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.
His negative RAT from yesterday morning. He has had a headache and slight cold symptoms. He is feeling much better today with no headache and no cold symptoms. On Thursday I scurried around getting washing done. Although it was much easier than the last time we decided to do the towels and bedding, so that took more time. The bedding we put on the line and it dried well as we are having mostly fine, partly sunny days. Most of the rest went into the dryer.
Have I mentioned that we have inherited a small clothes airer? Someone was camped behind us and when she left she forgot her airer. So, we started using it, but kept in mind that she might want it if she returned to the caravan park. Apparently she comes here often. But, when she arrived and set up last night I noticed that she has a new dryer at the back of her Avan. We therefore think she won’t want this one back. It’s a little wonky anyway. But for our purposes it saves us having to dig our bigger one out of the storage box. We may take this little one with us when we go as I think we can fit it behind the seats in the front.
We found that we are going through our Telstra data quite fast, more than a quarter in less than a week. The service itself has fantastic speeds, over 700mbs on 5g for my iphone and pretty fast 4g on our wireless hotspot. So, we have put out the Dishy to use at least part of the time when we are at the caravan park. We are already paying for the service anyway and it has unlimited data, even after Starlink just updated all of it’s plans. You can pay for a priority service, but we are getting about 170mbs, which is fast enough to watch streaming TV and other programs, as well as uploading stuff for this blog. We had a mostly clear line of sight to the satellites in the south even though there was a large motorhome parked close in that direction.
Yesterday I had quite a lazy day, though each day I take a walk over to Drakes, the upmarket supermarket, for food. I haven’t cooked since we’ve been here as it’s so easy to buy a variety of precooked food. On Thursday night we had roast lamb and gravy and last night had tuna with salads. Stephen picked up our free bottle of wine from the caravan park office (due to us staying 3 nights or more), but we haven’t opened it yet, relying on the very low alcohol beer we can get from the supermarket as our special drink. This was our lunch yesterday, cheese and tomato sandwiches done in the tiny electric frying pan.
We had contact with family yesterday. Our neighbour contacted us to say that our mandarin tree is loaded with fruit. They’ve taken as many as they need, so suggested that we contact family to see if they’ve like some. We rang Marie and caught up with her news, some good, some not so good, and she said they will try to get there this weekend. They have keys to our house and yard.
Later, Matt rang us. I’d heard from his therapist that they will have a therapy assistant with him when he starts swimming, as well as Nicholas, his normal support worker for Tuesday afternoons. They are just a bit worried about how safe he will feel. I think he would be fine, but as it won’t cost very much, have agreed to the extra person. Matt was very engaged in the conversation at first, then lost interest and was keen to hang up.
In our G&S schedule we have only missed one item. It was a talk yesterday afternoon. Today we have a matinee of Pirates of Penzance and thankfully he is well enough to go.
Next time there might be more interesting photos.
We have been very busy and today at about 1.00 p.m. we decided we’d had enough and came home to a quiet afternoon in the van. Yesterday morning we went into town and researched things to see and got our concession cards for travelling on public transport. We’ve ended up with two options, a little card that gives us free transport between 9.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m., as in Perth, and a Metro card which allows for concession travel for other times. This seems necessary as we will sometimes be travelling in the early morning or later in the day to concerts, etc.
With the Metro Card we have to pay, but if we use it during the ‘free travel time’ it still uses the money we put on it, about $13, so we must remember to use the other card for those times.
I managed to find a black blouse, which will be needed for the performance of The Sourceror next week. Black is the default colour for choristers at a concert and it seems strange that I didn’t think of it before we left Perth. Anyway, I’ve found something for $50, not too bad. The opera will happen in concert style, we don’t get to dress up in costumes unfortunately. As there are over a hundred of us they would have had to borrow them from G&S societies all over Australia.
