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Thursday 6 Mar 2014
Adelaide, Australia

Adelaide in a day

The day started early again as we headed up to Chatauqua Peak, a 3km walk up from Hall’s Gap.  This involved a fairly strenuous steep path for about 45 minutes, which had most of us puffing a bit, but the views were again breathtaking.  We could see for miles out across tree clad hills and rippling valleys.  The last section took us even higher, turning into a rocky scramble, which Em passed on due to a bad ankle from her previous trip. 

The road out of the Grampians took us through some of the worst-affected areas damaged by the recent fires.  This was the first time Em had driven a group through in over two months and she was quite upset to see the damage to an area knows and loves.  The McKenzie Falls walk had been on our itinerary, but has been completely destroyed.  They estimate it will take 12-18 months to rebuild all the boardwalks and trails.

In general, the long distances on this trip have been broken up well with side trips to places of interest, but now we were in for a long haul across the plains to South Australia and Adelaide.  We stopped on the border – yes, there is an Equator-style line in the road to mark the crossing point between Victoria and South Australia – as Em excitedly welcomed us to her home state.  We finally arrived at 7ish and said goodbye to our travelling companions as we were dropped off at various hostels around the city.  I’d booked into the Shakespeare Hostel, which turned out to be a bit of a dump.  I was in a smelly, small dorm with two triple-decker bunkbeds – guess which one was left for me…  Thankfully they had nice showers though, which was a surprise after the dorm, so I got changed and headed back out to meet up with Maaike, Franzi and Lars.  We found a Thai place near the market and enjoyed a really good Rendang curry. 

In the morning, we met up again and wandered back to Adelaide Central Market for breakfast.  It was a lovely Victorian covered market with a railway station-like cast iron vaulted roof supports.  I had some really delicious zucchini and sweetcorn fritters with bacon and avocado (I must get this recipe from somewhere).

Next, we hired bikes for the day and cycled across town to the university to visit the Adelaide Museum.  I eventually got used to the fact that every time I tried to coast, I would accidentally apply the brakes by back-pedalling, and somehow managed not to fall off the bike.  What a stupid arrangement - what’s wrong with brake levers on the handlebars!?  By the time we found the museum, we looked at it blankly and decided to cycle to the beach instead to make the most of our one sunny day in Adelaide.  The route was simple enough – just follow the river the whole way – but it turned out to be 13.5km each way and we’d already cycled a few km across town to get there.  It was a very pretty ride, but bumpy and the suspension on the bikes was non-existent.  I think I will be sore tomorrow.  We followed the boardwalk along the coast and found a surf club, where we stopped for drinks and a bite to eat.  Admittedly it was the big ice-cream sign outside that was the biggest draw. 

The sea was too rough to actually go in, so we rested for a while and then turned around and headed back the way we had come.  We got the bikes back on the dot of 4pm, so our rental was free of charge.  After showering and making a few calls, Maaike and I headed into town to meet up with Robin, Laney, Tess and a Brazilian girl Maaike had shared a dorm with in Melbourne.  The plan had been to go to a music festival by the river, part of the Adelaide Festival that was running over the weekend, but entry turned out to be quite pricy, so instead we split up and went in separate directions.  A couple of us walked along to the centre thinking we’d see a great reflection of the city skyline in the river, but it that too was a disappointment.  We finally headed back towards the hostel and discovered a street party going on in our own road, so we joined in just in time for a glass of wine and a quick dance before they packed up at 10pm.  Typical, hours of walking around looking for something to do when it was happening in our own street the whole time.  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.


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Zoe's Big World Adventure Part II - #4 New Zealand and Australia

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I had so much fun in New Zealand and Australia that I'm going back around again! This time I'll see more of the North Island and catch up with friends and family in Melbourne

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