Sunday, November 18, 2007

Roadtrip! (South Australia Leg)

September 16, 2007

We crossed into the state of South Australia by quickly eating the apples we bought and throwing them at the border of Victoria and SA, where they had a specially provided bin (and a huge signboard warning us not to bring fresh produce into the state). We also had to re-set the time on our watches, mobile phones and car clock back 30 minutes. SA is in a different timezone to VIC and NSW.

Rain greeted us into town but it did not make our stop at Mount Gambier any less exciting. If anything, it made it all the more challenging to get good pictures. When we ascended the mountain, there was a stench of raw egg. It was the smell of sulphur the lake was emitting. Lake Gambier, which is atop the mountain, is actually a volcanic crater. The colour of the water changes according to the weather. If you look carefully, you could see the beautiful turquoise/emerald-ish colour of the water.

There were more than one lake but we decided not to stop anymore because we had to reach Hahndorf by nightfall. So on we drove and yes, we did make it to Hahndorf in time for dinner. We were lucky to get the last remaining room in Best Western and learnt that hotel actually means 'the place you eat' and motel means 'the place you live'. Wah... all these years without knowing that in Sydney...

As I was here only in winter, I knew Hahndorf pretty well. Had to bring them to where I had the yummy ribs and German sausages. Dad was very happy with that meal.

September 17, 2007

I was glad I decided to spend the night in Hahndorf and not somewhere in Adelaide city. Why? Because, the next day, we woke up to a very beautiful morning in Hahndorf. Mum and Dad just loved the place. The original architecture, the landscape, the food... aahh...

Not all the shops were open but the lolly shop was so that was enough to leave us with good memories of the place.

When you are in South Australia, one thing which is on your Must Do List is to visit the vineyards. I mean, come on, who cares if it's the right time of the year? It's where all the best wines in Australia (and probably the world) come from! So yes, off we went driving on gravel roads to see hills and hills and hills of endless grapevines! What a sight to behold! Well, they were more or less still bald but still picturesque nevertheless.

In between, we also saw trees with white blooms and Mum concluded that they were pear trees. Those with pink blooms were apples, which there were very few off due to the wrong time of the year. Occasionally, there were the oranges and lemons.

Lunch for the day was curry chicken pie and boy was it good! We had it at a small bakery near Whispering Wall. I totally recommend homemade pies in small towns and villages. Whispering Wall was nothing much - it did not impress Dad as much as I hoped it would. Sigh, architects don't get excited by stuff like that, unlike their offspring.

As I found a lavender farm near Whispering Wall, we headed there.

It was more like a lavender 'showroom', not a farm. It housed 52 varieties of lavender and the smell, wow! But I'd have to admit that I've never seen that many lavender patches in the same place before.

Behind the farm, there was a field of wild flowers of yellow and purple. The contrast of colours was irresistable so yes, it was photo-snapping time! You can imagine how crazy Mum went - she's a flower freak.

Dad felt adventurous and decided to take smaller roads into the city. We got lost and were frantic as we were worried that we wouldn't be able to return the car in time to Europcar. Worse, we were worried that we would miss our flight! However, it was all worth it as we were rewarded with these:

The mustard fields were just a sight to behold!

Finally, it was time to bid Adelaide goodbye. We were extremely lucky as Europcar had a one-hour leway (how do you spell that word?) and we weren't penalised. Also, our flight was delayed due to the bad weather in Sydney. Phew!

Spent some time browsing through Adelaide Airport and I asked Mum to swap seats with me because I wanted to take pictures of these:

Thank you SA for a wonderful time!

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