Sunday, 23 March 2014

Weekend road trip

Last weekend we decided to explore a bit more of New South Wales. Someone had told me of a drive along the coast to the south which was nice, so we decided to go a short distance along it, have a leisurely drive and stop where we wanted.

I took the first driving shift, heading through the city to get out of Sydney and on to the open road.  I think Kym was sorely regretting (a) lending us her car and (b) coming with us by the end of it!  I am still in London driver mode - which just doesn't work out here!  It is actually part of the law that once you signal, any car behind you in the lane you want to get into HAS to let you in.  I mean, WHAT?!?! I don't have to risk life and limb by aggressively pushing myself into a tiny gap, forcing the other driver to either slow down or risk crashing his car into me?  Nope, sorry, I just can't process it....

Anyhoo, we then got out into the national park, which was lots of lovely windy roads out to the coast. We stopped in a town called Cronulla for brekkie by the amazing beach there. We then drove along the coastal road and stopped for a few piccies...
Jan is happy he is taking his two ladies on a trip. Oh, and the nice scenery.
All short people understand this picture - the one where you finally get to be as tall as the person you are standing "next" to (ie up the hill from).
We carried on down the coast through some towns and villages - and then I noticed something rather interesting on the map - WINERIES!  Kym was slightly bemused by the fact neither Jan nor I had ever visited a winery, and so off we went.  They offer the delightful "cellar door" - behind which is all the wine you can drink*!!
Boooozze.  And beautiful countryside. And I saw a Masterchef winning chef on the way out - and he waved at me, like he thought I knew who he was! Pah! I only knew, cos I saw the advert in the winery.
We tried white wine, red wine, sparkling wine and some weird port in exotic flavours - like strawberry, lemon and chocolate. We then went to another winery - because it is important to compare and contrast and do other scientific researches and so on. There was a wedding at the second winery. And a dog. I liked the dog. I may have got, ahem, slightly tipsy - all in the name of safety though! Jan was driving by this time, so of course I had to finish his samples off for him so he was safe to drive.  This is DRINKING RESPONSIBLY, like what the ads tell you to do. (WHAT? ME? Secretly planned that all along? Noooo....) 

We then headed to our guest house, which was a lovely 1920s building, all wooden and quaint inside. They had an amazing front porch to sit on, and a guest lounge with a big decanter full of port. 
This is obviously not the guest lounge with port.  This is the room we collapsed in after the guest lounge and the port.
After we checked in we went for a walk and took in some river views:

We then headed to dinner at a little restaurant down the street and had cocktails, wine and yummy food.  We were stuffed, but then we saw this on the dessert menu...
Who says no to afoggato? Not we! Although I never know how to eat it - what are you meant to drink and what to eat? I settle for pouring the espresso and the liqueur on to the ice cream and turning it into a milkshakey cocktail of deliciousness...
We then headed back to the guest house and availed ourselves of the free port - well, come on, it was just sitting there! In the guest lounge! It must be free and for guests, right? Right. After another hour of putting the world (and the port) to rights, we went to bed.

Next day, after some rehydration, we headed down to Jervis Bay to look around. We found beautiful coastline and luscious beaches...


The sun was hot, so we decided to hire paddle boards and have a go. A paddle board is essentially a large surf board on which one stands and uses a paddle to propel oneself around the sea. I managed to panic paddle myself into a bunch of rocks, because you know, god forbid I could operate something A SMALL CHILD could master in minutes. I sat there contemplating my fate for a while and then used force (ie a lot of pushing and shoving and splashing and swearing) to get myself out of that rocky situation. Other than that, it was fun though! Jan and I tried to paddle one together - which ended up in lots of falling off for Jan and lots of clinging on for dear life for me.

We drove around a bit more to see the bay and then decided it was time to head for home.  We drove a different way home, through the lush landscape of Kangaroo Valley, which is very green countryside and hills and a bit reminiscent of England.  We got home Sunday evening and rounded off the trip with some yummy meats and cheeses for dinner, which we had bought from a little cheese making shop we found on the way back. The best way to finish a weekend!

* Well, all the wine you can drink out of tiny glasses into which they pour a tiny amount of between 6-8 different wines.  It's essentially a mini wine tasting. But still - AWESOME and FREE!