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Monday 3 Jan
Adelaide, Australia

Day 8: Wellington – Mt Barker – Hahndorf – Stirling – Adelaide

103.3 km, average 17.2 km/h

Our main anxiety on our last day was about the wind. We had to cover 30-40 km west before we started climbing into the hills. It turned out ok. The road was flat and the wind kept out of our way and increasingly, things started getting interesting as there were suggestions of wineries and hills and populated places.

The plan was to get up into the hills as far as Mount Barker and then start eating. From there we expected the rest of the ride to the city to be uneventful, and we were led to believe that from Stirling it would be completely downhill. After passing through Langhorne Creek with its many wineries that weren't open, we proceeded with a long climb through the surprisingly dry southern side of the Adelaide hills, noted a few interesting old stone walls, and got pretty sweaty. While we rested in the shade of someone's driveway the resident pulled in in his car and was almost disappointed he couldn't help us or give us some water.

Unsurprisingly, the top of our climb ended up being further away than it looked, but we got to Mount Barker soon enough and had lunch in a bakery cafe. After a suitable amount of laziness and eating we continued to Hahndorf, a veritable tourist trap, where we found expensive German beer, books and jewellery beads.

Another short ride got us to Stirling in time for dinner. We reclined outside the Stirling Hotel until it got too cold, and we finished eating in time to tackle the extremely confusing road down to Adelaide in the frigid dusk. Only our crumpled blog printouts could get us out of here and in to town before midnight (or more relevantly, our 10 pm check-in deadline). The people who wrote the blog had to wait until the police station opened to find out how to get to the bike route leading out of Stirling (as you can't ride on the freeway). We followed their instructions and headed down some twisted walking paths to the beginning of the incredibly well disguised "Crafers bikeway", which once located, led us on a merry triumph down all sorts of hills, past views of the sun setting over the city below, and along beside the freeway to the historic tollgate which seems to be the entrance to Adelaide. From there the road continued downhill through to the centre of the city where we found our hostel and didn't really notice the fact that we had finally arrived, because we were busy checking in, unpacking things, locking up bikes and dealing with our re-emergence in civilisation.


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Ride to Adelaide 2010-11

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Jo and I cycle for eight days from (near) Melbourne to Adelaide along the coast.

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