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Published: June 21st 2013
Couldn't resist this picture, the Puppet Shop in Hahndorf! No further comment.
The Last Resort
The mornings are very misty and damp here in Hahndorf, as soon as one of us is up in the morning we have to put the heater on to take the chill off, not to mention start drying the condensation from inside.
We have not had too much of a problem with condensation but we really do need to keep on top of it, we have met some caravaners on the trip who are having major condensation problems where it is continually drip drip drip. If we were moving on, I would just wipe down all the surfaces but as we are staying in place again I just make sure that the interior is well vented. That said we both agree that we hate the thought of being under canvas on these cold mornings.
Because we have been awaiting a package, containing a new thermostat for our Trailblaza fridge, we have been held up in Hahndorf, despite being sent "Express Post" we still knew it would be a couple of days before arriving as it was being sent from the East Coast of Queensland.
Because we did not really have any photos specifically for this blog I thought I would put a couple more up from Cleland Wildlife Park.
take some time to stroll around the lovely Hahndorf, it is a German influenced town set in the Adelaide Hills, just like stepping back into Germany, there are a number of quaint cafe's and German Beer House's.
We indulged by sitting in the cafe's drinking coffee and watching the world go by and enjoying the warm morning sunshine (once the mist had burnt off).
We found the shopkeepers to be very pleasant and very friendly. We found a nice looking shop that had some beautiful wooden carvings in the window, Hahndorf Candlemakers, inside we find out that it is traditional German folk art, these carvings are imported directly from the craftsmen based in Seiffen, Germany, the craftsmen use a technique that is hundreds of years old and very unique to their region.
We cannot buy one on this occasion as we are travelling and apart from not having the room, I would worry that it would get damaged while on the road, that said, they do sell online! Sorry no photographs to show you as there are signs on the cabinets asking you not to. The shopkeeper explained about the copies
being imported from China which are obviously not as good a quality and design and such a shame to have the genuine artisans being ripped of by some inferior Chinese copy.
Back on the campsite, there is a young Taiwanese couple who are camping a couple of sites away from us, but there is no tent, or swag, it is a saloon car, I notice a power lead trailing through a slightly open window, these two are sleeping in their car. We wonder how they get a good nights sleep, it cannot be comfortable, but then they have been doing this for 6 months, and we both think that people are prepared to put up with a great deal in order to achieve their dream and perhaps for them this is the only way they can do it.
Andy did offer them a cup of tea one morning, but they declined, it is funny really because Andy was obviously taking pity on them and wanted to lend them our swag to sleep in, but that said I reckon that would have been colder than the car, but at least they could have slept flat.
When I mentioned before that this campsite needed a bit of TLC, I actually meant that it needs a complete refurbishment, apart from the grounds needed to be reworked the amenities block could do with being bulldozed and started from scratch.
When we first arrived I had a shower that was pretty mediocre, the water went from scalding hot to freezing cold, the following morning there was no hot water to wash with at all. So in the quiet afternoon, there were only 3 other campers, I thought that I would grab a shower in the hope that I would be the only one and therefore stand a fair chance at a decent shower.
So I pick a cubicle, get myself ready and turn the hot water on so that it is hot and then turn the cold on to find a happy comfortable temperature, so far so good, unfortunately not long after I had stepped in someone else turned up in the other side for a shower and no sooner than they started the water, all my hot water went and the water turned icy cold, so I stepped out of the shower. I had to start from scratch to regulate the temperature again, and had to do this several times, eventually I gave up, the water would not get hot again at least I had managed to rinse all the soap off.
The following day I was going to get smarter, again a quiet part of the day, one of the other campers was out, so off I set to the amenities and there was someone already in having a shower, I chose a cubicle and started to get ready, turning on the tap to get the hot water, I heard a yelp from the other cubicle and asked the lady if her water had just gone cold, that really confirmed my suspicions with the plumbing!
We chatted and I found out that she was helping her disabled husband shower yesterday afternoon and they were having the same problem. I told her that it was me in the other shower. So I said I would wait until she finished and then I would shower, the best way for both of us, providing nobody else came along in the meantime!
So not only is the plumbing bad, there is no camp kitchen and no disabled facilities. We get chatting to the other camper, he was telling us that he did a machine full of washing, but when he went down there to get it out, the washing was still dry at the top, the machine had not filled with water and the room was flooded because a hose had come adrift from the back. So he had to do his washing again.
