Friday, July 16, 2004

Travel Journal Part 6

This is a photograph of a peacock at Maggie Beer's Winery and Farm Shoppe. Today we visited some wineries in the Barossa Valley district. It was a bit of a drive but so worth it. We lunched at Maggie Beer's Winery and Farm Shoppe - pate and carmelized onions on melba toast to start, lamb with prosciutto and black lentils with a light shiraz for lunch. It was so peaceful there. It felt as though we had found this secret, hidden place - an enchanted cafe. I imagine the fact that it was on a small pond, down a bunch of dirt roads and that there were peacocks meandering aimlessly about the place added to the feeling of seclusion. While we were there, we spoke to a grizzled old man who keeps the pheasants they make pate out of. He wouldn't let me take his picture but he did let me into each cage to photograph the birds. Their colors are incredible. Deep magentas and blues, startling greens. The males have long tails like bright striped ferns that brush the ground when they walk, but the females are plain brown and without decorative tail feathers. To collect a harem of females in the wild, the male puts on a great, flamboyant show, dancing around and flicking his jewelled feathers in the air. Or so the old man told me. Afterwards we made our way to the Jacob's Creek vineyard. It could not have been any more different from Maggie Beer's farm. It was all sleek chrome and glass with video screens and a metal bar where we perched for tastings. I bought three bottles there - all wine that they don't export to the States, of course. I like Maggie Beer's better though. It was less pretentious. I'm glad I bought some of her's too. A note on driving on the left... Being in the front seat of a car on the left hand side and not driving is vaguely disconcerting. At first I thought that my twitchiness over being too far to the left was just me being nervous and unused to the new passenger/driver arrangement. Then we ended up on the curb and I realized that CB is still getting used to it too.  Posted by Hello