The King Valley turned out to be a bit of a fizzer wine wise (and not like a nice spritzy prosecco). So we did things the hubby’s way.
There is zero internet in the King Valley, and we had done zero advance research ahead of turning up on a Wednesday afternoon. Google-less, we drove aimlessly through vine-filled green lush loveliness, without finding anywhere for even a sip of wine. It was torture. We drove into five promising laneways only to have to turn back (very, very slowly as we had the camper trailer in tow) with no wine. We finally found one that was open and they ran down to greet us and tried to sell us a case of “aged” wine from 2002 for $100. Sorry guys, if you can’t even get me to buy heavily discounted wine (and they couldn’t), then there must being something seriously wrong with it (there was).
The hubby convinced me that we needed a break from wineries, and we ditched our (literally) fruitless venture, to try something he enjoyed. Careening down steep muddy tracks. Eek!
We had no internet. But we had our trusty HEMA map that told us a mere 7kms away from the end of the winery trail, lay a remote campsite along the King River. 7kms – that’s fine, says me. Vamos. What the hubby knew – because he had done advance research on the local dirt tracks – was that it was 7kms of rocky, muddy, river-y, 4WD geek heaven. Lawyer hell. The risks! The dangers! The what-ifs!
We had bought a big muscly land cruiser (Bonnie) and an off road camper trailer (The Shack) so we didn’t have to stick to the main roads and Big4 campsites**. I knew this in theory – but had not spent much time thinking about the realities (unlike the hubby who had spent months before our trip watching you tube clips of the toughest 4WD tracks in Australia, and just knew, that one day he would be doing that too …. if only he could convince his wussy lawyer wife to stop stressing).
This is why we don’t put the lawyer in charge of adventure time
I was (almost but not quite literally) shitting myself. It was a butt clenching, bone jangling, petrifying drive down, and up, steep, muddy and narrow tracks that I would have thought twice about walking down, let alone hauling tons of metal and our kids through. What if we get stuck, what if we start rolling back, what if we fall off the side of the cliff???
The hubby talked me (not literally) down from the edge (we were very much still on the edge). This is what we (he) had always wanted to do. This is exactly why we got Bonnie and The Shack. We are completely prepared for this situation. Shit may happen, and we will deal with it if it does. And shit may not happen and we will have a most excellent adventure – are you in or not. Deep breaths…take my lawyer hat off. Ok, I’m in. Let’s go.
And here is our very own 4WD you tube clip
And we did it. Bonnie and The Shack nailed it, the hubby’s you tube training paid off. We crossed a river – we drove completely off the beaten track. The kids loved it and were cheering the whole way. We had a lovely few days by a river. My guts got a work out. And we have the you tube clip to prove it.
So sadly, I have nothing to write home about when it comes to King Valley vinos. But I did come away with something. We have packed it all in and ditched our previous existence, which means we are (I am) going to have to get out of our comfort zone. In the words, and ink, of my wise friend from the Sham, “To cut a long story short….”
*Ok, so technically it was not the lawyer taking a risk. If I had been behind the wheel we would have still been driving around in search of cellar doors. The lawyer was sitting there thinking of many excuses not to do it. And then taking snaps, instagramming, and creating our own you tube channel when everything turned out a-ok. I don’t know why the hubby puts up with me sometimes – I really can be a gigantic pain in the arse.
** Says me, writing this from a Big4 campsite. What we thought would be a few days of respite from the elements turned out to be us trying to get to sleep in a party village of drunken hyenas (which is probably how our poor old neighbours used to feel in Petersham listening to me (and un-named others) belting out Bon Jovi from our deck). No more Big4 – at least not on a Saturday night
A happy PS. I got some King Valley prosecco after all. After our adventures we stopped in Healesville for a few nights and had a top evening at the Healesville Hotel (but not so top a night back at the campsite).