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Published: April 14th 2018
After a good days rest, well laced with good food, wine and excellent company, it was time to pack our bikes and hit the road once more. Colin thought the manager of the hostel seemed very pleased to see the back of these feral bikers. Apparently we sort of didn't have the look of his usual "up market" clientele. We smiled and gave him a big cheerio as we rode off into the morning mists of the Adelaide hills. We picked up a few travelling supplies from the old fashioned general store, and headed for Williamtown. Further on up the road we hit some more wineries in the Lower Barossa at Rowland Flat. we sampled some local wines and as I went to make a purchase of a red traveller, NO Wallet, Oh Shit, this is bad, this is very very bad!!
I suggested to Colin to ride on to Tanunda, whilst I retrace the road back to Williamtown, hoping to find a roadside wallet, belonging to me. I usually keep my wallet in the bottom pocket of my left front panier, hoping it had bounced out somewhere along the road.No such luck! I then checked out the shops in
Williamtown, Still no such luck!. What the flick do I do now for mullah, sadly shells and beads are no longer currency. Scary feeling being on the road with no wallet, no money. I met up with Colin at Tununda, we then rode off to the heart of the Barossa, Nuriootpa, to the nearest Commonwealth Bank, to see if I could make a withdrawal, with just account numbers. Voila!!!, they loaded me up with Mullah, and made arrangements for replacement banking documents.
By now it was late afternoon, and 73 ks' later, it was time to find a park for an early dinner. Easy to find a park in a new town, just spot the nearest "Big Thing" and they are sure to have made a park around it. Nuriootpa's Linear Park features a "Big Thing", a classic restored, RX class steam locomotive. Colin and I were cooking up a feast, admiring the classic black beast, when a Swiss touro, who has cycled from Sydney, pulled in to share the picnic facilities in the park. It was reminiscent of seemingly endless dwarves knocking on Bilbo's Hobbit Door, when two more touros on bikes rocked up. These guys Richard and
Bruce were real long distance voyagers, they had left Melbourne 12 months ago, and my goodness their bikes were testament to the perils of the hard road. They had circumnavigated Australia's coastline and were now on the last leg (literally) of their big adventure. Their travel beaten bikes were tied up with wire and p.v.c tape, they had broken over a 100 spokes, back axle and pannier frames along the way. Colin and I looked at each other and could imagine our trusty machines could share a similar fate to these patched up bikes, by the time we ended up in the "Alice".
Shared dinner around an imaginary camp fire, waxing lyrical of the tales of the road with our new found road buddies, was most enjoyable, but now it was time to find somewhere to get horizontal for the night. We checked out the local caravan park, "however Captain Ripoff", wanted $5 each for his little patch of sand. I think he was offended when we told him some not nice words, I seem to recall Colin dropping the words Fascist capitalist Pig, one or three times. Poking the bear, probably not a good idea, as he runs
the only caravan park in this one horse town, we decided to have a bush camp, just out of town. Colin and I and our new found cycling buddies circled the wagons, set up the tents and downed a few "amber travellers" a small fire and downed a few amber travellers, until late in the evening. Day 2
. Once again, waking up in a public park is a well drilled operation for us experienced nocturnal park dwellers. Rule One, wake up at first light, pack up quick, brekkie at picnic tables and skedaddle, Rule Two, there is no rule two, just pack and go elpronto. Over brekkie the touring guys told us that there was plenty of work in the vineyards, we told them that we had a lot of practice along the way, so now we may as well get paid for it. If we were going to work we had to find a base, All roads lead to the rogue cartel caravan park. So we booked in, set up tents and headed straight to Tolleys vineyard to start work. Tolleys gave us a couple of days work, and then it was off to Centrelink to find out where we could line up other vineyards that were just ripe for the picking so to speak.
The Centrelink dude gave us some weekend work at Heritage Winery, and said there was 4 weeks work at Schillers winery. Colin suggested I check out the "local cop shop" to see if some "Good Samaritan" handed in my missing wallet. gotta say Faith in humanity restored, "Good job you came in today Mr. Thompson, we were about to mail your wallet, back to Lilydale", the officer informed me. How ironic, I have cycled this wallet for over 1,300 kilometres, and its going to take a postal truck back home, "Not so fast Good Buddy, you and I have a lot of travelling and spending along the way on this epic journey". So I sincerely thanked the constable and inquired as to who had handed it in. He told me that you guessed it, "a little old lady, found it on the entrance road to the one of the wineries that we had visited enroute to Nuriootpa.
Amazingly all the cash and cards were still in my wallet, he gave me the address of my benefactor, to whom I placed 5 lottery tickets and a thankyou note, in her mail box. Colin said something to the effect of "You lucky Bastard Thompson, the Gods have smiled upon you once again. It was right about this time we noticed something missing in our daily routine, of course the bending of the elbow with a cool glass of amber nectar. One wold never imagine that the name of the main hotel in Nuriootpa, the capital of the Barrosa valley, would be, The Vine Inn. So we made ourselves known to the publican and entertained some cool glasses of beer, over a few games of pool, Got Work, Got Wallet, Got Beer all is good in the world. Until we returned to the rouge caravan park, where we landed on Old Kent Road and ended up paying for hotels on Mayfair, but on this fine and warm day of 26 degrees, who's complaining, "WE ARE"
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