Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Indulgence days

Update (6 May) Thanks to Kerri for alerting me that the photos had disappeared from this post. I've uploaded them again and hopefully they'll stay this time. Now uploading for third time (14 May), using Peter's and Cris's suggestions.

We had a few days of indulgence, staying Sunday night at the vineyard resort. The package included a beautiful 4-course dinner, and hefty breakfast. To work up an appetite for dinner (as if we needed to) we walked up into the hills behind the resort at dusk. I was aware of an odd sound, in the distance, like farm machinery, but at this hour? I turned back to see a cloud of hundreds of white cockatoos settling into the tops of tall eucalyptus trees for the night, and they rose and flew around in a mass, another 3 or 4 times before finally coming to rest. What a sight, and what a sound, even at that distance. Too bad the distance and poor light wouldn't let me capture it on a photo. But here are two photos, the first from the balcony of our unit, and the second a photo of the unit itself, the building on the right, which consisted of two units. It was very peaceful: no TVs, no telephones.
When we arrived there was a group of tense looking people, clutching clipboards and folders - yep, they were attending a conference or workshop or other work-related activity, and instead of paying attention to the wonderful food and wine, they had to chat with colleagues at a big table. At breakfast the same people were talking about forming committees and networking. Oh how I miss such things - NOT! However, they were pretty lucky to be able to gather at such a great resort. And no, their presence didn't bother me, as I sat there with the Man Who Cooks, quietly exulting in the knowledge that I'd never have to attend a work-related function again.

The next day, Monday:

We walked to a lookout.
We hiked to some waterfalls but there was no water, although I did get to set up this silly photo. I just made it into the frame. The Man Who Cooks did not fare as well though. When he got up after the photo was taken he discovered that he had sat on sticky sap from that tree. Fortunately he had a change of pants.
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When walking back to our car, we saw these beautiful birds, I think they're called Southern Red Robins, but don't hold me to it. Thanks to Rebecca and Catsmum for the correct info and this link.

We chose to go on some back roads on our way to Castlemaine, and are so glad we stopped at the tiny town of Majorca. This was the old general store, one of only 3 or 4 buildings left from the gold rush. At one time, there were more than 50 houses and buildings on the street you see here.

We stopped at this very depleted reservoir. Fortunately some rain has started to fall, and there's even some water in our own dam. The countryside is showing a light green fuzz, very encouraging.


Peter said...

A good description of what was obviously a good weekend Val.

Jeanette said...

Hi Val, Sounds like you had a wonderfull weekend, Great photo's.
Take care (((HUGS)))

PEA said...

Nothing srong with a few days of indulgence! hehe Sounds like that vineyard resort was a great place to stay at!! Loved looking at all the pictures, such wonderful views!! Enjoy your time at Castlemaine:-) xox

PEA said...

wrong...not srong...sheesh!!!

Cris said...

wow, sounds like a terrific getaway Val!

Susie said...

Sounds like a great place to escape!
Loved seeing all the pictures!!
I'm delighted to hear you're getting rain..

Miss Eagle said...

Beautiful photos, particularly the robin. The place where you indulged yourselves looks beautiful. Now, let's see how I can arrange a bit of that for meself.

Rhea said...

No electronics. Beautiful birds. Sweet.

catsmum said...

Birdy is a Scarlet Robin , Val. If the white flash above his beak was smaller, then he'd be a Flame Robin. I get the Rose ones which are not as red.

Val said...

Ah, what an interesting and wonderful weekend. And interesting comments on the robin! How lovely it must be to see that haze of green appearing.

Sonia said...

Beautiful photos Val! Sounds you both had a great time! I wanted to tell you how much your landscape looks like mine! It's amazing that principally the last one photo would be taken near Enseada Azul!

Rebecca said...


the said robin's homepage...great blog by the way!

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Val
That sounds like my idea of an enjoyable trip. Not so much as a indulgence! Resort look’s wonderful, country still dry. Your pictures captured some great views!! and water !!...more rain to day ...Watch, after many days,the filmy veil of greeness, That thickens as we gaze.....DM.

Best wishes

Annette said...

What a fun trip! We get to go this weekend to a bed and breakfast that has no radios, televisions, nor even phones. They do have a library with fireplace on the third floor, and spectacular views of the ocean.

I have never been to a place like that, but the possibility of no electronic noise for a weekend sounds like bliss to me. Comfy armchairs and loads of books, people to play scrabble with, puzzles to put together, a beach to stoll on, ahhhh.


Kerri said...

It sounds like a wonderful getaway Val. I'm very disappointed that all your pictures seem to have disappeared. They were obviously here for all the other commenters.
I almost always have to reload my pics through the edit posts window in blogger these days. They disappear with no rhyme or reason. It's annoying and frustrating.

Sandy said...

It sounds like you are REALLY enjoying your retirement...good for you!

Kerri said...

I'm happy to be able to see 5 of your lovely pictures! However, 7 are still missing. It happens to me too Val. Sometimes I have to load some of the pics yet a 3rd time. I sure would love to know the answer to that puzzling phenomenon.
Thanks for taking the time to reload. That's a neat bird website and what a pretty robin.
Love the funny pic of you and Mel :) Oooh, sticky pants. Poor Mel. I hope it came out. Tree sap can be a bear.