Hunter Valley and Beyond 2009 - Day 9

 

Monday, 5 January 2009

Packed reasonably early, we load the bikes and trailer and head south to Wollombi just for a look. Nice ride, bit rough in places though. We pull into town and the next thing a bloke in full BMW riding gear waves us down. He needs a hand to pick his bike up. A BMW GS1250 with full touring kit and he parked it on a slope but it tipped off the side-stand downhill and needs to be picked up back up hill. No problem for the three of us. Turns out he’s from Germany and has been in Australia for a bit over two months riding around Tasmania, Victoria and NSW and is on his way back to Sydney to fly out the next day. We roundly chastise him for not visiting Queensland. Our good deed done for the day we drop into the local coffee shop before heading back to Cessnock. Unfortunately, it’s Monday and most of the tourist things we were interested in are closed.
We drop into Drayton’s Family Wines and sample some really good port. I will be getting some of this shipped up for the cask. We try all their varieties, including their smooth 21 year old. Very nice. From here we head for the Hunter Valley Gardens and spend a couple of hours exploring this beautiful setup. All different types of gardens laid out but it’s just after Christmas and looks like the maintenance guys have only started back today. Bloody hot though.
After lunch we head for Maitland. I need a replacement bladder for my hydra-pack and we have intentions of visiting a place north of the city the following day. Maitland is hot; we have to drive kilometres in traffic to find an outdoors shop that has a bladder. We then go looking for accommodation and the two caravan parks leave a lot to be desired, a motel again becomes an option but as we head back into town the heat and frustration at the traffic layout becomes too much, Maitland just lost three tourists, tomorrow’s stop is forgotten and we head east to Raymond Terrace and find a rough motel for the night. Travelling in peak times is not advisable.
The GPS finds us a hotel for dinner close by so off we go, parking across the road from half a dozen Harleys. It’s not until we get up onto the verandah that we see another 20 or so Harleys on the side street and we are with a visiting chapter of the Gypsy Jokers.

 

  • Historic Church in Wollombi
  • Smoko at the Wollombi coffee shop
  • Living sculptures in the Hunter Valley Gardens (The Horses)
  • Another living sculpture
  • The Story Book Garden: Alice in Wonderland
  • The Story Book Garden: Little Bo Peep
  • The Story Book Garden: Jack and Jill
  • Ahhh, the refreshing flow of cold water on a hot day
  • Another photo opportunity!
  • Trying to look casual
  • The Childrens Garden
  • The Rose garden
  • A casual relaxing garden
  • A formal garden
  • Fun in the sun
     

 

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Monday, 5 January 2009

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