It rained all night with high winds, which meant that at 3am both Lach and myself woke up to a loud bang and I said to Lach “What was that?”, Lach assumed it was the awning, but it was in fact the cover to our gas bottles which had been blown off and hit the underneath of the bed. I’m surprised more items hadn’t been blown around. Having gone back to sleep with the constant sound of rain, and after 10 weeks of holiday, we are all learning what a sleep in is. This morning was a record, the van didn’t wake up until 745am and the rain had actually stopped. We hadn’t planned much for today, but seeing as the weather was looking temperamental we decided to go out for breakfast and then drive up to the north coast of the island before heading back to the caravan park for the afternoon.
We packed the swimmers in the car just in case the sun came out and the north coast offered some beaches for swimming on our travels. We had breakfast at the Flinders Chase Cafe which is a 5min drive, and then drove up north to Stokes Bay. We wanted to go to Rockpool Cafe at Stokes Bay for breakfast but they don’t open until 11am (there aren’t many choices for breakfast in KI if you want a cafe culture) After a weather alert came up on Lachs phone this morning saying flood warning on KI, we decided that we would stick to bituman roads only. However as soon as we got close to Stokes Bay, we decided to have a look at the Rare Breed Farm (a farm which has a unique collection of rare and unusual breeds of domesticated farm animals, many on the brink of extinction and not on public displays any where else in the world). The farm was closed, which was a shame – it looks like its struggling for funds and a local philanthropist has managed to keep it going. A shame we couldn’t visit, but we turned around on the dirt track to see Stokes Bay, but the beach was all big rocks – no sand, and it was still too early for lunch at the cafe – so we continued on more dirt tracks for about 40km (some of the roads were a bit hairy due to the rain and having been torn up previously, but the car and Lach handled it fantastically).
We drove past some vines for HazyBlur wines, and then popped into the pop-up cellar door for The Islander Estate Vineyards – which is owned by a frenchman from Bordeaux who came out here 16 years ago. They only have a cellar door for 5 weeks a year, and its in their wine making shed, so your surrounded by all of the wine making equipment and fantastic furniture which is majority made from old barrels – we have definitely started a love for barrel furniture, we just need to source some old barrels now to be able to make stuff for home. All of the wines here are made using French methods and they even had shipped over from France cement tanks for the wine to be made in and where its stored for the first 6-7 weeks, before being put into french oak barrels. The tanks were made by tomb makers, and just customised the finishing touches for The Islander before shipping to KI. They then use Demi-Murd barrels which are 670litre barrels which have less surface area for the wine than smaller barrels, which therefore lightly oaks the wines in the french style. They use the barrels for 10 years.
Lach did the tasting today, and the first wine he tried was Bark Hut Road – Shiraz/Cabernet Franc 2014 – it was really light, more like a pinot style. He then tried the Old Rowley – Shiraz/Grenache 2013 which was lovely with much more of a bouquet and established wine. We needed to pay for the tastings here, as they have 15 wines to choose from and not a high turnover of visitors to taste, but along with tasting we managed to order some American River, KI Oysters – they were delicious, a real creamy small pacific oyster – this saved us the extra 30km to the Oyster Farm. Lach then tasted their Reserve Bark Hut Road – Cabernet Franc/Malbec 2007 (90/10) which was a full bodied wine with a full berry nose, which you can tell is much more mature in the palette. The last on the list was their Flagship wine ($150 per bottle) – The Investigator – Cabernet Franc 2012. A great wine, but we didn’t think it was worth the price tag. The girls loved playing around in the big warehouse and when they opened the door to the cement tanks we said to the girls that it was for naughty girls to go in – they looked and said there was no one in there, so there cant have been any naughty children at the vineyard. We didn’t leave with any wines in hand, but having tried the Hazyblur Pinot, and Hazyblur Basket Press Shiraz last night (we didn’t finish them both!), they are definitely the best wines we have had from KI both in taste and price tag.
The sun was shining, so we said to the girls that we would head back to the caravan park for lunch – cheese and biscuits from yesterdays excursion to Island Pure – and then head to the beach, however the wind had picked up and considering yesterday the beach was really windy and the campsite was really still and muggy, when we got back to the camp site it was really windy, so decided to stay at the campsite this afternoon so that we could just relax. Lach and the girls got the kite out and played with that, whilst I washed the sheets and clothes – the wind dried them all in no-time. By the time I had finished hanging it all out, the sheets were dry, and Lach made the beds (never going to get bunk beds, I have a height disadvantage here). The girls were actually enjoying just being around the caravan and playing. They were in the van, whilst Lach disappeared for a walk and I was sitting outside writing the blog – when I looked down at my feet and nearly jumped and screamed (I didn’t thank goodness). A baby kangaroo was literally licking my heel, and then when I noticed it, he looked at me and kept wondering around my feet and under the chair and tables. Ava looked out of the caravan for something and screamed (the Joey didn’t seem bothered), so both girls came out and sat on the green mat watching it for 15mins. We wanted Lach to come back but didn’t know where he had gone. When he did come back he walked behind the car and said “Hey, there’s a Kangaroo under the table”, our response was in unison “We know Daddy”.
Then we realised where he had been…40minutes it had taken him to be clean shaven again. The Beard has gone, it is no more. I am surprised that he had lasted this long considering the last few weeks he kept saying he wanted to shave it off, but with only 10 days to go until we return to Sydney, I assumed he would stick it out until the end. He just couldn’t do it. So my clean shaven hubby is back which Audrey and I love, however Ava wants her Daddy to grow his beard back and says his face is now too skinny. I look at him and just smile and he wonders why I am smiling – he just looks so different. We both agree that if anyone met him on our travels and saw him now, they probably wouldn’t recognise him. When taking a photo of the new clean shaven Lachlan, the girls wanted funny photos!!
Having defrosted the freezer yesterday, as it needed it and also to remind ourselves what we had in the freezer, we decided to have a chicken dinner tonight which Lach is making. I did hear a yelp from the caravan which I found out a few seconds later was due to that he had poured the wrong spice into the chicken marinade – he had poured in chilli flakes instead of Moroccan seasoning – so he quickly washed the chicken hoping the girls wont notice. During our yummy meal we were accompanied by our hopping guest again – under the table rummaging for snacks – he was very cute, albeit a bit skinny. He was very tame, but we still said to the girls that they shouldn’t pat him even though he was right next to us.
A bottle of Greenock Creeks, Casey Block Shiraz 2014 accompanied our dinner tonight (which we hope we sent some of this home – its delicious). After the blog is finished (takes time when weak internet signal) I will be relaxing reading my new book whilst watching the wildlife. The rain must have bought them all our early today, as there were about 50 Cape Barron Geese around our site from about 2pm, and Kangaroos have already started their evening feed.
Tomorrow, our last day on KI, we plan to go to Seal Bay to see the Sea Lions, and then the rest of the day on the beach – weather permitting.