Saturday, 4 October 2014

Brisbane Ranges

Last weekend Andy and I went on a little camping trip. I say ‘camping’ but no tents were involved, there was running water and proper toilets, and we ended up at a winery for dinner… so maybe camping is stretching it somewhat. Ok, we were glamping.

Sunday morning we drove to Andy’s school’s campsite. He was here a few weeks ago with his Year 9 form group, and was told by the caretaker that he could come and stay at the camp over the school holidays, when it wasn’t being used. Andy had a great time with his Year 9s when he came, and was especially excited about doing some more mountain biking, so I said I’d give it a go.

The cabin we stayed in

Cool entrance to to the bike shed
We were in Torquay on Saturday for a 30th birthday party, so needless to say I was not in the best of shape when we arrived at the campsite. I was tired, headachy and generally in a grumpy mood. The weather didn't help - it was 29 degrees (good) however the wind was crazy strong (bad). After getting settled in our cabin we went down to the shed with the mountain bikes and Andy fitted us out with bikes and helmets. It took me about 5 seconds to decide that I hate mountain biking. Basically, I was being a major wimp, but really I just didn’t find it that fun. I lasted about 10 minutes, which consisted of me going super slow both up AND downhill as I was pretty scared of going fast. Andy finally gave up coaxing me to keep trying and was happy enough riding on the trails on his own while I took some video footage.

Not to sure about this whole mountain biking thing...
After the mountain biking we decided to get something to eat. As the camp is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and we were under-prepared for cooking at the campsite (standard) we had to drive about 20 minutes to get to the nearest town, and on the way we discovered Clyde Park Vineyard. The winery was closing in about half an hour when we arrived so the kitchen to the restaurant was closed, but they said they could make any of the pizzas on the menu for us. We debated whether or not to stay, as the pizzas were quite pricey (about $25-30 each) but decided to stay as we didn’t really know what else was around. Also, I really liked the feel of the winery. Inside, where we opted to sit due to the heavy winds, was very rustic looking, with the walls lined with oak wine barrels and long wooden tables to sit at. As it wasn't very busy when we arrived we got a very cute round table in the corner with big wing chairs to sit in. Outside the winery had an amazing view over vineyards and fields. Even though this place was right off the motorway, you couldn't really tell, it was a very calm and peaceful environment. We were really glad that we stayed in the end. We ordered 2 pizzas, a Sticky Pork and a BBQ Chicken, and both were delicious. I had a glass of their 2013 Pinot Noir as it was the recommended wine with the Sticky Pork pizza, which was enjoyable. Andy stuck with his favourite wine, Sauvignon Blanc. I don’t think he ever orders anything else, even though he claims he can’t tell the difference between different wine varietals. When asked about how his wine is, his reply is normally “Good. It tastes like wine”.

Much happier now that I'm in a winery!

We went back to the cabin, and after seeing the most amazing sunset (which of course didn't look nearly as impressive in the pictures), we spent the evening chilling out, reading, and watching a bit of TV (ya, not really camping). The movie American Reunion was on, which is a pretty awful part of the American Pie franchise, but fun to watch anyway as it made me feel like I was back at uni.


Sunday night was ridiculously windy, we’ve been having some crazy weather here lately where it will be hot and sunny for a few days, and then we’ll get these windstorms and it will rain and/or cool off for a few days. Monday we woke up and it was a lot cooler. In the morning we went kayaking down the river… There is something really nice about being on the river, the viewpoint that you get is completely different to just being on a river bank.


After kayaking we saw a wallaby hopping along on the opposite side of the river. I think it was coming down to get a drink but stopped when it saw us. It stayed hidden behind a tree before hoping further away down the river. I still get a huge kick out of seeing kangaroos and wallabies. They way they bounce along looks almost cartoonish, and you can't quite believe that this is a real animal.

We went back to Melbourne on Monday afternoon, stopping for a walk around Albert Park and a coffee with some of my work friends. I looooove school holidays!

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