Mudgee – Rutherglen – Mt Eliza

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The weather has been bad and, yes, the van leaked again, but with it jacked up in the front, at least the bed doesn’t get wet.  To add insult to injury, our three day stay at Mudgee was at the Riverland Caravan and Tourist Park, which was at best, less than average.

We did get in a BBQ breakfast in at the Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve.  It started to rain as we set off, and on arrival, we quickly set up and had the quickest breakfast of bacon and eggs on toast (cooked on our gas stove), packed up and went for a short drive, during which the rain stopped, the sun came out.  It didn’t rain again for a couple of hours!

We packed up next morning in the rain and MUD – great.  The problems with the caravan have certainly put a dampener on our enthusiasm and we have decided to spend a couple of days in Rutherglen – a place we love.  We have pre-booked a hamper for Wednesday, from The Pickled Sisters.

Travelling to Rutherglen, the trip was quite scenic, with farms full of good crops.  The countryside has been very hilly and we were looking for a place where we could buy a couple of sandwiches for our lunch.  We came down a very steep hill into Sofala and found a little General Store, selling food.  Mrs Mac was the grumpiest little old lady I have ever come across.  After ordering two ham and salad sandwiches, she clicked her tongue when I asked for salt and pepper and when I said that $16.25 was quite expensive, she went on a tirade about the cost she has to incur because of EFTPOS.  She asked me if I wanted to see her telephone bill and see the charges.  Russ took a photo of the old Sofala Hotel on the main street, which is only wide enough for two cars to creep past each other.  The hill into Sofala from the north is the steepest we have encountered on a main road and is about 1.2 Km down all the way.

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Our site in Rutherglen is facing the lake, where there are ducks, water birds, people fishing and walking.  The lake has been stocked with Yellow Belly and Redfin and yesterday someone caught a large Yellow Belly.  He said that had it been a Redfin, he would have kept it for a wonderful meal.

Today is picnic day and we collected our hampers.  This time we ordered two different ones – mine a vegetarian – with white bean and parmesan dip, a serve of asparagus, chevre and hazelnut, curried cauliflower with quinoa (or some other grain), pasta with chilli, mushroom, and tomato.  Dessert was an orange and almond cake, with syrup and double cream.  Russ’s order was trout dip, chicken and prune terrine, with peach chutney, a serve of olives and cheese, potato salad with capers, fillet steak with bearnaise sauce and a dessert of rich chocolate cake, chocolate sauce and double cream.  We also had a bread roll each.  All for $67!!

We picked  up a bottle of Rose from Pfeiffers, who packed the wine in an ice bag, as well as giving us a bottle of iced water.  We drove to the Chiltern -Mt Pilot National Park, where we set everything out and shared everything.  We have enough left over for tonight’s tea and tomorrow’s lunch!  After lunch we walked along the road and another track and found lots of orchids, very early for the Lady Fingers, but about right for the Nodding Greenhoods.

20140820-Blue Ladies Fingers Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Med 20140820-Nodding Greenhood Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Med

We arrived back to the caravan park, set up our chairs in the sun overlooking the lake and our feeling of wellbeing has been restored and all is right with the world!

Tomorrow we head for home after a trip of close to 9,500 Km, home for a holiday!!.

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