Barossa Blessings

Exactly the idea….

I felt blessed when Jen & Jeremy of

Australian Horse Adventures

gave up their one free weekend in their Barossa season

and invited me to come and ride with them.

I was doubly blessed to be able to invite four friends.

Each special on their own remarkable way……

Actually,

I rewind…..

I was blessed four times over;

Since to have even one special friend is a blessing;

So to be able to invite

four friends; each so special in their own way;

makes me blessed fourfold.

Friends and Horses = Heaven on earth.

For three days we rode through stunning countryside;

Breath-taking views
whichever way we looked

For three days we rode amazing horses.

whichever angle…..
one chose……..
… they were stunning…..
Although some angles were better……
… than others

We had amazing weather;

clear skies;

no wind,

and one short sharp shower.

Just strong enough to make our horses drop their heads

and canter flat out into and through the rain.

To find a rainbow at the other end.

Absolutely exhilarating.

Every meal was a blessing –

Hot home made soup and bread appeared as if by magic in the middle of ‘nowhere’

Lunch at wineries
celebrations at

Stunning wines and gourmet sandwiches with warm fires.

Tweedie Gully Winery

Country market breakfast.

Degustation dinner and wines.

Langmeil winery
Our FABULOUS hostess, Pauline
a moment captured….

Flowers and pancakes for breakfast on Mother’s day.

This short Barossa breakaway,

after such a tumultuous year

of lock downs in Melbourne,

was an amazingly generous gesture by

Jen & Jeremy

One that will sustain the five of us,

Moment captured

through this never ending see saw that is Melbourne.

One that will stay in my memory forever

as a reminder

to count my blessings.

Thank you both from the bottom of my heart.

And because the Barossa break away Was such a blessing,

I add photographs for those who care to browse.

Thanks to this lovely crew and especially Jen for all these memories.

The matriarch Ruby

Thank you ALL, for being in my life xo

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

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