Sunday, June 12, 2005

Foggy winter morning in the Hunter Valley.

This is the only decent shot I took whilst away at the Hunter Valley on my weekend which is a Monday and Tuesday. Not much had changed since my last visit some 5 years ago except for a couple of newer architectually stunning new wineries that have mushroomed in places that were once just dirt. I wish I could remember a few of the names but unfortunately their marketing ploys somehow missed their mark in influencing my memory.

The older and family owned wineries such as Tyrrel's, Draytons and McWilliams were worth a visit. There seems to be a profusion of smaller ones as doctors, lawyers, merchant bankers and oenologists have a crack at the good life. Again the names escape me.

My friends and I stayed at Harrigans Irish Pub which was an Aussie pub with some old Guinness bottles, Irish music and a few Irish beers. Like any of these nouveau Irish themed pubs, they try pretty hard but something is missing. They're experts at taking your money and making you feel good about it. Accomodation was in a separate wing with a couple of Irish themed pictures on the wall. I brief walk from the front door and I was looking at the view above.

Because it was a Tuesday, it was DEAD. There weren't that many people around, save for a few farmers on holiday in the quiet season and a disproportianate number of well heeled older gentlemen with their "neices", up for a "business trip"! They grey haired gent in an expensive Maserati with his 20 something platinum blonde was a standout.

Four of us actually went for a SWIM in the unheated pool in June, this is probably the first time I've taken the plunge in winter. The water was actually warmer than the air outside on a sunny early winter's day. Four youngish blokes in a pool is bound to be fun, there were bombs, belly flops, poorly executed swan dives, backflips, front flips, side flops and my speciality the "Suey" which involved going into a high belly flop position before curling up just before hitting the water.A real crowd pleaser.

"Ooooooh that's gotta hurt" was the cry as another badly perfomed high dive went amiss. A few of the foolhardy unskilled in the art of a good bomb returned with their torsos a little more rosy as pale skin made some pretty HARD contact with water.

Anyway we quaffed a few reds and enjoyed a couple of beers and some pretty good food in some wonderful surroundings. There were no hangovers or feeling queasy Tuesday morning so I 'spose for a supposedly unruly mob of blokes on a mens weekend away we were pretty well behaved. It's funny because when this group of guys go away to get away the thing they talked about mostly was the mysteries of women. Most all male groups I've been out with tend to do the same.

One thing that always hits you when you go to the Hunter is the profusion of smells. Terra Rossa soil, grape vines, old wine barrels, withering vines, steaks cooking and an abundance of eucalypt trees make you wish you could bottle it. There is something "earthy" and indulgent about the fragrances that seem to linger there.


  • Nice shot.

    A certain melancholy and a touch of quietude.

    It's been so long since I've been away with a group of guys. The thing is I can't remember ever talking about women much, their mysteries or otherwise.

    By Blogger Brian, at 10:31 pm  

  • There is a German ship on a round the world line, named the Hunter Valley. It is nice to know what it is named for. Beatiful photo and sounds like a great time.

    By Blogger Peter (the other), at 5:12 am  

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