Day 232-238: Adelaide
Trip Start Sep 12, 2004
57Trip End Jan 05, 2006
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The boys left at 5am this morning, wished them well and went back to sleep. Up at 9am, brekkie then packed up ready to move. Move to the YHA which is only a 5 min walk down the road. Checked in and ended up in a 6 bed tho I asked for a 4, got 90 mins free net coz they cocked it up....may move to a 4 bed tomorrow. Guess who's also in that room, bloody Crazy Teddybear man!! Of all the rooms in all the hostels, we end up in the same one again, fate can play a cruel hand. It's a little bit sad but felt a pang of loneliness being on my own again...I'll get over it quick enough.
Showered and chucked some clothes in the wash, can't be the YHA for facilities, loads of machines and dryers all lovely and clean. Used my free net time to catch up on the diary whilst the wash was running. Walked to Coles praying that they would be open and not closed on Monday afternoons or something stupid, amazingly they were and finally got some stuff to cook with having eaten out for practically every meal for the last few days - I'm sooo putting on weight, have to be serious about not eating crap for a while....even bought 2 apples!! Spent ages agonising over how to get to Alice...train or tour, tour means seeing more and stopping in Coober Pedy, will then get train to Darwin. Wanted Friday departure but bloody booked, stuck in Adelaide now till next Monday :O( Though could do a 2 day tour somewhere to kill the time.
Went for a stroll late afternoon to find a cafe for a cup of tea. Sat and read the Rough Guide to see what Darwin has in store as it wasn't originally part of the plans, doesn't seem very exciting so will probably not hang around there for too long, then have to decide how to get to Cairns, YHA Travel lady did give me a leaflet for a 3 day Darwin to Cairns so read that in the cafe too. Next stop was net cafe to finally finish the diary as I had all of last week to type up today, stayed there until just after 7 before heading back for dinner. Met a couple of the other guys staying in the room, one Dutch bloke who's heading back to Sydney tomorrow, and an English bloke with wonky eyes who's name I got but can't remember, crazy teddybear man is still there....will be moving dorms Weds. Generally non eventful evening, watched a bit of telly, went for a stroll and was in bed by 11.
Not a great nights sleep, got some cough thing going on and the mattresses have some plastic cover which made me really hot even though there's a cotton protector on the top. Went to the gym this morning as the YHA has a $6.60 deal with City Gym just over the road, spent a good couple of hours there, more scary torture style gym kit but obviously I am now buff and ripped again which is great. Afternoon was spent wandering around the North Terrace area which has most of the museums, galleries and historic buildings on it, nice of them to put them all in the same place. Started at Parliament House, then the War Memorial, next the
State Library which had an hour free internet so took advantage of that. Pot of tea and my beloved Smarties cookie and then off to the So
South Australia Museum which was pretty dull and just your run of the mill museum.
By the time I'd gotten out of there it wasn't far off 5pm and the Art Gallery closes then so I nipped in and picked up some leaflets and wandered around the area for a bit before catching the free bus down to Central Markets to a net cafe. Stopped there for an hour uploading pics. Dinner at the hostel and then as it's tight arse Tuesday went to see The Interpreter at the cinema. Bed at 12....some new bloke in the bunk above who I haven't even met, lots of coming and goings so didn't get to sleep till 1am.
Crap nights sleep, bed is rubbish, mattress is too thin, can feel the slats underneath, plus still got a stupid cough which only happens at night, then needed the loo at some stupid time, bloke above me got up at god knows when but it was still dark, as soon as he'd left someone else got up...aaaahhhh! Good news is that Crazy Teddybear Bloke checked out this morning so I'm staying in the same dorm, only 2 of us at the mo but more checking in today. Complained about the bed so they got me a new mattress, sorted out the slats as they had big gaps in them, and gave me a free breakfast voucher so didn't do too bad.
Wanted to go to Haigh's Chocolate Factory today but the free tours were both booked, so going Friday. Booked a Wine Tour with Groovy Grape for tomorrow so sorted for the next couple of days. First stop this morning was the Art Gallery, tho as I was in the area took advantage of an hours free internet, checked out a glass exhibition at the library whilst I was there, not as dull as it sounds, it was an exhibition of art and functional items made with glass by uni students, some cool stuff in it, no signs saying photography not allowed so snapped away.
Spent an hour on the net then went to the Art Gallery of South Australia and wandered around there for an hour or so, nothing special, quite a varied collection tho but not much that got me excited. Spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around town and had afternoon tea as usual. Wednesday evening must have been very uneventful as I can't remember what happened, know that I had an earlyish night tho as have to be up at 7am ready for the wine tour.
