Birthday Party in Moonan Flat

We travelled over the mountain to Moonan Flats for our friend Mandy's special birthday. The road over the pass was in bad condition, so we had to bump slowly along, trying to avoid the potholes. Eventually we arrived at the Victoria Hotel, where a surprise party had been arranged.

Mandy, centre, was surprised as people gradually arrived at, 
what she thought was, a quiet family lunch

Mandy's mother, sisters and brother-in-law

People gathered on the back terrace of the Victoria Hotel

Guests entering into the festive spirit

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed catching up with old friends.

I love the old-world feel of the pub

It definitely has that country feel!

We were shocked to see how very dry the Upper Hunter Valley was. Not a blade of green grass to be seen. We drove past dry and dusty pastures, and creeks reduced to a trickle, or even just piles of dry rocks. In places, the once "Mighty Hunter River" had become a series of muddy puddles. The farmers here were desperate for rain.

Fortunately, since our visit, the rains have arrived and the pastures are becoming green again. Maybe, when the land fully recovers, the farmers will be able to survive the dreadful effects of the drought, and recover their livelihoods.

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