Then we went home for a bit of a rest before heading out on the tram again for the first rehearsal. We bought some food which we ate at the tram stop sitting on a bench. We had rolls heated up and mine turned out to be very messy, thank goodness for hand sanitizer which does a fairly good job of getting rid of grease and smells. When we arrived in town we found that we had just missed the bus to the rehearsal venue and they run half hourly, so we caught an Uber, our first for this trip.
The rehearsal itself was very well run. Most of the choirs have been practicing for a few weeks and I was fortunate to stand next to someone with a strong voice to guide me, as well as having the music of course. We enjoyed it, but it was very tiring indeed and we were glad to finish. It ran from 7.00 to 9.30 p.m. with a short break.
I ordered an Uber for our trip back and apart from a slight hiccup as I didn’t realise that he had driven into the parking area, rather than waiting out on the street. However he was very nice and friendly and I added a little extra to our standard tip to try to make up for the waiting. He was, if anything, over friendly, offering to have his wife cook us an evening meal which he would deliver, not for money, just for hospitality. Being Aussies we were just a bit cautious, but I really think he was just wanting to take care of us.
Both Uber drivers had Toyota Camry hybrids, which makes a lot of sense as they need a car that is economical to run. They are also a comfortable ride. I’ve used Uber before, but not for years, but the app remembered me and even has my ride history in it! So much of our lives can be taken over in this way.
This morning we were meeting some friends for breakfast and had to get up and ready to leave by 8.30 a.m. We caught the tram to town and then a bus out to the cafe. It was very nice to catch up with them and made it worthwhile. We walked back to the city afterwards, but when Stephen said he’d had enough and wanted to go home to rest I could only agree wholeheartedly.
I went out a little while ago to get some food for our tea, a salad and a mango chicken dish that we can have with rice or some of the lovely bread I bought.
I haven’t taken many photos yet, so just a few here.
Weather Report: Today was fine and sunny, with just a few clouds about.
We are staying in the Adelaide Showground Caravan Park, just south of the CBD. There is very good public transport from here, but I’ve downloaded the Uber app for getting back from nighttime rehearsals and shows. On our way here we went to the place where the rehearsals are held, just to see if it was possible to drive there and back, but the traffic defeated me, and although it is only 5kms from here I think it will be the bus from the city to get there and then Uber for coming home.
We had a lovely night last night at a campground in Parham. It is on the gulf with the very large tidal movements, so not exactly the seaside. There was quite a lot of cloud and rain showers as well. But, we enjoyed it for what it was, taking a walk along the sand that disappears later as the tide comes in.
This campground is $20 per night for a powered site, with flushing toilets and a good camp kitchen, so really good value for money. There are unpowered sites for $15, but given how cloudy it is we felt that we wanted power. It is only about 25kms from Mallara, so not enough of a distance to really charge up the batteries. We also stopped at Dublin to visit Bec’s Cafe for coffee and apple slice.
Today was the final push into Adelaide. Although the CBD is quite small, like Perth, the suburbs are spralling and the traffic seems much worse. I was relieved to get to our campsite. We’ve introduced a bit of a lean to the van to make sure that any showers do not result in water coming inside. Apart from that we’ve plugged into electricity and that is all to set ourselves up.
After lunch and a rest we walked about 500m to a local supermarket (very upmarket and just what we need for our stay) for a few essentials. We also had coffee and tiny lamingtons in their cafe section. They have lots of pre prepared meals and hot soups available, you serve yourself, but the cafe section is handy, if rather like being at Macdonalds.
Our caravan park is unique in that checkin consists of driving up to a gate and entering the code they’ve sent you. We can also use the code for coming in the pedestrian gate. There are two camp kitchen/shower/toilet and laundry blocks and a dump point. The sites are large and rather bare, but they have plant boxes at the back of the sites to give a bit of green and privacy.
To go into the city we can catch a bus, a tram or a train. I wonder what will win out tomorrow. We can use our seniors cards to get two week concession passes, which are enough for our stay here. We have to pay after 3.00 p.m., but can do so using paypass. The laundry also allows for paypass, no need to have lots of coins.
