Day 49 October 19 and onwards
It’s a small world after all.
Sophie and Sebastian had come all the way from Mellendorf, Germany to welcome us home. How’s that for service!! Sebastian had even cooked us lunch; Zwiebelkuchen (onion cake!). This is the second time in less than 2 months that he has cooked this for us. And I still don’t have the recipe!
The Plinke’s had come to visit Jens, and were house sitting for us. They had left Germany not long after we visited them at their place. Kind of like a “Country Swap”
Georgia and Jens have been showing them around the Hunter while we were away. They have had some great experiences, like climbing in the Blue Mountains and Swimming with Dolphins in Port Stephens.
It was great having them “house sit” for us; it meant my plants survived!!!
So, since arriving home we have continued our “holiday” by visiting Morpeth, an historic village not far from Maitland. We thought we were showing Sophie some of our heritage but what we really showed her was water dragons. Heaps of them!! By the time we had explored the town and Grahame had handed out his judgement from the Bench of the old Court House,
we had already encountered several water dragons sunning themselves on the roof of one of the old sheds. But when we settled for coffee at a cafe on the banks of the river, we came across a family all out for their morning walk. There was Momma, Poppa and the two kids waiting for a feed (which was supplemented by the chef) .
We had to explain to Sophie that this was unusual sighting for us too, despite the rumours she had heard of Australia being full of weird and wonderful animals.
In order to escape a wet weekend on the coast, and allay all fears of weird and wonderful animals, we headed inland to Dubbo Zoo.
Instead of being dry, brown and bare, the countryside was incredibly green and lush. Once again we had to explain that this was unusual. But I think Sophie was beginning to doubt our credibility!
We had booked in to the Billabong Camp within Toronga Western Plains Zoo. A kind of Glamping experience surrounded by lions and tigers and bears! (Without the bears!)
On arrival, we hired bikes and set off exploring!
Over the two days we saw the usual zoo animals,
but it was the “behind the scenes” activities, after the zoo had closed that were the most interesting.
There were reptiles to meet and marsupials to greet before enjoying a good old Aussie BBQ. After the sun went down, a bit of spotlighting found us watching dingoes, wallabies, koalas and possums doing their thing.
It was weird, if not a little off-putting hearing the roar of lions and tigers and the bellowing of apes throughout the night!
Pretty sure, a good time was had by all.
A few days later and Sebastian, Sophie and I boarded the train to Sydney for a whirlwind tour of the major sites.
A ferry ride to Manly, a walk across the Harbour Bridge, around the Opera House and through the Botanical Gardens ensured that we were exhausted by the end of the day.
John and Jude will be pleased to know I have continued with tradition and took our guests to the”Aussie” for lunch although they couldn’t be persuaded to have “The Coat of Arms” pizza!
Our friends, Dave and Adam, had invited us to a dinner at a local Warners Bay restaurant. Looked like a perfect event for our international guests too!
The food was delicious and contained ingredients such as wattle seed, Davidson plum, saltbush, bunya pine nuts, native apples, warrigal greens, finger limes , macadamia and muntries. There was also cod, kangaroo, pork and lamb..
So, they may not have eaten crocodile or emu, but there was a little bit of kangaroo to digest and I think Sophie is still finding that hard.
Another day was spent visiting the Memorial Walk
Now, you may, or not remember that we had been given a bottle of red wine to deliver to a lady living on the canals in England. I made contact with the potential recipient via email but unfortunately for her (and fortunately for us), we were unable to meet up. The bottle actually made it all the way back to Australia in one piece. Marie and Gary invited us to dinner on return, so as promised, we shared it with good friends and toasted our good fortune.
Charlie from Sommieres also provided us with some very special red wine. It was also shared with good friends, but surprisingly(!!) it didn’t make it back to Australia .
Sunday 30th October was significant for several reasons:
- It was Georgia’s birthday, (and she got Fruit Loops)
- It was the day Sophie and Sebastian were leaving us.
- We have no more excuses. Our “holiday” is most definitely over!
It’s been one heck of a ride! Thanks for tagging along.