My day started at 06:00 when I mistakenly checked my phone to discover that the Novos were short of players and we're having to forfeit the game. Despite the fact there were others who could have been asked, yes you Kiale. Yet instead people preferred to have a 3point deduction, £30fine, £80 for the pitch, then another £80 for when we have to replay it.
After that I couldn't be bothered to go back to sleep so got ready and took the car to the beach. A pre 07:30am, 5K on a Sunday morning was amazing. The beach was almost completely empty. Clouds still covered the sun but you could tell it was coming. Post run I went past the rocks and sat on the beach for a while waiting on the sunshine. As soon as Mr Sun came out I was in the sea. Finally some sun on the Gold Coast!
Once dry I took the car 3/4 of the way up to Bryon's lighthouse. The views at the top were amazing. I'm so happy I was able to get up there when the sun was out. Not to waste anytime I went back down for 30mins more on the beach before heading back to the hostel to sit by the pool before checking out at 09:30am. Not a bad start to the day.
As the sun was out I didn't want to head straight up to the mountain so I decided to stop at a couple of random beaches on the way North. The Cata had a sign on the rocks that it was for locals only. You can see why, it was a beautiful beach, who needs tourists. Many classes were taking place for the kids to learn to surf. The surf club were also running a tent selling sausage sandwiches. I'm all about the local community, with onions & mustard, cheers!
Next stop was Kingcliff's North beach with free parking by the school. This was dog walker central. Dogs off the lead went left, I of course went right. The only dog there, was being taught to swim by its owners. I ventured into the Pacific again, then dried off as I walked the beach.
Without a Sat Nav I think I coped pretty well on my journey to Mount Tambourine, only a couple of moments of doubt. I had read about a hotel overlooking the valley which had a bad named after its St Bernard's' Dogs. This was en route, & after after a quick change out my swimming gear in an isolated part of the car park, I set on the balcony & enjoyed an amazing steak with the view to match.
The hotel itself was extremely nice, just a few rooms, but with a large screen tv, air con and a good shower. Once changed I walked up to gallery walk. This 15minute walk seemed to really perplex the owner and the gardener who suggested I should drive. Of course doing that would prevent me from visiting the wineries. Time was against me so I headed to the first Winery established, mount tambourine vineyard funnily enough. I had the place to myself and had a good chat to the woman working. Her children are working in hospitality in the UK and we discussed the pitfalls of the industry.
It was now 15:30, & across the road was Heritage Wines. Which I know to be a small vineyard 3000 miles west of the mountain. I tasted a couple of whites and a red while talking to the owner Patty. She had been Quantus flight crew in her earlier life and now her and her husband with the family's help manage the vineyard. We chatted about semi fiction novels and swapped authors to try. Just after deciding upon a glass of their Chardonnay, which I don't ever normally condone but this was a delight, her husband arrived. Soon after a couple they knew and the chef from the restaurant popped in. Next thing a cheeseboard was presented and wine was being poured freely. Russell started to do the till, and I tried to pay him but he was having none of it. The small world that it is, the couple in attendance have family in Newcastle and are booked in the grand hotel over Xmas. Another of Russell's friends arrived unannounced, and more bottles were opened. I would like to say I kept track of what I was drinking. But was repeatedly told this is a different one. Due to this fantastic hospitality I missed the Scottish tasting location but it was nice to be in good company on a Sunday. Even if I was the youngest in attendance by quite some considerable years. Russell suggested a must visit vineyard in the Adelaide Hills called Sure & Smith so I shall try to fit that it. Russell suggested that the only place that may have any atmosphere was the Irish bar in the town centre. He was wrong, it was dead. His pal who had only had one small glass dropped me back at the hotel and I changed for dinner, and chatted to my parents who had just got up.
Walking the mile to the town centre was just about alright in twilight. Coming back it was pitch black and just a little scary. I kept hearing an odd noise and every time I stopped to investigate it went away. It wasn't till 15minutes into my i phone torch lit walk back that I realised it was he hotel key in my pocket making the noise, phew! Dinner itself was very nice. Good solid Guinness pie, but very expensive of course.
Another day wrapped up by 20:30 had a chat with Becky for an hour, can't say I remember it all :-) there was a lot of wine, then off to bed.
Tambourine mountain has lots going for it, but to be a successful tourist location it needs places open after 17:00. Gallery walk is great but it's like a posh Osborne Road for old people. Vineyards, boutique shops, a brewery, cheese factory, cafes, & alcoholic fudge sellers, but it all shuts down early doors.