On Wednesday 2nd January I had an amazing day, I was so excited I could hardly contain myself as we headed for the minibus for a day trip. Captain Caveman had sensed my potential boredom and booked us on one of the ASF activity days that involved wine and chocolate tasting.
We met at the car park at 9.30am sharp but alas Henry was missing again (an elderly fella with a habit of being late for everything).
We arrived at La Villa vineyard which was a delightful little place, I loved it straight away. We started with a bit of fizz and I was distraught to note we had non-drinkers on the wine tasting tour (not the drivers). Some of the participants were older ex-cavers who were very badly behaved and a bit embarrassing. One man even fell into a big wooden wine rack and nearly knocked all the bottles off, but didn’t move and other ‘olds’ joined him in leaning on it. Never the less I did manage to enjoy rather a few of the wines (actually all of them) even though I couldn’t hear the owner giving his tasting notes.
By midday we had sampled all the wines, plus a cider, purchased a bottle of their award winning chardonnay and were on our way to the next stop.
I’m not a big fan of chocolate and I’m also meant to be following my diet plan so the chocolate factory surprised me. We had a guided tour with lots of free tastes of Belgian chocolate at the famous House of Anvers, plus a free cool bag each. After shovelling in as many truffles, pralines and fudge as possible we were ready to leave so that we could fit in a picnic lunch (some of the olds were sat in the busy cafe waiting on omelettes so it took some rounding up).
Our third stop of the day was to an eclectic shop where we had a hot drink and me a gf chocolate tart before heading off for a late picnic lunch at Bell’s parade.
We had a quick stop back at the campsite before getting on the bus to the wildlife park where we would have a rather rushed BBQ before a treat of a trip to Gunsplain caves.
I also was annoyed that we had to choose between eating and visiting the animals at the park and of course we chose food. The nearest I got to an animal was holding the hand of a model kangaroo in the foyer while Captain Caveman begrudgingly took my photo.
There were over a hundred of us in groups of 4 and it was organised chaos so when we got to the entrance of the caves both Captain Caveman and I realised it was too much of a trauma for me to go in. I waited for an hour while everyone went underground and sat on a bench outside the locked cave entrance. Just as everyone left a latecomer, Gabriel, ran down the steps hoping to catch up. Unfortunately he was stuck with me so we had a bit of a chat, he with his sunglasses on and squinting in to the sunlight as he spoke. He apologised for wearing his sunglasses as the sun started to go down and I got confused by this when he suggested I move. It slowly became apparent I was sat next to a spider which (luckily for me) had just killed a wasp. I moved at Gabriel’s request but was brave enough to take a closer look at the dull red mark on it’s back while trying to get my phone out for a photo.
I missed the photo but had a lovely spider lesson from Gabriel – the ‘oh it’s not that big, I’m not too scared’ comment he thought was hilarious. The spider was quite a nasty one, a red back, and if I was bitten could have proved troublesome given we were 55 minutes from the group’s return and about 1.5hrs from a doctor or hospital.
Eventually the cavers returned and we got a lift back instead of waiting for the bus – the bar wasn’t open so we went to bed early.