On Saturday we had shopping to do for the Nullarbor section of our trip, ‘Nullarbor’ means no supermarkets, I think🙃 and we had two bags of washing to be done. We haven’t been to the Streaky Bay Islands Caravan Park for a few years, so we decided to visit and see if it was as good as we remembered. It is, even better because the plants that were new and very tiny have grown so much. The beautiful location and the convenience of ensuite style showers/toilets make it very special.
It rained off and on all afternoon. Other people had clothes on the line outside, so I put a few shirts out and they semi dried and then were soaked, so gave up and put everything through dryers. But, the main thing was that everything got done and it’s probably the last washing day of the trip.
We didn’t get away early this morning, leaving at about 10:00, but having set a goal of driving 400kms today to make up for only 51kms yesterday we found we had the energy for it. We shared the driving and bought food at roadhouses to save time. We got here before sunset, of course, sunset is a little later now that we have come so far west.
We are a bit tired, but not desperately so. We find listening to ABC podcasts helps to make the time seem to go faster when driving.
We’ve had a good chat with Matt this evening. His eye socket is less bruised, but he still has tape on the cut. As usual he is in good spirits. They haven’t got back to us with the full story. I’m suspecting that he was hit with the metal arm of the hoist, and it’s an accident, so it’s surprising the staff involved haven’t owned up. Sometimes things happen so quickly you can’t stop them.
We are spending tonight at the parking area outside of the entry gate to Head of Bight. We have only 200kms to go before the border and are making sure we finish all of our fresh fruit and vegetables. We won’t be able to finish all the honey unfortunately even if we have been imitating Pooh Bear and eating some a most meals. By the time we cross the border we will as portly as him anyway.
Our overnight in Port Pirie was noisy due to being in the town and next door to a shopping centre. Nevertheless, we slept well and it was good to feel safe in the RV park. It was cloudy when we set off, but became a mostly sunny day, and a bit difficult driving north towards Port Augusta.
We had a lovely experience in the late morning. We had parked up to enjoy some savoury treats from Baker’s Delight (took advantage of the shopping centre) when Foxy, another Sherwood camper arrived. They had called into the rest area specifically because they saw our camper. We chatted with Peter and Jill for quite a while and even showed off the interior of our Sherwoods to each other. Theirs was one year younger than ours, with some design differences, but they are mostly the same. Jill and I discussed what we liked about the Sherwoods and the men discussed choirs, they are both in four choirs, and the finer points of tyres, etc.
Peter and Stephen ended up exchanging phone numbers. The whole thing sounds a bit crazy, but we had more shared interests than just the Sherwoods. They live in the Adelaide Hills, but actually bought their Sherwood secondhand in Perth. We will have to ask them for their photo of the vans and us.
We went the rest of the way to Whyalla with only a couple of short stops. We knew that some bad weather was coming, so first went to the foreshore and lookout, then out to our RV park. This was a little different to the last one, with designated bays and a flushing toilet that is open all night. The key is stored on a key tree and they ask that we don’t share pictures of it on social media. A tree has been wrapped with some tape and the key on a large metal bar (it’s Steel City afterwall) hanging on a nail (ouch!) on the tree.
This morning we went to the Maritime Museum. There is a ship that was built at Whyalla, spent it’s working life around Australia and New Guinea, including being a mine sweeper in the 2nd WW, then when it was being sold for scrap it was bought by the Whyalla Council, with funding from the Federal Government and it sailed home, then was dragged 2kms across land to it’s resting place near the Visitor Information office. The ship has been restored and gardens and trees planted, plus there is an old building used as a museum for the town. All very interesting, including the tour of the ship.
The rain and wind came in just as we were leaving, and we followed up on our plan to go to a cafe that had been recommended to us. We had been warned that the servings were huge and would easily do two people, so we ordered a serving of chicken, chips and salad. It was indeed a lovely meal. However, the cafe was open air and with the rain and cold and concerns about rain leaking into our camper it was a bit rushed. We bought a cake to have later, and I’ve only just remembered it now and it’s 6.00 p.m. We can have it after dinner.
