage town of Morpeth to see if it was as good as he said. We were not disappointed! Morpeth sure is quaint and is situated right on the Hunter River. It is full of ‘ye olde worlde’ shops and houses.

The view from the cafe

The view from the cafe

We’d planned to buy a treat at a bakery to have with our flask of tea, in a park somewhere, but we threw that idea out very quickly when we succumbed to the beautiful decor in “Le Beau Cafe” overlooking the Hunter River. Such beauty deserved to be recognised. Think ‘French-style’ cafe complete with chandeliers and beautiful pieces all around the walls. And the apple strudel was to die for also!

Replete with coffee, we took a stroll around Morpeth and came across an older couple in front of a restaurant called “Arnott’s Restaurant”. We never thought much of it but Geoff said ‘hello’ to the couple as they were blocking our path. It turns out that the restaurant is owned by a relative of the famous Arnott’s – of biscuit fame (an iconic Australian brand) – the man standing outside (with his wife) has had a strong connection with the original Mr. Arnott who began the biscuit company.

He has a very old stained-class lamp used in the original home of Mr. Arnott (circa 1900) and he felt it should be returned to the family. He has come to the restaurant to hand it over to the Arnott relative. Geoff and I chat to the couple as they wait for the relative to arrive. We inspect the lamp and take a photo for posterity.

P1020260When the Arnott relative arrives, he shakes hands with the couple and we are considered important enough to be introduced as well. Despite the relative having no fingers on his hand, he shakes hands with us with gusto and is most gracious. We are then privy to the handover of the lamp. Feeling that we may be intruding, we wish them well and take our departure. How wonderful to witness a piece of history!”

What a lovely day it has been! On the drive home, we went through many little towns taking photos and reading memorials of different kinds. When we were almost home, we succumbed to visiting a winery called ‘Bimbedgen Winery.’ We saw it on a hill – complete with a lovely tower – as we drove along. It seemed to be calling us, “Come and see … come and see …”

So we went … we saw … we tasted … and we bought some wine. We’ve done it folks! We’ve had our first visit to a winery in the Hunter Valley, and yes, the girl was friendly and it was a very pleasant experience.

Now the sun has set. Another beautiful day in the Hunter Valley has come and gone. Only three full days left to enjoy and there are certain things we have put on our ‘to do’ list. Now, it’s time for dinner.

Until tomorrow …

A quaint shop in Morpeth

A quaint shop in Morpeth