I’m getting a little behind in my blogging! But I want to include our weekend trip to Mudgee. We headed out about 11 am Saturday. We drove through the Blue Mountains, stopping at little Springwood to eat our packed lunch. It is about a 4 hour drive to Mudgee if you don’t stop. Once you get past Katoomba, it is a 2 lane road with many curves through mountains and hills. There were many times we wanted to take a picture, but there are not any places to pull over. The pictures above are at a spot where we found a little lane to a home. Dave is standing by the Toyota Corolla we drove to give to the Hawthornes.


These 2 pictures were also taken when stopped on the little lane. The climate is much dryer past The Blue Mountains. We passed coal mines, power plants and ranches with sheep and cattle.  As we got near Mudgee, we saw several beautiful vineyards. Sister Hawthorne says the motels fill up fast there because it is popular to visit the vineyards and their very nice cafes. When we arrived in Mudgee, we drove to see the church, which is on the hill overlooking the city.

We walked around the Putta Bucca Wetlands and saw a variety of birds. The only birds we recognized by name were the pelicans and ducks.

We sat in our first “bird hide”, a little wooden “house” with benches inside and wide windows to quietly watch the birds. You can see it’s green roof as you look across the lake.

Would you have walked around the wetlands after seeing this sign? We only saw birds and ants.

This permanently disabled quarry truck is listed as one of the things to see in the wetlands!

Elder and Sister Hawthorne took us out to dinner to a lovely Thai restaurant where a member of the Branch is a cook. The fresh rice paper rolls with plum sauce were lovely. The fresh rice paper is translucent and soft and is rolled around a combination of fresh vegetables and meat. I’m sorry I forgot to take any pictures. I also learned I like their dumplings and oyster sauce is very nice. Dave’s meal was too spicy for me.

We stayed in a very comfortable motel with a large room, soft chairs and a good bed. We went to Woolies and bought fruit, hot cross buns and juice so we could just have breakfast in our room. We closed the window and needed a blanket at night. I wore my jacket to church Sunday morning!

There was a feeling of love and unity in their meetings. We got to meet District President Sullivan, who works closely with President Back. He brought young women from other parts of the district to meet with the District Young Women President and have dinner in her home. He grew up in the Mortdale Ward, so we have met many of the families he knows from his youth.

Above you see Sister Hawthorne and Elder Hawthorne standing in the church parking lot on a windy Sunday afternoon. Mudgee is in the valley behind them. Top right is the Church building. Sister Hawthorne fixed us a delicious lunch right at the church of potato, macaroni and chef’s salads. We had an Australian dessert: hot apple pie with custard on top. It is really good! We liked it so much, we have purchased apple pie and custard twice since returning to Sydney. I wish I could invite you over for dessert!

We exchanged cars with the Hawthornes while there. They received our former car with about 3,000 kilometres on it and we drove home their older car, which will now go to the Elders in Ingleburn whose current car is being sold off. We missed the back up camera and cruise control on the way home! We left both our umbrellas in the car, so can no longer complain when young Elder and Sisters do the same.

The Hawthornes told us an outlook to stop at on our way home Sunday afternoon. This is Capertee Canyon, the 2nd widest canyon in the world, the Grand Canyon being 1st. It is not as deep, but is very wide. It has beautiful cliffs and is very green.


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