Our day started nice and early courtesy to two little people. I adored having the kids around and after a night of sleep, the kids were bright as buttons and happy giggling souls. The 10 month old baby Eleanor reached for my hand and in doing so, took her very first ever unassisted steps. She took three steps and as if to prove how easy it was, she did it again a few minutes later. This little action would be a highlight for my trip.
After a delicious breakfast of pancakes provided by our hosts, we started to make our way north. The Festival is about an hour north of Brisbane and we decided to travel in normal clothes, opting to dress in the car park on arrival. It seemed to be a popular choice as we were not the only people tugging dresses and amour on in the car park.
Dressed and ready to go; Joe (left) Brittany (right) and me (centre)
We timed it perfectly and arrived before the gates opened. Having prepaid our tickets, we were in the express lane for when the gates opened. Or so we thought. There was some technical issue with the scanners which saw the prepaid entering later than the cash people. Nevertheless, we only had to wait about 40 minutes before we were inside.
First Joust for the day!
First on our agenda was the joust. Tickets for the joust sells out early and we were lucky enough to see the first of the three jousts. While we queued for the joust arena to open, Joe decided to pose for a photo. It was funny to see people crowding in when he got down on his bended knee. I think they expected a proposal.
Joe on bended knee
While we were standing in line, I noticed this gorgeous creature and had to go take a look.
A tame owl checks me out while I check it out.
The joust was fast and exciting. The rider in green is the good lady Sasha and I cheered loudest for her.
Sir Justyn (red) defeats Lady Sasha, despite my screams of encouragement
After the joust, we were free to explore. Really, it should be done over two days and the weather hampered our adventuring. Nevertheless, we did find so many things of interest.
Pork Sausages braised and stewed with apples and onions in a cider based gravy. Look for this recipe in coming weeks!
A whole pig is roasted on a spit over hot coals, turned by hand by this fair maiden.
Roasting meats was common through the different troupes and re-enactment groups. The scent of roasting meats hung in the air and as the day progressed, the smells teased us. The fires over which they roasted were warm and inviting after each down pour and rain shower.
This medieval sample kitchen was complete with fox kits, small wild fowl and fresh herbs.
One of the many feasts for participants. This feast was provided by a medieval troupe that featured the fresh produce that would be fairly common for the era.
I am not sure though if this antipasto would be common back in the day.
Kitchen and feast displays were common amongst the troupes that tried to display sample living for their own demonstration eras. Some seemed obvious while other displays asked questions.
Not to be outdone by the neighbours, this dark age troupe put a lamb on the spit.
This dark age troupe had a brilliant display but I was fascinated by this venison jerky and salami, fresh herbs and drying washing!
This table demonstrates regular dark ages feasts. Fresh and dried fruits and vegetables, duck and chicken eggs, dried fish and meats, raw honey, salt and berries. Pine needle tea was common as was heavy unleavened breads.
Brittany finds herself a husband in the form of this Templar (right)
Brittany had a ball. So many handsome men in shiny, shiny suits!
Amongst all the steel suits was this amazing leather amour.
And Brittany finds a steed…
The Dark Ages Troupe demonstrated bread and cheese making, baking both in this clay oven.
We were grateful to find an undercover chair to sit in while we had our photos taken at the head of the grand table.
It’s a shame my humble camera couldn’t handle the low light of the evenings festivities. We got to witness a gorgeous gypsy wedding, a brilliant fire display and some outstanding trick horse riding.
We were exhausted, cold and wet by the end of the day thanks to the unpredictable weather. It was fantastic though, and we will definitely be back next year.
Tomorrow, the final day of our road trip.