For Mats birthday this year, I decided to do something train oriented. I started looking up train restaurants and came across one which wasn't too far from home, called Rattlers and then soon realized they had accommodation in carriages too.. I though it'd be a great idea to take him away for the night and experience something different... I booked a package deal, which included 1 nights stay and a 6 course meal for 2, which was surprisingly at a very reasonable cost! I wanted to keep it all a secret, which was hard as I had booked a month before his birthday and I was excited because I knew he would absolutely love the idea. When the day finally came, I had to be sneaky but act as normal as possible to not give anything away.. I packed a bag with clothes etc.. for the night and an esky with food and drinks and hid them in the boot of the car. I told Mat to bring along his camera because I was taking him out for the day to go look at some train stuff I'd discovered on the net.. I didn't tell him exactly whereabouts we were going (I wasn't too sure myself), we just jumped in the car, entered Dungog into the GPS and off we went...
I had found a Museum in Paterson on the net that I thought would be of interest to him, so I took him to the station to see if he could get some shots from around the platform (I knew the Museum was shut for the day). He was real happy with that as he got a few good pics..
|A photo through the gate of the Rail Motor Society at Paterson|
The reception was in a carriage, which happened to also be the Rattlers Restaurant.. Inside I was greeted by a very friendly lady, who seemed to be almost excited as me as she knew about my big surprise! She told me that she had swapped us from the carriage I had booked (3601) to The Flyer, as it was closer to the train line (which goes straight through the property), where Mat could just look out the window and watch the trains go past.. I was very grateful that the lady had done that for us :)
I walked back to the car, where Mat was standing, taking photos of a train that was passing through.. I'm glad I didn't go ahead with my 1st idea of blindfolding him because I'm pretty sure he would've ripped it off as soon as he'd heard that train hahaha...
|8224/8232/8244 haul a loaded coal train through the property|
The inside was much bigger and roomier than I had expected it to be.. Very neat and tidy with 2 rooms- 1 with a queen bed and the other with 2 sets of bunks, a kitchen, dining area, lounge and a bathroom.. Attached to the side of the carriage was a private patio with a bench. Just outside was our own wooden table and chairs and wood BBQ.
The actual property itself is located in a beautiful, secluded location, set amongst meadows with big green hills in view. It was peaceful and quiet (besides the trains coming through). We sat outside admiring the view for a while, where I mentioned to Mat that we were booked in for dinner later on.. By then he was speechless and still couldn't believe that I had organized all of that, without him knowing! I wish I had a camera to take photos of the vague look on his face! We unpacked the car and then relaxed outside for a bit with a couple of drinks before dinner, watching the odd train go past...
In the morning we were greeted by a herd of cows in the paddock next to us- that was extremely funny as there were sohhh many of them and they were loud!! We definately didn't need an alarm clock! We enjoyed our last cuppa outside in the clean, fresh air before packing up our belongings.. We headed down to the viewing platform (which is a bridge that goes over the line near the entry of the property), to wait for the scheduled train that was coming through to take some photos. It's a great view from there if you're wanting to see the trains..
|DMU approaching the viewing platform|
|Some railway memorabilia|
|Mat with a couple of the locals|
|Martins Creek station|
|5917 sitting at East Greta Junction|
Well, that was fun! Hope you found it some what interesting... Time to hand over back to the Boss!!
Till next time