Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | October 18, 2014

Adventures on the Other Side of the World #7

They don't have these in Canada!

They don’t have these in Canada!

Well, I had another day of adventure yesterday, but the kind of adventure that is just so relaxing you come home almost as tired as though you’d been running about all day. I’d signed up for another day tour, this time to Mornington Peninsula and with Bunyip Tours, once again booked through Viator. Alexander and his boyfriend (who I haven’t yet asked what he wants to be called on this blog) were kind enough to get up early to drop me off at the meeting point, which was set for 7:15 am.  We found the place fairly easily despite a small detour due to construction, and I was more than on time for my bus. I chatted a while with another tourist, a German au pair who was heading on another tour, while I waited for my bus.

It turns out this particular tour was much smaller.  There were only seven of us in the small bus, and we were even doing different itineraries.  A couple who was actually Australian were booked on a horseback tour of wineries, and a retired couple from Malaysia were doing what I believe was a walking tour.  I was dropped off at a beautiful set of hot springs with a couple from London.  We spent nearly three hours walking from pool to pool. The highest pools are the hottest ones, and there are pools with bubble couches, jets, cold plunges, turkish baths, saunas, massaging showers, a reflexology walk, and did I mention the many pools of hot water?  I was pretty noodly by the time we left, and I didn’t even go get a massage at the spa they have tucked in there too.

Totally relaxed after a morning of hot and hotter water.

Totally relaxed after a morning of hot and hotter water.

After that, we (the driver, M. and T. from London and myself) picked up S. and K., the couple from Malaysia, and we went an estate called Three Cups for a wine tasting and lunch.  The wine was quite good, and I even decided to have a glass of the moscato we’d tasted with my lunch. I thought about buying a bottle, as it was very good, but couldn’t make up my mind which to get, as we’d tried about six different wines. Our lunch was lovely as well, shared platters of meat cutlets, potatoes cooked with salt and rosemary, olives, salad, bread and cheese, that type of thing.  After lunch, we loaded into the van to go pick up D. and J., who were done their horseback tour.  There, at the T’Gallant Estate, to my surprise, was another wine tasting.  I probably would not have had a glass of wine had I known I would be drinking more later! The estate was much bigger, so I tried many more wines, nine or ten, I think, by the time we were done.  At least T. and I, who were the only ones who stuck it out for all of the wines since M. doesn’t enjoy the reds. I’m not sure how T. was feeling after all the wine (he also had a glass at lunch and M. did taste a few reds then poured into his glass, plus anything else she wasn’t fond of), but I was feeling pretty good by the time we were done.  I bought a bottle of Moscato to bring home since it was not very expensive and I thought Alexander might like to try it, then we went back on the bus for our next stop.

Lunch with my group at Three Cups estate.

Lunch with my group at Three Cups estate.

Where to next?  A little town called Flinders so we could stop in the chocolatier.  They do mainly French style chocolates, very fancy, and get the chocolate that they use from the European countries known for their chocolate abilities, such as France, Belgium, and Switzerland. After a tasting there, this time of chocolate,  and not wine, we were left to make any purchases we wanted.  I bought myself a number of truffles that looked delicious, including some lime truffles and jam filled truffles, all fruit having been grown locally, and also some salted caramel.  No champagne truffles, unfortunately, as those are my favourite. Then I went to the attached bakery where I bought a brownie and a lemon tart, as well as a drinking chocolate, because I needed to have something to absorb some of the wine.  I only ate half the lemon tart on the bus before we were at the next stop, but it managed to counter some of the soporific effects of the wine.

One of my favourite blooms in the rose maze.

One of my favourite blooms in the rose maze.

The last stop was at a garden with mazes to walk through, two hedge mazes, a rose maze, and a lavender maze.  I went through the two hedge mazes using the right hand on the hedge at all times navigation, and sure enough it worked again.  The rose maze at more gates and was open, so didn’t quite work the same, but it was fun to navigate all the same. The roses are very pretty and smell delightful.  We didn’t have enough time for the lavender maze, unfortunately, not least because I knew I’d need to use the bathroom before I went, but I did have time to buy some small soaps for my colleagues as a souvenir and buy a tiny lavender shortbread cookie to taste before we were back on the bus to Melbourne.

I was dropped off right at my door, where I ate the last of my lemon tart. Alexander and his boyfriend had gone to an engagement party last night, and the landlord hasn’t dropped him a second set of keys, so we worked out a system where I had access to an indoor key, but had to wait for someone to come through the outside door to get in the building. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long.  I then hung my wet things up to dry and made myself some nachos with leftover guacamole, then went to bed early, given my very, very hard day of relaxing, drinking wine, and eating chocolate.  I’m not sure what I’ll get up to today; probably just hanging around the house and maybe the beach, but tomorrow I head to Cairns for a few days, so should have plenty to write about!

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