Pancakes at the Factory. Maygar’s tour. The three Y’s – Yarck, Yea, Yarra Valley. Rebirth at Smedley’s Lane. Balgownie in the Valley.

This morning we woke around 8.45 again because we had a full day ahead of us.  We washed away the sleep with a long hot shower and packed our bags before heading down to the dining room for another outstanding breakfast.  After a light bowl of cereal Rebecca cooked a stack of pancakes for each of us.  The Princess was so impressed that she asked for the recipe – pancakes in Hong Kong for Roey!!   This morning’s breakfast was accompanied by a beautiful log fire, wonderful background music and several cups of freshly brewed coffee.  Ah – heaven!!
After breakfast The Princess took some portrait shots of our host Rebecaa and I had a very interesting conversation with a three year old!  Oliver, our host’s youngest son was intrigued by my Donald Duck impersonation so we got along fine.  Indeed, I convinced him that he needed to pay us a visit in Hong Kong and take in Disneyland.  We also talked about purchasing a horse and carriage and numerous other “country boy” toys. Whilst Oliver was most impressed with the thought of traveling the wold and acquiring new toys, his mother was eager to show me the door!

After checking out from the Butter Factory we revisited the small coffee shop in Euroa and picked up a takeaway Chai Tea Latte and a Flat White before driving out to Ian and Jen’s vineyard – Maygar’s Hill

Jen met us at the cellar door and introduced us to a couple of friends that had joined her for a coffee.  The Princess toured the chalet and cellar and I   spent time chatting to the two very interesting locals.

After a very short stop at the vineyard we said our goodbyes and returned to the road.  We drove via Ruffy (a very small town in the Strathbogie Ranges) then onto a “blink and you miss it town called Yarck. The drive through the ranges and country landscape was very pleasant – a far cry from the skyscraper landscape of Hong Kong!

From Yarck we drove a short distance to the town of Yea – my birthplace.  We stopped in Yea and had a look around the tow.  I showed The Princess some of the things I remember from my younger years – it has not changed too much. As it was nearing lunch we bought a very tasty sausage roll from the bakery the got back on the road (Melba Hwy) and drove to Yarra Glen in the beautiful Yarra Valley.

The drive along the Melba Highway took us through the area that was devastated by the bushfires earlier this year.  The very visible effects of the fires bought home the scale of the fires.  One pleasing aspect to the drive was the signs of Mother Nature’s recovery.  Green shoots, new branches and leaves and a sense of renewal – pretty but not significant enough to erase the memories of a terrible day in the history of Victoria.

We arrived in Yarra Glen around mid-afternoon and met up with an old school friend of mine.  Brendan grew up in the town and he was visiting his parents for the weekend. He is now a director in a company that he started called Matrix Gold and we enjoyed learning about the projects he is involved in.  Brendan caught gold fever in the early 1980’s and he has become a subject matter expert in the Victorian Gold industry. He is aiming to publicly list the company in the coming months.

After saying goodbye to Brendan we drove out to my sister’s newly built place in the Yarra Valley.  My sister’s family lost their house in the fires that ravaged the area in February and they have just moved into their newly built home on the 2 acres they own in the valley.  We “toured” their beautiful new home and caught up with their news before checking into a spa/hotel just around the corner from their house.

The Balgownie Estate Hotel and Spa is located at the southern end of the Yarra Valley.  It is perched on the side of a hill and the views from the hotel are spectacular.  The hotel has been built in a very eco-friendly way and each room takes in the view of the ranges and valley.  Very nice.

We felt like we had been eating all day so we ordered room service and shared a lovely bottle of Balgownie Estate shiraz.  We were quite mellow after the second glass and we continued the “relax on red” theme by slipping into the spa.

We selected some very relaxing music on our iPod, connected it to the rooms music system and absorbed the ambience of being in beautiful place.

Our bodies and minds wound down rather quickly so we honoured ourselves by slipping into the wonderfully comfortable bed and drifting off to sleep.

An outstanding day in the state of Victoria.  Great food. Great friends, Great family. Great life. We hope this finds you making the most of the greats in your life.  Roey and The Princess.

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