The hands had just struck noon on the Pokolbin Village clock.
The village houses many little stores, our favourites being the Pokolbin Chocolate Co. , Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop and Vittorio’s Café Restaurant. We ate a leisurely lunch at Vittorio’s, free of bells tolling, with a pleasant view of the Hope Estate Winery. The sun was warm and a jet (or was it the International Space Station on one of its many fast orbits) drew a trail of white across the otherwise blank blue canvas of the sky. I could get very used to this. Who am I kidding? Only COULD?? haha
After lunch we visited the Hunter Valley Gardens. On arrival the lady told us we would need an hour and a half to walk around the gardens. We ended up close to doubling this time. Her estimation was for the “SEE Hunter Valley Gardens tour’ I think. We did the ‘Stop and really smell the roses / blooms’ tour which I think is the true way to do justice to this wonderful garden exhibit.
We started at the rose garden. It was a maze with a central piece about a grandmother’s love. The sculpture had a grandmother figure surrounded by children in varied forms of play. I watched as a little girl engrossed by it all began joining in with each statue group of children, posing as they were. She was obviously lost in the moment but was a true reflection of the sculpture’s theme I thought. The roses wafted a sweet smell as we took a moment to sit on the pergola’s wooden bench to read our map.
From here we headed through the Formal Garden, complete with wishing well, to the Indian Mosaic Garden. The entry is through 180 year old antique Indian Gates flanked by bronze elephants. Curry plants fill air with their spicy scent.
We saw waterfalls with gurgling water making its way to the base where massive carp swam amongst the water lilies. We sat in shady spots allowing our senses (except taste …but that came later haha) to enjoy the experience. I noticed people rushing to see it all but I think it was best seen by moving slowly.
The one place I did rush around madly was the Storybook Land. Here Nursery Rhyme and fairytale characters came alive amidst a variety of colourful blooms, trees and grasses. The characters could do with a coat of paint but the concept totally held my attention …the big kid in me.
Pathways of fine pebbles that crunched softly beneath your foot with each step took us around this garden. At the end of the walk, when I was glancing over the map to check we had missed nothing I found something on that map I had missed! It was that the pathways covered roughly 8kms of track!! No wonder our feet were sore and our brains were singing ‘Coffee and cake time! Coffee and cake time! ‘Appeased those thoughts then headed to British Lolly Shop before making for the car and our trip home.
I always go away at least for a few days each school holiday and this was the first in a very long time I hadn’t. These two days though were rejuvenating. I guess I’m ready now to go back to work. The next term is short but heavily loaded with report writing time. As much as a bane they are to prepare there is the satisfaction of knowing the contribution you have made to help the children learn new things and the reward of realising just how well you have got to know them.