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Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Road trip North Coast NSW

It is not everyday you set off down the coast and encounter places like Woolgoolga, Bongil Bongil National Park, Boozer Creek, Bald Knob and Scone so you know you are in for a good time. We picked up so much on this journey which left us bemused and intrigued. Who would have known that Woolgoolga, affectionately known as Woopi is the biggest regional Sikh and Punjabi population in Australia ! That's where you need to be for a good North Indian curry. Scone sadly did not have a cream tea in sight anywhere. 

We travelled some 880 kms down to Newcastle (more about that in my next blog) and after Newcastle we travelled back up to Brisbane through the Hunter Valley, famous for its vineyards and the Great Dividing Range. The roads, as always in Oz, are a pleasure to drive on, perfectly marked, every detail catered for, T junctions and level crossings noted for miles in advance and overtaking lanes which are just about my favourite, coming up with happy regularity. There were also abundant and annoying road works which meant our speed went up and down like a yoyo. I love driving on these empty roads and we stopped frequently to just explore more. We did most of the wine trails in the Hunter Valley stopping at a town called Broke ( hope they mend it soon ) We did a natural trail in Wollombi while it was about 38C and came out of the bushes dying for a drink. We went to the Cafe and ordered an orange juice which took a little while. The girl literally went across the road to the shop to buy the oranges to squeeze and the ice. 

We drove through endless gum trees, open pastures, the occasional roo and plenty of cows to Tamworth, famous for its Country Music festival but also for being the first town in Australia to  have electric street lighting on the 9th of November 1888. Now that is impressive. Armidale was our next stop - apparently the highest city in Australia at all of 980 metres! 

We passed other smaller towns and amusingly they would proclaim their fame and their population on the sign as we entered the town. Population 1792 ... population 3235....

Country towns, all displaying buildings built at the beginning of their settlement, often the post office and the town hall and covered arcades of shops, down the main drag all built on a grid system which made them easy to navigate and populate. Their roots in the Gaelic and Celtic populations who came out to settle firmly embedded in their own Stone henge in Gless Innes displaying what they called Australian Standing Stones donated by all the communities. Towns like Aberdeen and Gloucester leaving you no doubt about who started them up. We drove through the Liverpool Range and thought nostalgically of our time there- but there was no similarity at all as you can imagine. 

 The Australian Standing Stones in Glen Innes.
The homesteads with their rusted milk churns for post boxes, the old falling down barns, the sweet verandahs draped with climbing flowers and crepe myrtle in blossom added to the rustic charm and friendliness of it all. We picked up conversations at hotels and service stations, restaurants and rest stops and they all left us with a smile and another did you know ....

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