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Published: April 5th 2014
Friday 4th April - weather alert, temperature rising, sun shining, drought affected pastures and all within 50km. Ironically although not a blade of grass to be seen the vineyards (of which there were many) were green and flourishing. Sadly however saw some sheep which looked in pretty poor condition - Woolly & Marvin probably wouldn't like it very much here!
We made good time as the roads are almost empty apart from some pretty big articulated lorries - saw our first articulated 3 truck. Headed for Hahndorf a lovely town in the heart of the wine growing region as you can guess from the name it has strong German links. All through the Adelaide Hills the autumn colours are just starting to appear and the gardens and tree lined roads are quite spectacular. Treated ourselves to a nice bottle of White Chardonnay from the Bare Rock Cellar having had a tasting first then drove through Mt Gambier on the way to our overnight camping in the Mt Crawford Forest (having first found the Rangers Office to purchase our permit). Went down a lot of gravel tracks with kangaroos hopping across in front of us before finding our camping area, Rocky
Paddocks, like the DOC sites in NZ these are run on a conservation basis just 10 dollars a night. Rocky Paddock is a huge area of rocks and pine trees around, guess what, a rock strewn paddock. Amongst the pines there were only 6 campers including us. Sat and drank our Bare Rock wine whilst watching kangaroos through our binocs- it's a tough life. Darkness falls quickly so early nights.
Saturday 5th - a chilly night and the campervan seemed to have developed a list to port which gave Tony a moments concern about driving out - but all was well, lovely day so decided to walk up to the highest point about 1.5km away - the Fire Lookout Tower at 535 meters. Lovely views as this point is 535 metres high. Saw some kangaroos in the valley so made use of the cover to stalk them - an old aboriginal trick shown to us by an old aboriginal in Scotland!!!!! We got really close within 50 m so just stood and watched them in their natural environment - fabulous! Also the longer we stood, the more birds began to arrive in the tress we were stood
next to . No idea what they were apart from some that were a type of parakeet. Eventually the kangaroos realised we were there and hopped off so we did the same! Back to the campervan and took a minor road down the Torrance Gorge into Adelaide where we were booked into a powered site so we could catch up with washing, showered etc before we fly to Perth tomorrow.
As we entered the Adelaide suburbs we stopped to watch an Aussie Rules match. Didn't understand the rules but the standard of kicking out of hand and the catching was superb - great to watch. We got as far as understanding that there were 18 a side on a big oval pitch with lots of whistle blowing by the referee and accompanying advice from a large enthusiastic crowd. We were the only Maui van amongst the spectators!
After we'd settled in at the campsite and done our chores we headed for the city bright lights of Adelaide by bus - Bugger - bus never arrived! So one taxi ride later we were strolling down the city streets - totally lost. We were lucky to bump into
View from the campervan
Kangaroos in the distance
a little Adelaide family who had just been to the big Aussie Rules match between Adelaide & Sydney (30,000 spectators). Michelle and her husband gave us a quick resume on the finer points of Aussie Rules and then pointed us in the right direction for the best eating places. Bugger - 29,900 people were also looking for somewhere to eat! We managed to get in to a lively Italian restaurant and had a great meal. We liked Adelaide with its cafe culture, it's bright young things and friendly atmosphere. Taxi back ready for flight to Perth tomorrow.
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