20.3.2017 Alphington to Mornington Pennisula

One of the reasons for coming to Australia, apart from seeing my wonderful relatives, was watching The Wine Show on C4 which visited Mornington Pennisula and marvelled at all the wines and local foods on offer. We decided we needed to go and see what the fuss was all about if we were ever in the area. This was cemented by meeting a couple from Mornington on the train into Birmingham the day after we saw the TV show, they said it was a great place to visit so we were on it.

Our transfer from Alphington to Dromana, on the Mornington Pennisula, was to take about 3 hours and involve 2 trains and 2 buses, this was achieved by using our Myki card at a cost of $6.10. This is an absolute bargain. 

The blue skies and hot temperatures were over, replaced by cold, wet and very windy weather. In other words a typical Monday morning which at home would send you into a spiral of depression, until about Thursday. Our host Kathy had an errand to run to the local train station so offered us a lift to the station so we avoided a thorough soaking.

Farewells were said and we belatedly remembered to hand the house keys back as well!  We could smell coffee at the small suburban station so had a Monday morning pick me up, and lesson in coffee, from a guy who had left Scotland long enough ago to loose his accent and learn a lot about coffee. Strangely for a barrista he had no beard and no flat cap. I asked for 2 double expressos and we waited. He explained the Aussie love for coffees, which we had noticed, and the clamouring in London for your barista to be from Sydney or Melbourne as this was a sign of top notch coffee being made. He also said I should be ordering espressos otherwise the barista would know I was a heathen in the coffee world. For a small suburban train station to be serving such good coffee from an independent stand wouldn’t happen in UK, there are very few chain coffee shops here. It was a stunning coffee which woke us up, and Guy chatted away for the next hour.

We arrived in Dromana about 1.30pm and got into the Air BnB accommodation we had booked, it was a home all to ourselves. It was exciting to have our own place, complete with washing machine, to wash everything we own, and a kitchen to do some Guy and Al cooking sessions.

As exciting as this was, we were slightly perturbed to find no WiFi password given and could find no router. It seems I had overlooked the lack of WiFi when booking here, which is unfortunate as we wanted to book a vineyard tour for the next day. We had also planned on doing loads of blogging and research for the next, unknown, part of our trip. Oops. 

We have now changed our minds and are thinking we could do some of NZ, even without driving licences, as being here hasn’t been overly expensive or difficult when using public transport. We also can’t bear the thought of not using a flight we have bought to a country we loved 18 years ago, we loved it enough to apply for residency then. Still, let’s see what we decide in the next few days as plans seem to change with moods, i.e. frequently.

A 10 mins walk into Dromana town and we were on the sea front and we found Aussie pies. Guy had a plain pie, I had bolognase thinking it would be the bolognase sauce only, I didn’t think someone would think of putting bolognase sauce AND pasta into a pie. Why would you?? Ugh.

So, we needed to book a tour of vineyards old stylee, by walking to tourist information and picking up leaflets, explaining for the upteenth time how we are on holiday without a driving licence and the need to see as many vineyards and expand our wine knowledge to bore all our mates at home.

2 hours later we had made friends​ with the ladies at Tourist Info, they had rung many places to see if we could get a vineyard tour, with the proviso of being at a good price. Even they thought $400 per day for a tour of 3 or 4 vineyards was too much!!!!!! 

Eventually we were in contact with Chris, who runs ‘Your Shuttle‘ who agreed to squeeze us into her already booked tour group, she could fit in our 3 vineyards of choice, 10 Minutes by Tractor, Eldridge, Monalto and throw in a couple more! Happy days. She told us not to wear heels as we would need to walk inbetween a couple of vineyards, Guy said it was no problem, I hadn’t worn them in years, certainly hadn’t packed any in my rucksack. 

We hugged our new friends, bought a fridge magnet as a show of gratitude and walked back to town along the beach enjoying the sunshine and had a quick paddle. 

A posh, Waitrose like, supermarket shop trip later and we had all the ingredients for a superb tea. Aussie beef was flash fried and served with slow cooked onions, peppers and cheese and rocket, all in a Lebanese wrap. It tasted sooooo much better than it looked which admittedly was like someone had vomited on our plates.

We watched Aussie food network TV, with adverts 😫 and listened to the wind and rain pick up outside.

Wines tasted:

Mornington Estate Pinot  Noir  2014

Yarra Valley Payne’s Rise shiraz 2014

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