Bright and breezy start, first time I'd been up when it wasn't quite light in a long time. Didn't like the weather was gonna be too good either, bit cloudy and cool. Groovy Grape bus turned up on time at 7.45...a couple from the hostel also got on, Michelle and Darren, actually chatted with them briefly last night whilst making dinner, they only flew in from Vietnam a couple of days ago and will soon be off to Melbourne. Us four were the first on the bus, then we picked up an American couple, and last pickup was 3 girls and 2 guys, the guys were from Cambridge and Hales in Norfolk, Ed the Norfolk guy was a big Norwich fan, obviously mentioned the impending drop.
First stop was a toy factory in Gumeracha on the way to the Barossa Valley - most famous for it's Giant Rocking Horse. I paid the vast sum of $2 to go up to the top of the horse which was very exciting. A few of the guys lined their stomachs with some brekkie, and tea and coffee was free. Next we were off to the Jacob's Creek Visitors Centre for the first tasting. Very fancy place, all plush and new. Wine was nice, especially the sweet whites and the port....and Jacob's Creek is an actual creek nearby. We stopped briefly in a small town on the way to the next place for the tour guys to pick up stuff for lunch. There was a penalty for being last on the bus and that was to either sing, tell a joke or a travel story....unfortunately I was last on so did the last thing I did when I had a microphone in my hand and sang the Flintstones theme as you do.
So off to Richmond Grove, they only sell locally so not available in the UK. We had a quick tour of the winery and then the tasting, not so much to choose from and only the one port :O( Best part was after when the tour guys had cooked a BBQ and it was time for lunch, started off with some Kangaroo which was absolutely lovely....tho it had been marinaded in a load of stuff so dunno what it tastes like as is. Lunch was great, sausages, chicken kebabs, burgers, salad....very nice and just what was needed after a little wine.
Next stop was Bethany Wines which is a small family run vineyard and again don't think it's available in the UK. This was an unstructured tasting which meant you could just ask for what you wanted to try from a long list. I had a couple of whites but stayed off the reds as they don't do much for me, but did have their sweet whites and both their ports...all very nice and the vineyard location is great, on a hill overlooking the valley. Last stop was Schild Estate Wines. By now I didn't really fancy much so just had a couple of whites. The great thing about wine tours is everyone loosens up and chats to each other, got on well with Darren and the group were really friendly.
Dropped off at the hostel with Michelle and Darren, plus the American couple were also staying at the YHA tonight. Returned to the room to what appeared to be the Old People's Wing....a 70 yr old bloke was now in the dorm and some 40 odd yr old Jap bloke....so if you want to meet young exciting people whilst travelling DON'T go to a YHA. All the wine, food and sitting made me tired so had a nap. Next thing I know it's half 7, some girls were watching Moulin Rouge in the TV lounge - not no guys - so watched a bit of that. Met Michelle, Darren and the Americans (really should have remembered their names) for drinks at 8.30.
Had a few in PJ O'Briens which has free vodka....FOR GIRLS! How obscenely sexist...so the ladies got me vodkas with their vouchers. The other group from the tour were potentially gonna join us but didn't show so we moved on to The Exeter....had an excellent conversation with the Americans; politics, American culture, made a nice change to "where you from?", "where you been?" and "where you going?". Headed back to hostel not long after midnight.
Woken by Old Man deciding that the rest of the dorm should get up when he does, had a loud conversation with Jap Man, then opened the curtains flooding the room with light, and opened the window so all the road noise could be heard...what a twat. Went for a jog along the river which was all very nice, whilst getting ready for the jog it looks like I've gone and lost my Storm watch which I've had for over 10 years....think I left it wrapped round a bed post in My Place, so went back and she said nothing had been handed in so some bastard has spotted it and taken it :O( Gutted! went for a wander around the Central Market this morning, some gorgeous cakes and things, gave in and had a cheese stick and a tiny jam pastry thing but considering all the lovely stuff available I was very restrained.
Started to walk to the chocolate Factory ready for the 1pm tour and suddenly realised I was walking on the wrong road so rushed back to the city and caught a bus. Tour was good but short, tour guide was some crazed middle aged woman called Beverley, couldn't take any pics of the factory...boooo! The smell tho was fantastic....made me want to lick the walls...of course I didn't as that would have been just weird. We got a little free choccie, which was good too. I also gave in and bought a few treats in the choc shop afterwards. Then I jumped on a bus to King William Rd which is a shopping street just south of Adelaide, had a fantastic Roast Pumpkin and Bacon soup from a Deli/Supermarket for late lunch.
