The problem with being overly ambitious is that you often don’t realise it until you are over half way in. My partner and I fell victim to this in our visit to Mt Remarkable.
Excited by our last camping hiking experience we thought it was entirely practical to drive from Adelaide at 7:30am arrive at Baroota campground about 11am, set up the tent and then head off on the 18km Hidden Gorge Hike. Followed on day two with the 12.2km Mt Remarkable summit hike, pack up the car and have enough time to stop through Tsharkes Cellar door to pick up some wine.
We were right on track until halfway through the Hidden Gorge hike where we realised we were going to have trouble finishing this one hike let alone completing another hike of comparable length and after a broken nights sleep, as we so often have in a tent. Us changing our plan, while it meant we would be missing out on what I am sure would be an amazing hike, meant that we left the weekend feeling relaxed and that we had achieved something rather than stressed and too sore to even move.
The Hidden Gorge hike is a stunning hike and well worth the aching muscles. The dramatic red rock faces were too tempting for my bouldering partner to resist and we stopped often to give him the chance to try climbing. The wild life was also dramatic particularly when we nearly walked into a meter long Goanna at head height while it was climbing a tree, this was the first Goanna I had ever seen.
After the long hike a few glasses of wine and a warm dinner were required. Consisting of a chicken curry with rice from semi cooked rice packets we have found to be fantastic for camping as they don’t even have to be kept cold, and our last bottle of Tsharke Cabernet Savignon from 2011.
Sunday consisted of sleeping in until 8:30, a real feat while in a tent that lets all the morning sun in. Then the drive back with a detour through Clare Valley where we got lucky with Grosset vineyards being open. This is a winery that is normally only open 6 – 8 weeks a year as thy produce such small batches and they only stay open until sold out. Their Chardonnay is one of the best I have had but was too priced out of my range being $59.
After the stop at Grosset we made our way through to Tsarkes where we found that the next vintage of the Cabernet Savignon has been released and I liked it even more than the 2011 vintage. A sure buy every time I drop by the Barossa Valley.
Wine tip : The traditional way of making chardonnay means that taste wise it should be fresh fruit flavours to begin with, cut through with acidity followed lastly by the distinctive oak, buttery flavour. The Oak in chardonnay is starting to make a comeback in Australian wine after going out of vogue