Thursday, 24 September 2015

Endless Green

The Yarra Valley, Victoria

We’re breaking some rules this time round, but I’m reminding myself that I was here so that some credibility might survive. Not too far from my door (an hour’s drive from Melbourne also) is the stunning Yarra Valley, a picturesque setting everyone visiting and living in Victoria should drive through; if you’ve got wheels, use them because it’s one of the ways to take everything in. Motorcyclists are also encouraged to join in.
 The Yarra Valley, Victoria (taken by Ash and Jessica Stacey, 2015)
 The Yarra Valley, Victoria (taken by Melissa Ong, 2015)
The Yarra Valley, Victoria (taken 2015)
I’ve done the drive many a time already; I had family scattered throughout the area for several generations so weekend visits were in an abundance during my childhood… but in all of that I’ve rarely delved into what joys this land can provide. I’ve always enjoyed the plentiful greens hills, the trees waving in the breeze and going over the rock creeks. Embarrassing to some degree, I know, but this sheep happens to know what outsourcing is.

Pinching a few words from some friendlies, with their willing consent of course, I’ve evidently managed to scratch something up. Yes, I could talk about my owns history with the Valley; my grandfather once fired a miniature cannon across the Maroondah Highway and mine knew the family of the singer, Dame Nellie Melba (they were neighbours) just for bragging rights, but that’s kinda where it ends.
There’s an endless landscape of green (think of what Charlize Theron missed out on in Fury Road), inviting towns (Healesville, Coldstream and Yarra Glen just to name a few) and wine abundant; I figured this would be of more interest.

With it already being stated, wine is what you’ll find in the Valley. Wineries and vineyards stand dominant so if you can’t find one there’s something wrong on your end kiddies. I’ve been in and out of several for varying reasons, one of which was when I worked at one decanting old bottles of plonk for a week (DO NOT DO THIS unless you enjoy getting drenched in bad booze), but I’ve made a conscious decision to give the wine industry a backseat in this travel rant.

The Yarra Valley, Victoria (taken 2015)
Not to be a disappointment, I will point out that Balgownie Estate and Mandala have their choice liquids and Stone was where I attended, what was described by another, as the funniest memorial ever! So, with that all out of the way, here’s what I’ve got to share about the rest of the place.
First off the block is the Yarra Valley Dairy, an old fashioned set up that can even draw in the lactose intolerant. These walls I’ve actually stepped into so I won’t be entirely hopeless (there’s a pyramid-shaped cheese coated in wood ash that should be considered). If it happens to be a foodie experience you’re in search of, this is the way to go.

Yarra Valley Dairy, The Yarra Valley, Victoria (taken by Melissa Ong, 2015) 
With a paddock of cows greeting you, you’re invited to try the gourmet cheeses, wines and other delicacies gracing the shelves, all the while being treated to a splendid view of the land. My peep, who was recently there, greatly appreciated the use of local produce and the homely farmhouse feel of the place (I was once there. I agree with her!) We’re going through an age where some places can get hectic and be in your face, but the Dairy is the complete opposite. I assure you!  

Next I’ll point you towards the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie… which is what it is; indulgence. No doubt drawn in by guilty pleasure and the three big bowls of milk, dark and white chocolate rocking the front counter, it’s how interactive the Chocolaterie can be that has the other peep hooked. There was also a Willy Wonka vibe in her words, if I’m not mistaken.     

Yarra Valley Chocalaterie, The Yarra Valley, Victoria (taken by Rachael Asbury, 2015)
Think about it, you’ve got a family you need to satisfy and an unrealised yet closeted desire to give yourself diabetes; the answer is here. There’s so much to choose from, some of which comes in tennis ball form; it’s fresh and you can see it get made and take shape even. Don’t turn away, even if the acne takes over! Ice cream is also involved and that’s a universal language.

Onwards, this is where I share what I truly appreciate about the Yarra Valley. Driving and riding are two means to see what’s going on, but now I share with you the third.

During my since regretted working stint I was fortunate enough to enter the winery, just as the early morning mist was clear and the sun was starting to show, and fixed in the sky were the all too common hot-air balloons. This you could easily spend a good lump of time just looking at. My final contributor (whose Facebook posts inspired this Blogspot one) decided to take the wife, hop in the basket and see everything from another perspective.

The Yarra Valley, Victoria (taken by Ash and Jessica Stacey, 2015)
I’m not one for heights, but I’m convincing myself that an argument will be made one of these days when the income suits; for those who enjoy the scenery, a balloon ride over the endless green might give you a feeling of completion. Peace and relaxation mixes together whilst you float over the hills, with turbulence coming along for the ride, but that’s only (and it can be) a minor setback. Another might be the sound that comes with the jets going into effect but we’ll leave things at that.

Despite having only taken part in one of these experiences, please don’t go judging. I’ve always welcomed the drives along the winding roads and that’s what my dear bloggie is all about; taking what’s most enjoyed and sharing it with others. This time around I’ve just sought out what others have taken most from the setting and done what I’ve always done. There are three new sheep about; be afraid… or don’t, but if given the opportunity, go out and see the Yarra Valley.
Endless green is all you’ll need. 


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