We had a windy and wet drive to the little town of Cleve. We originally thought we would stay at Cowell on the coast, but felt itmight be less windy inland. In addition, this campground offers power, water, dump point and a new campers kitchen for $15 per night, a bargain really. There is mention of showers, but the one in the Ladies is a bit basic, so not up to my standards.
There are a lot of vans parked here, but we still managed to get a powered site. With the lack of solar we felt having power would be sensible. On arrival we set up in the rain, putting our van on it’s usual slope so water drains off the side and not onto our bed. Once we settled down the rain stopped, of course! It’s much colder than it has been up until now, and we are running our little electric heater. Very cosy.
At the end of the day I tried to work out how we ended up arriving here so late yesterday. Part of the answer was not leaving St Kilda until about 11:00 am. We felt quite relaxed knowing we only planned to drive 200kms so took our time getting ready to leave. We looked out over the mud towards the ocean (tide out) and wished we could stay to go to look at the bird life.
I had a plan to stop at Lochiel for lunch, and then it happened. We had a call from Matt’s house about paying an invoice for some medical treatment at St John of God Medical Centre in Midland. Turns out he has a little cut above one eye and quite a lot of bruising in the eye socket. Two things, we still don’t know how the injury happened as we rang to speak with him and take a look last night. There doesn’t appear to be anything written up, not even a compulsory Critical Incident Report. The house supervisor is on leave, so will need to contact her deputy. And why was Medicare not billed for the treatment as it has been in the past. I’ll need to contact the clinic I guess.
I pulled over to speak to the staff member, but was still distracted and accidentally took the route to the Yorke Peninsula. We ended up doing a sort of round trip before we could get back on the main highway. Just before we arrived back on the highway we saw the sign to Lochiel Lookout and decided to go there for lunch. We were about an hour later than my plan.
The lookout was well worth a visit especially as the sun was out. The alternative route we had taken was actually very scenic as well. We stayed at the lookout for I think about 1.5 hours, then went down the hill to look at the lake more closely. There is a path and lookout for seeing the Eel. People were also walking out on the mud.
We pulled into the first park up in Port Pirie only to find it was closed. If I’d checked the comments in WikiCamps I would have known. However, there is also a CMCA camp in another part of town. For $15 per night for non members it is a place to sleep with a dump point and potable water taps.
We had stopped to do some shopping before going there and still had some light, but we were glad to settle. Turns out it’s next to a large shopping area so we could have come straight here and then done the shopping. However, by going to Woolies on the way we did get to see the setting sun light up the Flinders Ranges. By the time I could take photos most of the sunlight had gone, but it was still beautiful.
And that is the story of yesterday. It started so well and we ended up so tired and arriving so late in the day. I’m waiting for Stephen to say that we must get moving earlier, say by 9:30 am, so that we don’t end up arriving so late. Especially if we want to be home in two weeks time.
The plan on the way home is to NOT stay where we have stayed before, so we drove past Crystal Brook, which would have been the best place to stay last night. Hopefully this will mostly work out well.
The rehearsal and performance was not quite as tiring as I had imagined. We arrived at 11.30 a.m. to get signed in and seated and the rehearsal itself got underway about half an hour later. The show is about two hours long, with an interval and we actually had a 15 minute break in the middle. Because the cast and musicians are professionals the break came quite abruptly as it is an entitlement. Unfortunately amateurs aren’t allowed this luxury, but because we were a mix we appreciated the benefits.
The whole thing was very interesting as although by then I knew the plot, it was different to see it actually unfolding on stage. It was a dress rehearsal so they were in costume and we all in our black gear. I was seated in the last row and had an excellent view due to the ‘bleaches’ we were sitting on.
