Published: February 17th 2011February 14th 2011
Thursday 10th February and we were really quite sad to be leaving Goolwa, The Coorong and the Fleurieu Peninsula. Of course, with no real time constraints, we could have stayed longer but, anyway, we were soon on our way towards Adelaide. It was a warm morning with only a few clouds around and PIE got a bit hot as she pulled Sweetie up a series of steepish hills. I had identified a little place called Old Noarlunga to stop for our morning break so we drove through the village looking for a picnic place by the river. Unfortunately the road we chose to get to the river didn’t reach - it was a dead end - and it wasn’t wide enough to turn round so poor Graham had to reverse all the way back to the main road! Luckily there was no other traffic about so the maneouvre was carried out without too much embarrassment! We managed to find a parking spot by a park close to the river and took our tea and cake to sit on the riverbank to relax for a while. Hundreds of cockateels screeched around us in the trees – they were everywhere and must be
a bit of a nuisance to the locals. There was a pretty fountain in the park dedicated to Princess Diana paid for by the local community to commemorate her life. Back on the road we were soon able to join the Southern Freeway – it’s an amazing road system as, during the morning, traffic can only use it to go into the city and later on in the afternoon traffic uses it to go out of the city – brilliant! Fortunately it was still open in the city direction so it was a simple journey for us and it didn’t take long to get to the suburb of Marion where a Big 4 Caravan Park is situated. We were given a large grassy site with a block and, as there was no-one on the site behind ours, Graham was able to drive across the vacant one straight on to ours and was soon perfectly parked close to the block.
We had a quick drive around the area, mainly to see if we could find the Nissan garage that was listed on the internet as being in the same vicinity as the CP but, if it had been there once,
it certainly wasn’t there now. As the day wore on it became very hot - over 40˚ in the caravan - so later on in the afternoon we had a swim in the CP pool. It is a huge pool – the largest we’ve encountered so far - which meant there was plenty of room for lots of people. As it happened there were only 3 or 4 others using it.
It seemed to get hotter still as the day went on and even opening the windows as far as they would go made little difference. Out of desperation we fished out the little electric ‘fan’ heater and, yes, it had a cool setting so on it went and it did help a bit. Being back in a city meant there was plenty of city noise and we seemed to have more than our fair share of that during the night – police and ambulance sirens and all manner of other things that I could hear over Graham’s snoring!! It wasn’t the greatest introduction to Adelaide!
We woke the next morning to pouring rain and it carried on raining for a few hours. It was marginally cooler and
stayed cloudy for most of the day. There were three things on our ‘to do’ list today: Number 1 was to find the next nearest Nissan garage and we did – and although it was about 12 kms away it was a straight forward journey with the aid of Sat Nav. The guys on the reception desk seemed very pleasant and weren’t too shocked at the thought of having to service a Terrano! We booked PIE in for the following Tuesday at 10am. Then it was back to the huge shopping centre (another Westfield like the one in Doncaster, Melbourne) that was only about 2 kms from the CP for quest number 2, to book a trip to New Zealand. And with the help of a delightful young lady at Flight Centre we did just that – more on that later. At the same time we were able to address quest number 3 – to find a suitable hairdresser to do something with my hair!! This was not quite so satisfactory - yes we found plenty of salons at Westfield but they all seemed to charge an arm and a leg!! We decided we could probably find a more “cheap
and cheerful” one in one of the many smaller shopping arcades in the area.
Saturday 12th – now that we had booked our trip to NZ we needed to make arrangements for Sweetie to also have a bit of a holiday. We knew that the CP we were on could probably find somewhere to store her but we chose to drive to a beach a few kms away and, at the same time, check out another CP which was also closer to the airport. When we got there we could see that it was a hive of activity everywhere with sports pitches, a golf course and cycle tracks and we weren’t too surprised when the CP people said that the only way Sweetie could stay there would be on a proper site with us paying the full fee - $36 per night! They suggested we try another CP further along the coast in a place called Semaphore. It was no hardship to tootle along the beachfront roads and we stopped at Henley Beach to have a spot of lunch. The CP at Semaphore couldn’t help but suggested we try some storage places not too far away. We decided we
The 'Red Tower'
Lighthouse museum with a fascinating history in the heart of historic Port Adelaide
would only do that as a last resort. We drove on around the coastal road and then headed to the historic part of Port Adelaide which, as the name suggests, is the major port for Adelaide! For a Saturday afternoon it was very quiet – we popped into the Information Centre and then strolled by the harbour. There wasn’t too much going on – we had missed a cruise that went out to see dolphins (the lady in the IC said that dolphins often come into the harbour but we didn’t see any). We thought we should return another day in good time to go out on one of the cruises.