I cooked a lentil curry last night, so we will have the leftovers for our tea tonight.
There’s a sheep grazier’s warning at the moment in our area. And we’ve had rain, wind and small hail since we got here in the early afternoon yesterday. And enough sunshine in between to replenish our batteries.
On to the washing. We are camping at an RV park in the small town of Mallala, which is part of the Adelaide Plains. The rural area just north of Adelaide is a farming, wine producing and grazing area that is important for food production here in South Australia. The camping area we are in is mundane enough, but in the evening light the surrounding fields are beautiful.
The campground includes sites with a water tap, but no power. There is a well resourced camp kitchen, public toilets, and one shower and a small laundry that have coded entry. When we paid our fee of $12 per night ($24 for two nights) we were sent the code. It provides everything you need, without actually being a caravan park.
But, we have one more parkup before we go to the Adelaide Showgrands Caravan Park and I’ve chosen another Plains campsite, very like this one, but in a beachside village and our site will have power and water, for a massive $15 per night. With shower, toilets and a camp kitchen as well.
We don’t mind paying these sorts of fees. But, the facilities rely on local volunteers to maintain and that’s where they save money. We’ve spent money at the local IGA and had takeaway for lunch yesterday.
There are three or four rigs parked here which appear to be permanents. I’m glad that people who might otherwise be homeless can have a place to stay.
It was hard to get the quilt dry last night and in the end I took it over to the laundry and put it in the dryer. It worked and we could use the quilt as extra cover on the bed for a chilly night. But, this meant we used up four of our $1 coins. Stephen had been to the Post Office here to get lots of coins, but a mix of $1 and $2 coins. The washing machine and dryer only take $1 coins, but we didn’t know in advance.
I did all of our washing this morning and one go in the dryer wasn’t enough. But, I only had two $1 coins left. So, we put out the awning and put the washing on the clothes airer. That worked for about 10 minutes until a mini storm came in. The airer tipped over onto the muddy mat. I was over at the camp kitchen warming up my coffee and saw it happen. I rushed over, righted the airer and hung onto the awning with my other hand to keep it in place. Although I was under the awning I still got very wet and cold. But at least I was out of range of the hailstones.
When it passed Stephen went out to the sportsfield where children were playing football and asked adults in cars who were watching if they could exchange $2 coins for $1 coins. He was sucessful, and we put the washing and my wet clothes into the dryer for two full rounds and ended up with getting most of our clothes dry. We had chosen to leave some things hanging in the van and they are still a bit damp.
I planned to have a cooked meal at lunchtime and despite all of the drama I went ahead with the cooking and we found it comforting to have a very simple hot meal. We plan to snack this evening as we watch the Coronation.
Our journey from Brinkworth to Tarlee (another donation camp spot on a sports ground) took us through the Clare Valley wine region. We stopped at Clare because we thought it would be rather a touristy town with quirky cafes. It had a couple, one so nice that I bought some coffee beans without actually tasting the coffee, but I had started out feeling hungry and reading cafe menus made my appetite go away, strangely. It was only about 11:50 am mind you.
I checked out the charity shop as I am looking for a suitable black top for when we perform in the G&S choir, but only very cheap and nasty stuff. Wouldn’t a wine growing region have rich folk discarding clothes? Stephen rang the tourist office (weirdly located 4kms from the town) to see if any of the wineries offered meals and camping, but it doesn’t seem to be happening here.
I did a Google search and found a winery/restaurant on the edge of town and we weren’t disappointed. Not only was the building interesting, but the food was very good. A tapas menus so we got to have many different tasty dishes. At first you think it won’t be filling, but by the end we were only just able to eat everything. We had the meal without wine as it was lunchtime and we had to drive to our next campsite. But the coffee afterwards was also really good.
