Newcastle and Wine Tasting

I’ve had a great time, a bit less traveller-like, for the last week! Enjoy the photos!

NewcastlePano1-TraceysView-Resized (that’s a panorama, click on it for the larger version)

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I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Newcastle with Tracey. Been fantastic! Most days were quieter but there was quite a bit of exploring etc. I’m going to skip over the bits just in the week which were quieter than perhaps your used to and skip to this weekend, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday.

Don’t have any photos from Wednesday, we woke up, had brekky and headed out to a local dive shop to see what dives I could do with my new Open Water Certification. There were some good deals but my god they wanted a lot for kit rental! $20 for the dive but $80 for wetty, tank, BCD and air!

We then headed out and met Tracey’s friend Jess, who was a great laugh! After lunch and a great deal of gossip between the two of them I scarpered to get a haircut and they went clothes shopping.

Later on we met up with Jess again and Mel, the main objective was Buck Hunter… seems to be a nurse’s favourite game! In fact Jess was extremely good at it and I was a distant second!

Then we went off to see Angels and Demons at the flicks (the first time I’ve been  in ages!)

The next day was quite something, a wine tasting tour of the Hunter Valley! We called up Tex Tours yesterday and didn’t really know what to expect. Tex turned up in a minibus and was a huge character and seemed like great fun. After we collected some students to really add to the fun, we headed for the vineyards near Cessnock.

CIMG6329This was the standard number of samples at each tasting! 3 or 4 whites, then 3 or 4 reds then 2 desert wines and 2 or 3 ports!

CIMG6341 We also got to do Cheese and Chutney tasting! Great stuff! Bought some Grandpa’s Beer Chutney!

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Roses of course are used as indicators of disease in the vines

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We headed to a mixture of family owned places for the most part

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But we also went to the Lindeman’s and Rosemont Estate. This turned out to be really interesting! They have Cellar d’Or only wines which were miles better than their normal stuff that we see in the supermarket. Interesting fact though, they produced 6.1 million litres of Shiraz last year!

CIMG6380 And now this was just clever

CIMG6396 And this was spicy!

Was a great day out and we arrived back at about 5!

Tex did a great job today at keeping everyone entertained and he was just right for a fun day out. I’m sure he would work with anyone well, but if you have a younger group I can tell you as a fact he’s great fun and drives well, a lot better than those crazy Vietnamese bus drivers. In fact, here is some free advertising for him!

texcardAnd his website is www.textours.com.au if your looking for him

Cooked up Chilli for tea. It’s great to be able to cook properly yourself after 2 months of restaurants! I also jumped onto Jetstar and booked a flight up to Brisbane for the day after (in fact, in 12 hours) for AUD69/£35! Wow! That would be like £200 in the UK! Off to see Alan and Hayley!

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