I looked at the map last night and tried to figure out whether the options that my new friends from Newcastle gave me were realistic. And I think they are not… They suggested visiting the zoo in Dubbo. This is the biggest zoo in Australia and according to my book and the articles I found on the Internet, it’s for sure worth visiting. But this wouldn’t allow me much time in the Blue Mountains anymore and I would have to drive for over 8 hours to get there and back. I am on holiday and not only want to see highways for days in a row. And I can’t see it all: this place is far too big to see everything.
So the plan is now: go to Hunter valley, one of the biggest wine areas of Australia and then on to the Blue Mountains. Today I want to end up close to Cessnock. Time to leave Scone. But before going south, I will go back on the highway I came in yesterday. I passed the burning mountain yesterday, but didn’t have time anymore to go there. So I will backtrack the 20 km for a nice walk there.
The day started grey and cold again. The clouds are covering the tops of the hills around me.
But by the time I got to the Burning Mountain nature reserve, the sun was shining again. And the temperatures go up again. Well I will not spend too many words on explaining the story of this place. Just look at the pictures.
And yes: this mountain is burning! You can see the smoke on the pictures. If not: you will just have to believe me…
Then it was time to hit the road. It’s a long drive to the Hunter Valley and according to my book the drive is not going to spectacular. And the book is correct again… I stopped at a visitor information centre along my way to ask if there was a more interesting road to where I was going. The man said: sure there is, just follow this route. Well he hasn’t been out of this region for some time, so it’s hard for him to compare it to what’s out there.
Along my way I stopped at the Arrowfield winery. Just because the man with the “yes there is a nice route” info suggested it. After about 10 minutes I was back on the road… This is not my cup of tea.
I would see another million or so wineries before getting to the Hunter Valley Visitor information centre. The nice lady here booked me a room in the Hunter Valley Resort. The “resort” is basically a vineyard that has a motel and restaurant. It’s a nice place to learn everything about wine and I “tested” quite a bit of it during dinner.
Well that’s all I will find out about wine today. I must have heard at least 10 different names for wines and grapes, but I can’t recall any of them. It’s that name thing again…
The track of today:
Thursday 9 April 2009