Wandered back to the hostel via a bottlo where I thought I'd try out my new found knowledge of wine, then got some stuff in for the weekend from Central Market, some luuuuverly looking yoghurt, fruit and meat. Spent a couple of hours on the net and got ready for the evening. Met Chas for drinks at The Ed, bloke I'd chatted to online a couple of times, he was with a mate - Mike. Spent the evening with them chatting till about 2 in the morning.
Jumped on the bus in the morning up to Mt Lofty which is obviously a mountain and has fantastic views over Adelaide and out to the harbour/port/water. Buses go straight to the top which is marvellous and avoids all that nasty walking malarky. Bloody freezing up the top despite being a sunny day, wind was a wee bit chilly. There's a very fancy cafe and visitors centre up there so had a cup o tea. Being all fit and healthy I walked the 3 kms down to the main road to catch the bus back rather than get it from the top, walking downhill is surprisingly difficult. Having bought a day ticket thought I'd make the most of it and go to Port Adelaide (PA) which is supposed to be all quaint and pretty. Amazingly some buses and trains only run hourly in this city...on a Saturday for goodness sake!
In the end got the train in the afternoon down to PA which actually wasn't quaint and pretty, it was dull and dead. Managed all of an hour before running to catch the bus coz I was so desperate to leave. Finished the day by catching another bus out to a shopping centre to kill some time and get some stuff for the trip to Alice....factor 30 sunscreen is a necessity, Dan offered me some before he left and I stupidly declined forgetting that I'd be going to the middle of a searing hot desert.
Evening was another night out with a few bevvies, meeting up with Chas again who's a thoroughly nice bloke and good company. We started in a fancy wine bar type thing which had a rather funky cellar with comfy sofas, however being fancy it was also expensive so only had the one there. Ended up at the Ed again, someone really should tell them that if you're gonna do a drag show it's best not to do the first few minutes on the floor of the stage where only the front row can see. Returned to the hostel about 1am to discover my duvet was now spread on my bed (I'd left it at the end coz it was too warm in the room) and my alarm clock had been kicked across the room....not fucking happy!
Discovered this morning that some bloke had slept on my bed for a few mins last night, turns out he'd been in someone else's before being turfed out and then moved to mine, tho he left the room after 5 mins. He wasn't even there this morning so fuck knows who it was....think this hostel is the worst experience I've had so far. Had the free brekkie I got; bacon, eggs, toast, tomato and hash browns, very nice. Lovely weather, blue sky and warm so hired a bike for a couple of hours for a bit of exercise. Cycled to Glenelg beach which is about 10kms (6.2 miles), then up the coast to the River Torrens and followed the bike path all the way back to the city, took a couple of hours in total and really enjoyed the ride, kinda helps that Adelaide is generally flat.
Was gonna head back to the hostel lunchtime and head off to an AFL game this afternoon, but in the end decided to save the $25 that would have cost and spend a couple more hours pottering around on the bike. Carried on down the river and stopped for a bit chilling in the sun, saw some big-ass pelicans by the river, wanted to get closer but was in fear of attack. Also cycled up to North Adelaide which I hadn't visited yet wandering down the main street before cycling back to the hostel about 2pm. Scrubbed up and headed out to read the paper over a cuppa, ended up getting a Sydney Morning Herald, reminded me of reading the paper on a Sunday there.....looking forward to being back there.
Got back to the hostel just after 5pm to discover that my thongs (flip-flops for the pommie readers) had disappeared, couldn't believe that someone would nick a $10 pair of cheap footwear and was fucking fuming, there were a couple of new people in the room, some Indian and a French guy and they claimed to now know anything, bit strange coz nothing else was missing. Then the Indian's friend strolls in with my thongs on his feet!!!! Asked him what the hell is was doing and said he wore them to go to the bathroom....pointed out that you don't just put someone else's shoes on but think the English was being lost on him - what a c**t, clearly he has no concept of personal belongings...locked up my backpack and made sure my shoes were out of the way.....thank fucking christ I'm out of here tomorrow morning.
Sat on the net finishing off the diary, tonight will consist of not a lot so posting the travelogue now coz I'm probably not gonna be able to finish it whilst I'm in the middle of nowhere en route to Alice - let's hope the next week doesn't have old people, thieving Indians and general dullards.