Wonnangatta.

Hidden Valley. Hidden Trails.

Wonnangatta

In the middle of ‘nowhere’

Have you not done the Wonnangatta ride?…

You will love the Wonnangatta ride.

You must do the Wonnangatta ride.

Statements and questions that have been put to me more times than I can count.

And the answer, always was “No, I haven’t”

And so,

despite Lock Down,

(or perhaps because of it, since this ride is always booked a year in advance)

I ‘signed up’ so to speak.

Signing up in this case meant :

a) borrowing money from the kids

b) packing for an 8 day trail

c) rearranging work

d) getting to the start of the ride

All with less than 24 hour’s notice as lock down was only lifted the afternoon prior to the ride.

Such is life in the world of Covid.

But that is nothing compared with the organisational skills shown by

Laura and Christian Hayes

http://www.hidden trail horse adventures

throughout these crazy times.

For this long and fairly inaccessible ride,

they went ahead the week before to prepare.

To drop off feed for the horses.

To clear tracks.

To check campsites.

The list is long.

Not a mean feat when you see where we ride.

An 8 day ride is an interesting experience.

It is long enough for personalties to shine,

some offering a bright light,

some providing the shadows.

Interesting….
individuals…..
who all made it work…

It is long enough to challenge bodies, both ours and our amazing horses.

Challenging….
…whichever way you look at it

It is long enough to cover a large area and see amazing views.

Hell’s window.
Along Mt Magdala
Loo with a view. Mt Howitt

It is long enough to experience mountain weather in many forms.

Misty mornings
Never dampened a smile….
and made for great ……
…..photos.
Regardless of what weather we were given.
Fields of flowers on Mt Howitt
Not quite smelling roses, but close enough…..
Or as in this case, not close enough. Look where They are…..

It is long enough to make good friends.

all kinds of friends….

Nothing like a fire, clear sky and hot food to calm the soul……
And create a sense of quiet……
….or not, as the mood takes us.
home made, delicious all of it…
There was always something to smile about……
…. whether only They could see it……
… or we all could!
There were moments of remarkable…..
… serenity….
……that held one captive
or made one smile with joy
Times of quiet contemplation……
and earnest reading…
Times of relaxation….
Times of roaming….
Times of climbing……
up and down…
Moments to cherish
moments to show of the resident hairdresser‘s work
Times of seeing clearly
Times of seeing dimly….
whether we wanted to, or not
There was light and space…..
Colour and blossom
And ghostly shapes
There were rivers to cross and people to meet
There were roads to follow…
Moments to capture…
Or was that horses to capture…..
Ah no, it was light !
There was time to graze….
and time to gaze
and time ponder the beauty of nature….
Moments of quiet with no…..

……man in sight.
moments made of sheer joy.

AND THEN….

as quickly as I had packed to join the ride,

so I had to pack to leave the ride.

The trip of a lifetime.

A trip never to be forgotten.

A trip I hope to repeat,

as I ask YOU now,

“Have you not done the Wonnangatta ride?…
You will love the Wonnangatta ride.
You must do the Wonnangatta ride.”

Photos are not all mine,  this was a ‘group’ affair – thank you everyone 

Markdale Madams…..

Have you ever wondered what happens when you

put six women of a certain age together?  

Women who do not know each other, but are now

going to share rooms, bathrooms, meals and 4 days together.

Yup, I hear your thoughts.   

I’ll tell you what happens…….

160796874_1205071346591272_7150517014364071283_n

MAGIC

That’s what happens.

Simple.

Horses are involved.

And they work

their magic.

EVERY time. 

They become teenagers, chasing childhood memories….
They start to dress alike…. Smile alike, Laugh a lot.
They pretend they are cowgirls…….
…..mustering cattle…….
…. that seemed to know the game…..

They laugh until they can’t ….. and then laugh some more……

Markdale Station, near Crookwell – our home for the 4 days

In the 1950’s designers

Leslie Wilkinson and Edna Walling

were commissioned to create an amazing garden.

Resembling, yes, that’s correct.

A Horse’s head.

The house is the centre, the eye…. – amazing stuff

Every corner of the garden is breath-taking…..
Although thankfully, the water in the pool was not breath -taking.
It was pleasantly refreshing.