At 3.00 p.m. we were set free to wander the streets and try to find a cafe, which we were able to do due to somewhat knowing that part of the city quite well. We had a chat with Matt whilst enjoying hot chocolates and a tart.
I had decided that if the seating was too uncomfortable and I felt tired I wouldn’t actually do the performance, but sit in the audience. But I’m so glad I didn’t as there were many moments of joy, including waiting for the curtain to rise, that I would have missed out on, including the cameraderie of being part of an approximately 140 voice choir. We were aristocratic some of the time and simple villages with country accents the rest of the time. People got up to dance on the stage in one part, just a few as there wasn’t much room. As well, we had to pretend to be asleep after taking the magic potion and some people were asked to actually lie on down on the stage for when the curtain was raised on the second act.
The principals had the same small amount of stage to work with, but as they were mainly singing it was actually enough. Different lighting effects helped to set the different moods.
Afterwards Stephen and I were on a ‘high’ and went and had a meal in the Chinatown Mall. Stephen tried not to overeat as he has been having stomach issues after restaurant meals, but he was still uncomfortable in the night.
We slept well for our last night (Sunday) and then did all of the packing up by 11.00 a.m. This had been given as the time we had to leave and it felt very civilized as we had the Sherwood set up for semi permanent living and there was a lot to do. We didn’t hurry, just worked through it and all was well.
We had a date in the evening to meet some friends at an Afghani restaurant, so we drove there and found parking in a large hotel carpark close by. We made use of the toilets there as well. We were able to relax, do a little shopping, and get ready for the evening.
The restaurant was decorated in a traditional way and the food was very good, but most of all we enjoyed the conversations around the table as we had a go at working out how to change the world to be a better place. To be resumed.
Afterwards we went back to our cars (we had moved to a parking space outside of a Lutheran facility which was closer to the restaurant and probably safer). We were all packed up for travel and we set off soon after our friends left to go to our park up for the night, St Kilda Boat Ramp Parking area. It is an official parking area for RVs and has a dump point and water taps, mostly for the boats, but handy for us. There is a little fishing tackle shop where we will pay our $8 for last night.
We had a good night, apart from a bit of wakefulness from being stimulated by the conversations and experiences of the last couple of days.
We have something a bit unusual planned for the first part of our trip before Ceduna and that is making us a bit more excited for the next phase than we would otherwise be. Stay tuned.
It’s been raining a fair bit over the last couple of days and we’ve just been going out for our G&S shows. Friday night was Trial by Jury held in an actual courtroom in the district court building. There was a security check as we went in and G&S staff made us line up so they could check us off their lists and control us going in.
We enjoyed it including the parts where the players interact with us, the audience. We even had to sing a bit.
Afterwards we went to the ‘food street’ and chose a different Chinese restaurant to the last one we went to last time. It turned out to be not the best choice. They had already seated us before we checked out the menu and it was expensive. We went for cheaper items and our meal was a bit stodgy. Stephen had indigestion in the night.
Then we went to St Louis for ice creams. They did not disappoint.
Yesterday was a matinee performance of HMS Pinafore, which was really wonderful. The singers were miked, which meant the sound was excellent and even softer voices were easy to hear. This breaks with tradition, but it seems a good idea and none of the singers had to force their voices to create a bigger sound. I think it makes for a more pleasing tone.
Afterwards we went for a bit of a walk to see the Catholic Cathedral on the other side of Victoria Square.
We chose a small restaurant at the markets near the theatre for our evening meal. We checked the menu first, of course. We settled ourselves in a nice spot outside and staff put the heating on for us. Shortly afterwards it started raining heavily and later became windy. We were preparing ourselves to sit it out as we knew the restaurant, which is tiny, was fully booked. However, the staff very kindly took charge and moved us indoors, saying not to worry about bookings and they would sort it out. The service and food were excellent and enjoyed chatting with our neighbours who were seated very close to us.
As we had bought Portuguese tarts before the show we didn’t need an ice cream. We had one tart each at intermission and the others when we got home.
