Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thredbo Blues

Thredbo/Charlotte Pass has been our favourite mid January destination for a couple of years now - a perfect time of the year and a perfect place for bush walking in this unique alpine environment and enjoying the company of good friends (and family).

This year we decided to sign up for the Thredbo Blues Festival events too.  The fun started with our now customary lunch at Wild Brumby on Friday, settling into Christiana Lodge on Bobuck Lane in Thredbo Village afterwards  then a round trip on the chairlift up to Eagles Nest and back (free chairlift rides ALL weekend with our Blues Festival tickets!) before heading out to the night's entertainment. Sugarcane Collins in the Lounge Bar, Mal Eastick (in the Kosciuszko Room), Kashmere Club and Swamphouse (in the Keller Bar) all proved to be good choices on Friday night, although many of us were concerned about how our hearing might survive the weekend with the volume levels set VERY HIGH!

Sugarcane Collins and Swamphouse were my favourite acts of the night.

Saturday morning we got going reasonably early, determined to do the Dead Horse Gap - Thredbo River walk (just under 10klm) before settling in for more music.

It was extremely windy - so much so that they stopped the chairlift soon after our ride so a lot of people got stranded on top of the mountain for quite a few hours.  Our chairlift ride was pretty rocky - no wonder they stopped it for a few hours until conditions were safer.

It was a battle to take this shot below at the start of our walk. Unless you concentrated all your efforts on staying upright it felt like the wind could blow you right off balance. I'd say it was blowing consistently at 30 - 40 klms per hour but with much stronger gusts when you least expected it!

 But, nevertheless, the mountains looked beautiful today - as they always do...

 These wisps of cloud were just racing across the sky, buffeted by the wind.

Judy was taking some stunning shots with her brand new iPhone 6 (Plus) this weekend. We're all very impressed...

 Just look at this beautiful shot below!........... (thank you Judy L and the iPhone 6 (plus)).

We realised from the growth pattern of the trees that these strong winds from the West are very common around here.

Starting the descent from Dead Horse Gap we saw up close the devastating impact of the 2003 fires on the mountain forests.  The regrowth is very slow under these harsh alpine conditions.

The further down the mountain we walked the wind started to ease and temperatures rose. The walk back to the Village along Thredbo River gave us lots of opportunities to crisscross the riverbed and admire it from lots of different angles.

 ..and admire the alpine wild flowers..

Some of us were in a bit of pain by the end - that's hard on the knees walking rough paths downhill for that distance. We needed to break open the Majella and Rob's birthday cake pretty early that afternoon before we felt we could take on an evening of the Blues.

We came good though, in time to catch the Harry Brus Band (NOT the Bruce Harris Band, Judy P!), Russell Morris, and the Bondi Cigars. The highlight of the evening was the Russell Morris performance: a good hour and a half of great new material and a reprise of some of our favourites from the late sixties and seventies (remember the Real Thing everybody?).

Sunday was a cruisey day for us - a very late start; chairlift ride up to Eagles Nest Cafe (Australia' s highest cafe/restaurant) for a beer/coffee and then back to the Village for lunch...

 at Brown Bear Inn..which surprised us all with the high quality of the food, wine, service, views....

 and great entertainment (the very talented Brody Young). The Fig Pudding dessert special was unbelievably good too.

The afternoon program was: George Washingmachine (as talented a dilettente as he ever was), a repeat performance by Russell Morris - this time poolside, in the warm afternoon sun...........

 ..rounded off by a solo show by young Shaun Kirk, a mind blowingly energetic performance by an extremely talented one man band of a musician - who blew everyones' socks off and ended up exhausting us.  We were finished off by his show - only capable of drinking wine and chilling out back at the Lodge afterwards.

It was a fabulous weekend though - one we hope to do again - and a great one to share with good friends and family. Lucky us!

1 comment:

judy l said...

Beautiful photo's Jude. Thanks for a great weekend. We can't wait to do it all again next year and I am definately packing the earplugs.