We (Mr Nix and I) took 3 days to drive down. A nice chilled drive. The first day was the biggest and about 8 hours on the road, travelling down through Goondiwindi and onto Tamworth. We saw lots of areas that are so dry! Passing through Boggabilla was an eye opener and of course, lots of rocks everywhere, because there's just no grass due to the ongoing drought.
We passed through the edges of the outback. One great stop was at Moonie where we checked out the big red claw.
We reached our accomodation in Cessnock and headed out to try the Hanging Tree Vineyard. Needless to say, we've now signed up for a 6 monthly delivery of wine. Yummo!
Oh yes, if you happen to pop in, do say hi to Vodka, the resident dog!
We booked into Potters Brewery and went back after our successful winery visit for dinner then showered and bed...
When we planned the trip, we allowed a whole day to make the 2 hour run then find our apartments. They're tucked away and the side streets were super narrow. One car only could drive at a time as both sides of the road were parked up with cars. Thankfully the apartment came with parking so we were under cover and behind a locked gate.
The apartment was exactly what we wanted, a little out of the way (not on the main drag) and allowed us to do some washing and hang things out. We walked the 900m to the shops and grabbed some food then retreated back to the hotel, popped our wine in the fridge and charged all the square readers. The sleep wasn't too bad!
We carried all the goodies upstairs and once inside the venue (and let me tell you it was sweltering. Outside was 46 degrees C (114.8F!!) and inside with all the bodies was decidedly warm. I was there in my uniform and it took some doing to cool down. I can't imagine how the ladies in full ballgowns or the men in steampunk survived!
Once set up, the lovely readers came. In droves. I sold out of a couple of titles (The Celtic Cupid and Reunion Trilogy) which surprised me! I gave away TOFU's (squishy phone holders) and met so many people! I'm hoping some of them will follow my blog and newsletter after the event!
By 4pm we were ready to head back to the hotel. Once we'd parked the car, we hared upstairs out of the heat and back to shower and rest, because we also had the event at NOLA (after party) and that was a ballgown job!
It was still hot and I'm sure the sauna like atmosphere helped me drop kilograms :D I met lovely people there too, including Rena (EPA to Shannon Mayer) who was so nice!
The beauty of driving, also meant we got a good look at things along the way. We were wondering how the land was faring after the massive bushfires throughout many states. As you can see nature takes it's course and in many sections there is already regrowth!
The one thing we did find a bit painful was all the works and people not driving to the road limits. I'm of the opinion they see them as a low starting point, but we stayed to the left and kept going until we reached Gatton. MIL's birthday was Tuesday so we got in at 41 degrees (105.8F) and had to waste time. So we headed to the pub where Mr Nix had a coke and I a wine. Sweetie that he is, I made for the bathroom and there it was, cold and inviting waiting for me.
We stayed at MIL's overnight and enjoyed Fish and Chips then were up... Friends were coming and going so we made our goodbyes at 9.30 and made it home by 11.30am
It's lovely to be away, but nicer to come back to your own pillow!
I promise to post more pics to Pinterest, so watch my board with interest!