We were much better prepared for the 2.5hr rehearsal last night, compared with the previous week when we got pretty exhausted. We had a restful day at home, with a meal of leftover curry I had made and took apples and drink to the rehearsal. We actually feel quite good this morning, but have spent the morning at home anyway. It’s been raining lightly but pretty constantly all morning.
What also helped last night was that we relied upon Uber for getting to and from the rehearsal. We had a driver within five minutes each way and the cost seems pretty unfair to the drivers, so I always add a tip to make it up to about $20. I can’t see how they can make a living, but our second driver last night said that he is taking a break from his normal career as a nurse and it keeps up with his bills and allows a little for savings. He worked as a nurse during the pandemic, so understandable that he would need a break.
The day of the performance is a marathon, starting at 11.30 with a three hour rehearsal, and ending at about 7.30 p.m. after the actual performance, with a one hour break at 3.00 p.m. We were given two messages about the performance. Make sure you drink water so that you don’t get dehydrated, but we can’t let you off the stage except for emergencies, even during the interval. Oops, contradictory. There are 150 of us, so the logistics of getting us off stage is one thing, the rather inadequate toilet facilities are another.
We had a colourful sunset here last night. We are looking forward to getting back on the road after being in one place for so long and having real views. We like the luxury of having water and mains power, etc., but we know we can manage without. I thought we might get ‘cabin fever’ from being in such a small space, but it’s been fine, probably because we are out such a lot, and also because it’s rather fun to have everything you need close at hand.
Hi everyone, I’ve changed the look of this blog because I couldn’t stop the duplication of images using the previous theme. Very annoying. To read the full blog entry just click on the title which will take you to the page. cheers, Susan.
We spent Tuesday in the State Library, Museum and Art Gallery area, apart from when I made a bolt for the Rundel Street Mall to buy yet another black top for the choir performance on Sunday. I wasn’t that happy with the first one, but this one should fit the bill. Hopefully there will be times in the future when both blouses will come in handy.
We found the State Library Cafe a comfortable place for morning tea and later, some lunch. I fell in love with the beautiful and historic Mortlock Wing of the library.
Adelaide Town Hall
We were trying to avoid coming home in peak hour as the tram on Monday evening was very tightly packed. The last two nights have been a bit better, we still left it until peak time, paying with our Metro cards, but in each second we caught the second tram. Last night was so funny, people could see the second tram waiting to get into place alongside the platform but still stuffed themselves into the first tram. The second tram did get quite full by the time we left the city, but nothing like the crowding in the first tram. Why did they do it?
I read a message from Averil about visiting the Town Hall, so we did that on our way home Tuesday. There was to be a talk later but we felt to tired to wait around for it. The Town Hall is lovely, there is a marble staircase that was worth seeing, plus the public hall, which is spectacular. We mooched around until they checked that we weren’t there for the talk, at which point we got up and explored around some more.
On Tuesday we arrived back before dark and picked up shopping bags and went and did a fairly large shop at Drakes. I made us a sort of mince and vegetable curry with portabello mushrooms as a second source of protein. Buying ready chopped soup veggies saves time. We had lots of leftovers and will have a third meal from that one cookup for tea tonight.
The gallery shows some of the autumn colours near the Japanese Garden yesterday.
Yesterday was our last fine day and it seemed a good idea to visit the two parks on our list, the Adelaide Himeji Garden and the Botanic Garden on North Terrace. Both were well worth visiting. The Japanese park is quite small and located in the green zone which surrounds the city. Afterwards we went to the first cafe on Hutt Street for hot drinks and toilets. Both were excellent.
We walked up to the next park, mostly along Hutt Street. We decided that if we were to move to Adelaide we would live on one of the small sidestreets as we really liked this part of the city. Our next cafe was in the Botanic Gardens where we shared a paninini. We didn’t explore everything but enjoyed the overall aspect of the park and went into the water lily pavilion.