We then drove to Tarlee and after passing through a few attractive little towns it was surprising to us how quickly we left the wine growing part and we’re back to farmland. Attractive in its own way, but not as beautiful. In Clare and surrounds there were many European trees so we were treated to autumn colours.
The little town of Tarlee features as nice bakery/cafe that was closed when we arrived and a second hand shop with musical instruments featured. The owner makes a living by music tuition and has the shop as a hobby. The sign on the door said ‘closed’ but he invited us in anyway.
We’ve had a peaceful night with a few other campers arriving later than us. There is plenty of room.
There has been an item in the news about two policeman being stabbed and someone shot dead in Crystal Brook. It happened just after we left and we remembered seeing a police car and ambulance as we were leaving the town. It sounds like the dead man had mental health issues, but the policeman were wounded, one badly, and it seems shooting was the right call, especially as backup took so long to arrive.
So, there you are. We already avoid Snowtown, SA on our drives to and from Adelaide, that is, we drive straight through. Will Crystal Brook be our next town to avoid? Probably not, it isn’t at all equivalent to what happened in Snowtown. and we had murders in Victoria Park a couple of years ago.
After leaving Crystal Brook we went out to a place called Bowman Park. Our intention was to spend one night there, but after we arrived and settled in we agreed that it was so lovely that we would stay two nights. We had other campers there, but even so it was very peaceful. It is on the edge of a creek, dry, but with beautiful, large rivergums and then the park is surrounded by farmlands. There is a nature playground that is so unusual that adults can enjoy looking at it and some old, houses falling into disrepair. There was no explanation for this.
One building was maintained and can be hired for events. As well, there are flushing toilets that are cleaned twice daily during the week and once on weekends. We got to know the cleaning woman as she came so often.
On the first evening we did a short walk, then Stephen went up to the lookout, quite a strenuous climb. Yesterday we did a walk in the late morning in another direction. In the evening Stephen set out to find the local section of the Hysen Trail. I was reading for awhile, then went out to have a walk around the small oval nearby. I found Stephen near the toilets and we actually did find the trail and followed it for a while. There is a well set up trail hut just near the campgrounds. Not that it is luxurious and it certainly smells musty, but for a hiking trail hut it’s pretty amazing.
We really enjoyed the time at Bowman Park, there is something very peaceful about tall trees. We even saw kangaroos on our evening walk. Although there has been some rain the walks weren’t muddy, perhaps because of good drainage. This morning it was raining, but that made it easier to pack up and leave. We went back into Crystal Brook to do some shopping and Stephen was able to get both gas bottles filled as one was empty and the other partly empty and getting gas bottles refilled instead of ‘swap and go’ isn’t easy to find. Two full bottles of gas might last until we get home again.
Over the couple of days at Bowman Park we had intermittent sunshine, and with the shade from trees (even though we parked as far from trees as we could) our solar hadn’t had much of a chance to charge up our batteries. By this morning we were using our little Delta Mini to boil the kettle and make coffee. We haven’t driven very far, about 60kms, and that isn’t enough to charge the batteries either, so we are very grateful to the small village of Brinkworth that provides a basic caravan park with toilets, one shower, and water and power hookups for $12 per night. Hard to beat that! So, we are plugged in and the batteries should get a good charge overnight so that we can be on our way again.
We are close to Clare, of the Clare Valley wine region. We’ve only been able to get a place here at Brinkworth for one night as a big party is coming for the weekend tomorrow, but the plan is to explore Clare tomorrow, find out the best winery, and perhaps overnight in a nearby village which at least offers donation camping and toilets. We hope that the batteries will be happy after their overnight charge and carry us through for another day or so.
We have booked a caravan park in Adelaide for two weeks to cover all of the Gilbert and Sullivan events we will be attending. $55 per night isn’t too bad and the park is at the Adelaide Showgrounds with a tram running past to take people into the centre of the city. We’ve stayed on the other side of the city in previous years, but this park gets good reviews on Wikicamps and the sites are a generous size, and level.