Fortunately our washing did ok when we arrived, but I did find the hot water tap switched on full and letting all the hot water go (twice).
It was this camper that eluded to us that this place is known as the Last Resort and is not even recommended by Tourist Information, that sounds bad to me, and quite frankly they need to get their act together. Rumour has it the owner wants to sell it but I would think for a decent caravan park in this area someone should just buy a decent size block of land and start from scratch. Hahndorf is beautiful and obviously relies on it's tourism but with a camp site like this it will only push this community of tourists away.
We manage to meet up with another old colleague of ours who has moved to Adelaide, so we are doing well with meeting most people we anticipated, unfortunately we have not been able to see everybody but they will hopefully be there next time and perhaps watch this space, we both like the Adelaide Hills so you never know!
Resting up in the one spot has given us chance to explore the area, catch up on a bit of housekeeping (or should I say "trailer keeping), there is always something that needs to be done, cleaned, tidied up etc. and it is really important to stay organised whilst living in such a confined space, everything needs a home, but even this far into the trip I find that I am still making some changes to improve efficiency.
Thursday morning arrives, the sun is up and no mist in site, this morning we need a plan as we don't want to stay another day if our package turns up. I have been tracking it on the internet, although it does not say it is at the local post office, it says the next suburb. Timing is critical in how we do this as we don't want to pack up until we know it is here and on the other hand we need to be offsite by 10am (otherwise we will be charged for another full day!)
At 9am we head to the Post Office to check, the lady behind the counter recognises us and mentions that she has not had time to go through the post yet, another man appears behind the counter and looks over his glasses telling us "we were all too early", with a sly grin. He opened the door to behind the counter and suggested we both go and help look for our package, well that's a first, never before have we been into the back echelons of a post office, but how could we refuse, we just want to get our hands on the package!
This is the funny thing, I looked down at a small pile of express post packages by my feet and picked one up, there it was our package!
With great excitement we left and headed back to camp with only one thing on our mind, pack up and go. I don't think we could hide the excitement from our neighbour who saw us come back, he had to stay another day, but they also had a shower in their caravan so knew they could get a decent hot shower.
Our neighbour also eluded to a few other things about this site, which I won't publish, but I will say for us, it was not the best site and for $34.50 per night you are only really paying to be close to Hahndorf, we have stayed in some cracking caravan parks for less which you could not fault. That said, maybe we are being unfair, it is winter, perhaps it improves for the tourism in the summer, so maybe it is worth a try, but go to Tourist Information first.
At 10.am we hightailed it out of the Last Resort and hit the road toward Clare, I had already mapped my route out, taking the pretty way, which meant back tracking a little bit, but we preferred the pretty way as opposed to the city route.
Unfortunately at some point I lost comms for a moment which meant I lost the turn off we needed, this is the danger of using electronic mapping, I knew what had happened but we were travelling through an area of gorge and no turn around points, so we had to drive through. I soon picked out an amended route but it added another half hour to our journey, not bad but annoying nonetheless and I don't get it wrong that often.
We were just about through Gawler when Andy said, I have to pull over the police are behind me, I saw the flashing light and wondered what was up, so Andy obliged and pulled in.
I heard the policeman say something about a loose connection between the truck and the trailer, upon inspection it was the Anderson plug, oops! I connected that one this morning and obviously didn't push it in hard enough, it will easily have come out from going over a bump.
Problem solved, the policeman wished us well on our journey.
We arrive in Clare and drove straight into the campsite next to the tourist information centre, we wanted this tonight so that we could have a decent shower and stock up on a few more supplies before we started to get back to the bush camping again. For $29 we had all the facilities and a steaming hot shower that did not go cold when someone else turned the water on.
We zipped around Clare, topped up with diesel, gas and groceries, choosing pizza for dinner as we knew the camp kitchen had an oven so we could cook it.
Whilst I paid for the gas refill, I commented to the guy behind the counter that it was lovely just to wave a bit of plastic over a machine instead of having to write a cheque out, he replied "I am too young to remember those days!"
Back at camp Andy took off to the camp kitchen to get the oven warmed up and I followed soon after. There were a couple of people in there that Andy was talking to, they were telling us about their journey over to Perth, they left Melbourne last Sunday.
We chatted and ate our pizza, really delicious saucy pizza, making the most of it as it may be a while before we have a decent one of those again.
With the route planned for our onward journey toward the Flinders Ranges, we closed the roof down and bid the world a good night.
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