Afterwards, Stephen wanted to go back to the museum and I gave in to the wish to go back to Rundle Mall, in fact, back to the the store I went to yesterday for some black pants to go with the black top. I didn’t know if I could get away with wearing blue jeans for the choir. The shop is UNIQLO and why this was my choice is that as I’m short and plump I always need to have the hems of jeans taken up. I can do it myself at home, but this store does small alterations for free. Stephen and I met up at our third cafe of the day to wait for the hemming to be done. It only took an hour. Fantastic service from my point of view.
Afterwards we trammed home and were glad that we could enjoy a lovely hot meal without having to shop for it.
Today is something of a rest day with home chores and going through our scores. Even Stephen hasn’t done much prep for tonight’s rehearsal. I’ve done none.
We enjoyed the matinee performance of Pirates. We are very familiar with this opera as Stephen was in a production in Perth last year. Although this was a professional cast I think both versions were very good. It was interesting to see Her Majesties Theatre, somewhat modest in comparison to His Majesties Theatre in Perth, but with a very good auditorium with good line of sight from all of the seats, unlike in Perth.
Afterwards we walked to one of the nearby squares, then went back towards Chinatown to find a restaurant for an evening meal. We quickly realised that our mistake last time was thinking that the mall of Chinatown was the place to look for restaurants. In fact, it is a street or two south, and we had a great choice of places. We chose the one offering Hot Pot and were given a menue to make our choices of base dish and ingredients and chilli level. This is a very good system and ensures they know exactly what you want.
We were able to sit outside due to it being a lovely mild evening. After the main course we wandered further along and were seduced by an icecream shop where we had little tubs and sat at a sort of bar outside the cafe.
And then home again.
On Sunday morning we went to the local Farmers’ Market held every week here in the Showgrounds. We bought some apples, but also had coffee, soup and bread, and some Honeycake.
After a rest and chat with Matt we headed back to the city for the Evensong at St Peter’s Cathedral. Although we enjoyed the service we felt that most of Arthur Sullivan’s sacred music is ‘meh’. They have a wonderful choir and the music was well performed, but apart from Onward Christian Soldiers, rarely sung these days due to it’s war like messages the rest of the music was forgetable. Sadly, as there is a lot of really beautiful music in the operas.
We were able to catch a tram nearby after about a half hour wait. We are finding the tram travel very convenient compared with buses.
Today, for our visit to Mount Barker our only choice was a bus. It’s about an hour from the city centre and our outward journey was enlivened by a long conversation with a local resident who lives near Hahndorf. He and Stephen discovered many connections and similarities in their backgrounds and he was also able to give us quite a lot of the history of Adelaide. We were delighted enough that Stephen asked for his phone number to keep in touch.
We met with Glenys, an old friend, who has moved to Mount Barker in the last few months. She is very happy with her move. She has a small villa and her husband, who has become less independent, has gained a place in a nursing home about 20 minutes walk away. She found the locals know when someone is new and she was invited to join a women’s informal club within a few days. She also attends the local church.
As well as having a large shopping centre in the town she has a lovely village style street with little shops and cafes. She took us to her favourite, and we were able to get a table outside, with the manager putting up a blind and moving furniture around to make us comfortable. We had tasty food and a kind waitress took our photo.
We spent hours talking and catching up. Glenys has children, grandchildren and a great grandchild. She is also an interesting person to talk with. She is a little older than Stephen and has given up driving, but her new location allows for her to walk or catch local transport to cover all of her needs. As well, one of her daughters lives close by.
We feel very happy that this has worked out so well for her. She has never lived in the city and find the Adelaide Hills is her ‘home’ even though it can get very cold and damp in winter.
We were able to catch an express bus back to the city. It took the steep highway/freeway down and I was very glad to not be driving. It was a different route to the morning.
We’ve settled for a quiet night at home, with a supper of eggs and toast planned.