Drive one hour south of the Gold Coast through incredibly scenic countryside and you are in the rural heartland of New South Wales. The pulse beats slower and people are friendly and seem to smile more.
It is the third Sunday of the month and folks gather from far and wide to experience the Uki Markets (pronounced “yook-eye”). A unique part of country life in this quirky little village. Cars are parked in every spare spot along the road leading into the village, around the back streets and packed into the school yard and it is a slow crawl around the streets looking for a park It is a hot summer day and shade from large trees that surround the market area are very welcome.
Before getting to the main part of the market we pass these colourful shops.
The herb shop, surprisingly, is closed. Can you read why? The sign reads…
“Will be closed due to the sun being in Aquarius. We would like to wish you all a beautiful year ahead”
That is what this region is all about. It is known for its alternative style culture and this sign says to me that these people value the universe and the signs it gives, rather than the commercial world of money-making.
This building, on the left, is the community art gallery. We wander in to be confronted with an amazing galaxy of art and craft. All created by the locals. Look at the rustic picture frames. As I drooled over the quality of the photos and paintings and all the other crafts, that “in your face” emu picture was sold.These delicate, unique sculptures are made with feathers and quills. The artist has been granted a licence and special permission to use these from native birds and animals.
Then I spotted Slim Rusty, I couldn’t miss, him sitting bold and brash in the middle of the hall. He brought a smile to my face and memories of my teenage years. What imagination these artists have.
This beautiful Slovakian lady was dressed in a creation of her own design, but it was that gorgeous, perfect lily that caught my gardeners eye.
But now to explore the market. What an eclectic mix. The lady in blue just wandering around creating a gentle, lilting tune on her recorder/flute/tin whistle (not sure what it was) but it created happy, calming waves of sound drifting through the air. Stalls of clothes some on racks, others just scattered on the ground. Jewellery, gemstones, pottery and second-hand goods. So much to look at.
Jack loved chatting to the locals, and in his “happy pants” he really just fits in.
Plenty of food vans to choose from and by now I was getting quite peckish.
We chose this Pizza, he had been coming here for over 20 years and every one I spoke to said he made the very best Pizzas. Oh boy, it was to die for, a thin, crispy crust, soft cheesy filling and a large slice that just melted in your mouth and only $4. I’m just drooling as I write about it. So armed with our pizza slice and a cup of organic, locally grown coffee we sat and listened to the music and watched and made a short video of the very talented young woman hula hoop dancing.
It was also a very good place to people watch.
More stall trolling and I bought a very good second-hand artist book for only $10, then I spotted a lovely little glass-topped, cane coffee table also only $10, and Jack bought it for me.4 hours had wizzed by and as New South Wales is on daylight saving and Queensland isn’t it was still only early afternoon our time. So we decided to go a different way home and explore another area we haven’t been to before, but more about that in the next post….
I’m joining Restless Jo and her band of intrepid world wide walkers again this week. Come along with me and see where they take you…