Monday, 23 September 2013

A glorious Spring day & a ferry ride

Yesterday I was invited to a Chantilly High Tea to celebrate a combined double 60th birthday and the same couple's 30th wedding anniversary.  With DH still overseas, I went on my own.  It was a glorious day, and as the party was being held in an outer NW suburb of Sydney, I decided to go via the Berowra Waters ferry.  It is a very long time since I have been down that way, and I wasn't disappointed.  It was a beautiful drive.

The first part of the trip is the usual trip down the F3 freeway.  The powers that be have decided to rename that the M1 Pacific Motorway.  Why do we have to have a useless, expensive name change??  Think of the wasted money spent on signage, road markings, letterheads, maps etc. etc. etc.  Its been the F3 for 30 years, why change??

Enough ranting.  After leaving the F3, you cross a bit of the northernmost fringe of Sydney and almost immediately enter the Berowra National Park where you begin the descent into the Galston Gorge.  The road is very narrow, steep and very winding, with hair-raising steep hairpin bends. 


Almost to the bottom there was a tiny lay-bye where I stopped.  This is where I was headed:


 
You can see the vehicular ferry wharf just left of the centre of the photo.  Before I left, I checked on the ferry times.  So impressed!  It runs 24/7 and is a free service.
 
On a little further, and here is the ferry itself, just leaving the wharf to go to the other side.
 


And here we are all loaded up, and on our way
 
 
 
On the other side, the road runs through several villages in a semi-rural landscape.  There are horses and cows and orchards and lovely houses.  Our rural villages outside urban areas don't resemble villages I have visited in any other country.  They are few and far between and cover several miles with just a slightly denser grouping of houses than in other locations.  Often there is little more than a service station and a small school, perhaps one or two streets and then you are back out in the country.  This being the fringes of the Sydney Metropolitan area, the plots of land are mostly not more than 100 acres, with many of them smaller of course. 
 
The high tea was great fun.  I have been friends with this couple since before they were married, and know many of their friends and family, so I caught up with everyone that I don't see except on big family occasions.  There are many new additions in the form of spouses and babies, and lots of gossip to catch up on.  They have recently extended their beautiful home with the addition of a lovely garden room connected to the main house with a walkway.  In typical Cathy fashion, the whole place is beautifully decorated and stylish. 
 
And here was the cake:

 
I loved the Mad Hatter theme and the addition of that huge fish!  That was such a hoot.  You can just see the fisherman lounging in the row boat at the back.
 
I chose not to come home on the ferry as it was quite late when I set off and the road was pretty isolated.  Besides it was dark and it didn't matter that I was not on the scenic route.
 
On another note entirely; once a year, in Spring, I have a chap come in to do the heavy pruning and to put a layer of mulch down.  We need mulch here to help retain as much moisture as possible as the summers are hot.  Chris usually prepares the garden beds by weeding where necessary first.  This year he had a Steam Weeder here.  This is a machine, which came on the back of a ute, with a tank of water on one side and an impressive looking engine with many dials on it
 
 
All this machinery is used with a hose and a wand which looks vaguely like a vacuum cleaner
 
 
 
This is Chris' mate Jeremy operating the equipment.  They used it on a largish patch of couch which we struggle to keep under control.  Couch has deep very frail roots which are the devil to remove.  If you just pull it out, the roots break off, and regrow.  Here it is about 2 hours after they steamed it.  As you can see it is already dying - hardly any green in it at all.

 
Such an exciting concept!  Weed eradication with no poison, completely organic.  Anyone interested, the company is called Weedtechnics, and they have a Facebook page as well
 
Til next time.... Keep on stitching (not weeding LOL)
 

2 comments:

  1. We have a ferry that crosses the river, back and forth, all day long. It only runs when the river is not frozen (so...summer), and shuts down from 11 p.m. til 6 or 7 a.m. If you are on the wrong side of the river when it's done, too bad for you! (It just means extra driving to find an alternate route - rather a pain. Better to be on time!) In the winter there is an ice bridge in that spot, and during freeze-up and break-up, people have to go the long way.

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  2. Your drive looks beautiful - and that cake is absolutely amazing!!

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