Today the property, approx 6 300 acres is a fully operational sheep station with around 8,500 merino sheep. .

It also operates as a farm stay.

And stay, we did, in the refurbished

original stone cottages built in the 1850’s for the shearers.

A shearer’s cottage
The light – could be a water- colour.
The Sky……
The gold at the end….. we found it. Or we felt like did…

When in fact,

what we Really found

were horses.

Fabulous horses.

And riding country.

Fabulous riding country.

Whichever way you looked……
….. you had to smile…..
…or the beauty would take your breath away.
Even the sky was beautiful….. whatever it chose to do.

having fun

And above all,

falling in love with our horses

It was a wonderful trip

And anyone who knows me, knows that I could go on and on and on.

But that may be at the risk of boring you, my dear non horsey friends.

So I shall put a full stop right here.

If you want to know more,

contact https://horsesandcattle.com

Or me xo

Stanley… No Words….

……. does not mean no riding.

On the contrary there has been plenty of riding.

The Nut. Which one I hear you say? You decide.

What it Does means is that finally,

and absolutely,

there are no words

(or to perhaps, very few words)

that can describe this new world I have discovered.

Having met the love of my life on my first ride to Tasmania

What’s not to love about this young man?

www.leepowrie.com/Tassie-Tigers

I could not resist riding with him again.

I mean, come on……..
… Really ….

In the Barossa, South Australia

http://www.leepowrie.com/Barossa-heaven

Just look at him …..
Okay, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I get it. Still…….

and again,

wherever I could.

Getting the idea about heaps of riding

How could I resist my amazing young steed, willing and crazy and everything that kept me on my toes and in love.

Him, coupled with Jen & Jeremy, Australian Horse Adventures http://www.australianhorseadventures

was a temptation too great to resist.

So why, you ask, no blog?

The answer dear friends is simple.

No words.

When the opportunity came to ride my

valiant steed and catch up with Jen and Jeremy –

I jumped at it.

Well, I jumped on a plane, to be precise

(pre covid you understand)

The flight now that I think of it, was not without incident.

I was ‘apprehended’ – no other word for it by about 12 burly uniformed,

very uniformed;
armed,

very armed and not just with dogs,

police of some sort.

They appeared to be waiting for me and showed no interest in any other passenger;

I was marched off into a very small room –

and searched….

another blog perhaps….

Suffice to say, I was, finally released,

my reputation somewhat intact

my luggage most certainly not.

A hop and a skip across the Bass Strait……

Once released,

I found myself standing at the Devonport aerodrome –

waiting to go to Stanley, for the adventure of a lifetime.

Stanley is a lovely town, dominated by a volcanic plug of rock, The Nut.

The so called Nut is a remarkable structure

and some of us walked up every morning.

It became a ritual salute to the rising sun.

Perhaps that’s why we have had such good weather on each ride.

(Yes, I have been there twice. That’s how great it is)

Highfield House sits proudly looking down onto Stanley.

A relic from a determined Van Diemen’s Land Company’s attempt to

tame a land that refused to be tamed.

It’s story is bold and tragic.

Highfield House looks much smaller than it is. This was a deliberate design to misrepresent it to London to gain approval for its construction.
Moments captured in the gardens of Highfield House

We were, as usual, spoilt in terms of riding. The horses are amazing; Jen & Jeremy superb horseman who help, encourage and educate us all the time.

We were, as usual aching from the laughter,

bulging from the amazing food

and blessed with renewing old friendships

and forming new ones.

Girls just wanna
have fun !
And fun we had……
A plenty !

And so, instead of words, this time,

I shall try and capture moments through

our photographs.

Always something to laugh at
That’s my man looking at the Nut

And so I could continue,

the most Stunning scenery

The most stunning views.

The most stunning adventures.

But I have learnt that my non horsey friends

find every horse photo looks the same

and bore you I do not want to do.

Suffice to say,

Stanley is worth a visit, more than once, and if you

DO happen to ride – you MUST ride there.

http://Australian Horse Adventures.com.au

Highfield House from the Nut
Another Nut
Whatever floats your boat….. so to speak
no words…..
needed to describe….
the views.

Me and my man
My other steed – dear Piccolo

Photos gathered from friends -with gratitude.

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