McLaren Vale

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November 17th 2010
Published: November 17th 2010EDIT THIS ENTRY

"God's own country" - the Germans have Bavaria and they also found this part of the world. It is so picturesque with vineyards in small square fields beside hay or olives or almonds or fruit trees. The overall picture is a tapestry of colour covering the hills.

On Monday we had a drive to the Mouth of the Murray. From McLaren Vale you travel south east to Goolwa and then to Hindmarsh Island (controversial Bridge - secret women's business - do you remember? ) which leads to the edge of the southern part of the mouth. Huge sand dredging tugs stand at the mouth apparently working all the time to ensure the salts, minerals and sand have an escape route to the ocean. In 1981 for the first time the Murray stopped flowing and since then the sand dredging has continued. It is a pretty sad sight to see that the ocean and the river just don't meet and therefore whatever is upstream is becoming slowly more and more saturated with pollutants.

The Coorong is a wetlands to the east of the Murray Mouth and this has already dried out considerably causing problems for birds and their regular breeding
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view to the hills
cycle. Do you remember 'Storm Boy" ? Wind swept cold sand dunes beach combing the shore for useful timber ???? And of course the pelican - Mr Percival? Well we didn't see Pelicans but boy it was COLD!!

After that we drove down to Victor Harbour and then back to McLaren Vale. Still beautiful stone buildings everywhere. Found one which had an interesting use for tureen lids and another that Kevin McLeod from Grand Design would like to see.

Yesterday - Tuesday the 16th of November we headed off early to Hahndorf, the village founded by the german family Hahn and is to this day still operating many German shops such as bakeries and pubs. I was in my element with Kassler and weissen bier. The little town is of course all the more beautiful because we are here in spring and the roses are quite incredible.

After our trip to Hahndorf we headed back to McLaren Vale so that Ian and I could go for a bike ride through the vineyards. The railway line has been removed and instead the track area has been tarred for cycling, horse riding and walking. Because the track was raised for the train the view across the hills from the path is incredible. Ian and I rode 7 km to Willunga to see the Ross Rose garden then back into McLaren Vale passed heaps of cellar doors to rest ourselves at "Oscars" restaurant. We have decided that when you visit a cellar door you obviously only get to try their wines. What if you don't like them?? You feel obliged to buy!! The great thing about McLaren Vale township are places like Oscars where they sell McLaren Vale wine by the glass or arrange for a tasting of a variety of McLaren Vale wines. We have found the red we love so be prepared everyone to receive a bottle for christmas. Sorry you will all get the same!!

Decided to lengthen our stay here as it is just so beautiful and we are tasting olives, cheeses and wines this afternoon again by bike. What a life!!

Additional photos below
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Corio Houses Corio Houses
Corio Houses

New use for old porcelain

19th November 2010

Envy is an ugly emotion
Therefore, I and the stoic members of the MS staff room are reining in our emotions, and in a public display of good will, are wishing the Tonkin family well as you all relax into German mode. We are missing you Catherine, but don't let that put you off your stride. Cheers, Jeremy

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