Exploring Adelaide Hills

(12/18/2016  2:30pm, I’m back writing.  5 days behind.  Yikes!  I also just figured out my camera is still on US time but everything else is Aussie.  10 minutes of confusion followed as I struggled to find a “missing” day.  I’ll get that day back January 10.)

12/25 missed getting this uploaded.  I’ll go back later and put things in order.

We don’t want to rest TOO much.  Might miss something.  Alicia had several more days off, so time to explore.

I found that I now knew a quick path to the local Macca’s.  This time the walk took 27 minutes compared to over 40.   A cappuccino and a table, time to upload truths, stories, tall tales, and bs to my blog.  That took  about an hour, the ladies came and picked me up about half way back.  I didn’t mind the walk, but I did notice that evening that my legs were getting sore.  Had to break out the ibuprofen in the middle of the night.  Keeping it handy now just in case.

After a quick lunch, time to check out some of the local sites.  There was a Botanical garden at nearby Mount Lofty, so we took off for an afternoon drive.  First stop was a winery and strawberry farm.


Must be run by one of my coworker’s sloshed relatives.  There are a hoard of these little shops around here catering to the tourist.  The local hamlet of Hahndorf is simply loaded with them.  Selling any type of thing a tourist could want.  Jewelry, art, food, beer, cloths, crafts, stuff, everything.  The largest presence is represented with wine tasting rooms.  Every now and then I pick up a bottle of the local fermentations.  Very nice.

Afterwards, up to Mount Lofty.  Disappointment there.  The gardens were closed because of a high fire danger.  I don’t quite understand why, but whatever.  Because the visitor’s center at the top of the mountain was still open.


The view of Adelaide was stunning from there.


A bit hazy, but that has been the norm.  There has been a lot of moisture in the air and summer finally arrived a couple of days ago.  This picture was shot under the threat of more rain.

Just below the summit is a short little trail through the brush.  There are several stations with poles and visitors are encouraged to take mobile phone shots from the tops of the poles.  A huge wildfire burned here a few years back and the flora recovery is being carefully monitored.  People can download an app, and the stream of photos will document any and every change.  Since I am rather stupid as far a smart phone goes, I declined to participate.  I’d probably still be standing there trying to figure out how to get the app running.


A shot from the trail near one of those poles.  I was more interested in the scenery rather than the undergrowth.

Back to Mount Barker on the freeway.


Doncha love that traffic on the wrong side?  Alicia hates the driving, so I volunteered to drive from this point forward.   She thought about it briefly and accepted.   First trip out on my own in Alicia’s car, back to Hahndorf to get something special for someone special.  My daughter.   Neener neener if you’re reading this.  You’ll have to wait.

Practice run survived.   Managed all the roundabouts and weird feeling traffic and earned my title of “driver”.  I kind of miss seeing all the cool stuff, but we are now going more places.

Next morning, after brekkie, off to Victor Harbor.  Not too far south of Mount Barker and a driver doesn’t have to mess around with downtown Adelaide.  It’s in the same direction as Kangaroo Island, a little east of the Cape Jervis ferry terminal.

A pleasant drive in the cool morning, a sprinkling of rain here and there.  Not many people or cars, I think the weather was discouraging them.


Imagine that,  More tourist shops.  Sigh.  Groan.  But wait!  What’s this?


Adventure.  A causeway to a nearby island with railroad tracks on it.  Not for trains.  For horse drawn trolley cars.  Too cold and rainy for the trolleys that day, not enough riders.

This was irresistible.  I left the mainland to explore.  I also left the ladies behind as the weather was too cold and rainy for them.



Upper center.  Little penguins.   People flock over here at night to see the penguins come up out of the water and waddle to their burrows.  They do that at night to escape predators.   No penguins during the day.  Sad smile   As I write this I’m thinking about returning and spending a night nearby to go have a looksee.   But there’s that trip to Antarctica that I’m still dreaming about…

OK, I’ll take a walk around and look anyway.


The causeway.


No wonder my legs are tired!


Lotsa pictures coming up.  This walk was great!   Town of Victor Harbor.


Rosetta head, just south around the bay from Victor Harbor.


Seal Island.  Over the top and about 2000 miles away is Antarctica.


How was I to know that Granite Island was the spawning grounds of the Remarkable Rocks?  Seriously, I was stunned to see this.  Never thought I’d ever see anything close to the Remarkable Rocks again in my life.  A yawning baby hippo?  It’s about 4 feet long.IMG_3677

Fluffy seedpods for the local grasses.   Weird looking things.  Probably helps them survive fire


I stole this selfie during a break in the rain sprinkles.  The wind was howling and I didn’t want the camera lens speckled up.


The car is parked in front of those apartments


A trio of cormorants.


I didn’t look back on the way out, this is what I missed.  The trolley terminal.  Praxy and Alicia are walking out to meet me.  They drank coffee, ate cinnamon rolls, and stayed warm.  I stayed warm with brisk walking.


Looks like a Clydesdale to me.  They are noted for their gentle temperament and great strength.  Best way to get ‘em used to the people, noise, and traffic is to throw ‘em in.  Just noted the roadapple diaper, missed that when I took the shots.  The pee must be free.  Or go free.

Last stop of the day was McLaren Vale.  There were at least 50 wineries with tasting rooms within a 10 mile radius.  This is what the Adelaide area is famous for.  Wine.  Tourist and buses are everywhere sampling and buying.  I got a bottle from a nice man at the local Visitor’s Center.  Small operators, too small for a full tasting shop, get to rent a spot in the center for two weeks at a time.

A person could REALLY REALLY get sloshed hanging around McLaren Vale.  A sip here, a sip there.   In a few hours you could easily be on your lips sipping the sidewalk.  Designated drivers are a must.  Or outriggers on your shoulders.

I thought I might buy some local cheeses, but the prices were totally outrageous.  Not even close to a “buy” point.  The wine-and-cheese crowd have much deeper pockets than this hick from Pomeroy.  But we stopped in a local nursery and here was the largest grape vine I’ve ever seen.  Monstrous.


A years worth of grapes for me in one shot.   A few months out from this point.


Great fun!

The next day was rather a day to relax.  We took off to Murray Bridge to check it out and  make motel reservations.  We’ll be back here on Jan 4th and spend two nights to look around.   Blog will come up at the appropriate time.  But here are two things that we probably won’t see again.


A freight train on the bridge.  The auto bridge is on the other side of this bridge.   And…


This “Good Ole Boy”.  I didn’t ask him his name, but I had to get his story.  He was more than willing to chat.

The Murray river is pretty much at sea level at this point.  Brackish water with plenty of carp to catch.   There is a large herd of these house boats hanging around the area on both sides of the river.  These boats can come here and tie up for 48 hours, leave for 24 hours, then return for another 48 hours.   It looked like there were about 20 or so slots.

This is his house.  He has a huge house cat (Lounge sized to the Grants) that is the shipboard mascot.   BBQ, propane fridge, no rent.  Walk to the store for groceries.   Generator off and on when he needs to charge something.  Chat with the tourists for entertainment.

Low stress lifestyle.  Seeing a lot of that down under.

12/18/2016  4:30pm


About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
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