We went back to the Westfield shopping centre to do some shopping in Woollies and Graham spotted a Price Attack shop. These shops sell shampoos etc but this one had a hair salon at the back as well (they probably all do) and true to its name the price was much more acceptable to me. I made an appointment to return on Monday.
On Sunday morning, after Graham had given the bikes a check-over, we decided we would cycle to Glenelg, which is the main beach for
The 'Workers' Memorial'
A marble statue of 'Justice' honouring the pioneers of the Labour movement
the city. We remember cycling there a couple of times eight years previously and that there was a cycle path most of the way. But we couldn’t remember exactly how far it was. Once we had negotiated the busy dual-carriageway adjacent to the CP we were soon on the handily placed cycle track that runs alongside the Sturt River towards Glenelg. A trapezoidal concrete channel was constructed to line the river from Sturt Road to the Patawalonga Basin in 1965 but sadly due to urbanisation and misuse the channel is virtually dry in the part we cycled alongside. There is a project underway to bring it back to life so we hope it will be successful. Although we had to cross four roads and a railway line, all with controlled crossings, it was a brilliant, traffic free way to get to Glenelg. Eventually we got to the place where we had to cross a tram line so we knew we had nearly made it! We heard a tram bell but were disappointed to see a modern tram and not one of the old historic trams - and I was ready to take the photo too! We cycled on parallel to
The Dockside Tavern
Lovely old building in Port Adelaide
the tram lines for another kilometer or so and then we were in Glenelg. It took us about 45 minutes and must have been, perhaps, 8 kilometers in total. Most of the cycle track was through parkland and was well used and we were pleased to find lots of cycle racks in Glenelg to lock the bikes to. We had been warned that ‘every man and his dog’ goes to Glenelg on a Sunday’ but actually it wasn’t too busy.
We wandered along the main street which seemed to be full of eating houses, all doing good business, and made our way towards the beachfront where a couple of camels and a Shetland pony were waiting to take people for rides. There were a few people in the sea. There always seem to be events going on at the beach and today was no exception although it was a fairly low key beach soccer tournament being set up to start at 2pm. We went back to a very pleasant restaurant and had some lunch and then wandered along the jetty where people were fishing and a group of teenagers were enjoying jumping and diving into the sea from a
raised platform - some of the dives were very spectacular!
We strolled on to a newly developed area that we didn’t remember seeing before – blocks of smart apartments and a marina full of huge expensive looking boats. There was one in particular that caught our eye – a large, mainly black, sleek vessel - and we had fun imagining who the owner was. Then we saw another one exactly the same which spoiled the image somewhat!
Back at the beach we watched a few minutes of the soccer – the lads played in bare feet and were very skilful. There was another group of teenagers doing somersaults and cartwheels on the grass, some were very impressive. By now it was very hot so we bought some delicious ice-creams and sat and watched an assortment of children going up and down on trampolines. They were strapped into safety harnesses so could go very high and do all sorts of tricks. All this exercise made us think we should be doing some too so we cycled back to the CP and then went for a swim!
On Monday morning Graham went to the CP office and successfully negotiated
the storage of Sweetie for the period we will be in NZ. It was a better deal than we had hoped for because they said we wouldn’t have to move her from the site we are currently occupying, with the proviso that we put the roof down, legs up etc in case they got exceptionally busy and had to move her. It meant that we were happy to stay here for another week in the knowledge that we won’t have any last-minute maneouvres to perform before dashing to the airport. And also she’ll be there waiting for us to use again without any hassle on our return – brilliant. That important task completed we went back to the Westfield shopping centre and had another of the cheap roast dinners available there in the food court. Then at 2pm I had my hair cut and a bit of colour put in. I think it was about the longest time in-between cuts that I had ever left it so it needed a jolly good trim. The lovely young girl who took charge of me said ‘hello duck, where are you from?’ – she had emigrated with her parents and brother a year
earlier from Burton on Trent which is of course just 8 miles from where Sarah and Darryl live. Initially, she didn’t want to come to Australia but now she loves it here. She did a brilliant job on my hair and it felt and looked so much better – even Graham was impressed!
Back at the CP we strolled out through the back of the park to an area known as Warriparinga which means ‘Windy Place by the River’ (we've had a few gusts of wind but nothing too bad as yet!) Generations of the Kaurna people used this site as a meeting place and in later years the European settlers did too. In the parkland is an Aboriginal Cultural Centre which we hope to visit before we leave the CP. The first thing we came to was an ‘artwork’ – a forest of tree trunks which, at the time, we saw as just ‘tree trunks’ but is called ‘Tjirbruki Gateway’. Public footpaths pass through the site and we were able to complete a very pleasant circular walk, taking in a couple of small lakes, to end the day.
There are more photos below