Friday, September 29, 2006

Adelaide 2006 - Day 3 (230906)

The good luck of finding a $10 note yesterday gave me the impetus to rise early on Day 3. Rather, the appointment to go on a day tour to Barossa Valley served as the key driving force. In the end, I also woke up late. From the 7am alarm, I slept till 7.20. Yikes!

We missed the bus by just a minute or two. Blah! With 30 minutes to go till the next bus (now you really know to appreciate bus schedules in Singapore, which rarely exceeds the 15 minutes interval), we jumped across the street to get brekky. I saw "hot dog" written on the board but wasn't sure if it was served on bread. So I asked the friendly guy behind the counter.

"Can I have hot dog with the bread?"

He gave me a perplexed look.

"You want it on a bread?"
"You don't want it on a roll?"

Hmm... I never realise people call that a roll. I thought it's called hotdog bun. You know, the one that's long, like a... erm... roll? Anyhoo, I got my dog in the roll, and we crossed back to sit at the bus stop like the kiasu people we are.

Me with my roll, JY with her pie.

Today, we were going on a $64 tour with Enjoy Adelaide Tours. By the nick of time, we made it for our appointment with them outside Haigh Chocolates at 9.10am. In our cosy little group were 4 other couples, three girls about our age, and another guy. I like travelling with small groups. Groups that are too big suck because it feels less personal. Leading our tour was Gayle with her male understudy, Dennis. We really like Gayle because like her name suggests, she was very chirpy and happy. She cracked lots of jokes. Too bad with our shitty memories, we forgot to ask her to take a pic with us. Blah!

Many people know Australia as the country with lots of koalas and kangaroos. Although viewing either of them was not on our agenda, Barossa Valley decided to give us a treat anyway.

The kangaroo en route to Barossa.

The poor thing was quite lost. It hopped along the main road which we were travelling on, not quite knowing what to make of the metals horses that were zooming past it. We stopped behind it for a while before it hopped across the road into somebody's yard. Gayle decided to pull over and go over to knock on the house to notify the owners, and call the police. After she ran across, the roo came bouncing out again and almost got hit by a car.

It also managed to scare a man carrying a box.

He was wearing a plastic apron and we joked that he was a butcher and could come chasing the roo with a cleaver. The roo hopped away and onwards we went towards the valley.

The valley offers much better views than The Blue Mountain in Sydney. Do you know how many "Big Things" there are in Australia? In South Australia, the world's biggest rocking horse resides.

It doesn't rock.

For $2, you can climb up some stairs to see the horse and get a horse's eye view of your surroundings. In the souvenir shop, you get to buy miniatures and even the rocking horse manure, which are wood shavings.

You know spring is coming when the flies are out.

You can also get your bearings when you look at this. I was trying to point to the sign which says "Singapore". JY was pissed that KL was not stated.

We were treated to a story of the old gum tree where the Herbig family of 18 (parents with 16 children) lived for 5 years in the 19th century.

You can catch some of the story in the commentary by Gayle.

How can 18 people live in this? Amazing. How can someone have 16 children? Even more amazing.

At Angas Park dried fruits, I wandered around, wondering what to get. How to choose when eveything looked so good but was so frikking expensive! In the end, I settled for dried mangoes ($6), chocolate sultanas ($4.95), and a chocolate log cake ($14.95). Decisions, decisions!

A short ride later, we stopped for lunch. As promised by the tour, we "tantalised our taste buds with their delicious lunch. Selected from magnificent platters of virginian ham, home style salami & wurst, smoked kangaroo, hot chicken pieces, fresh crisp salads (vegetarian), cheese, olives, dill cucumbers, freshly baked bread, hot wedgies with sour cream & sweet chili sauces, fresh fruit and German cakes".

I had no idea which is the dried kangaroo.

With our full bellys, we were ready for some wine tasting. I have never been much of a drinker because I don't like the taste of alcohol. When I was 17 or 18, I had a couple of hard liquor and promptly suffered an excruciating rash for 2 weeks. Not cool to be scratching till you bleed.

The first of the wineries we went to was

Chateau Dorrien.

The family-owned winery serves one of the tastiest white port, according to Gayle and a fellow tourist. We stupidly left that one out of our wine list. We just sipped here and there and went out to hog the scenery for photos.

We sipped here and there and didn't like most. Sweet wines please!

Winery number two was

Richmond Grove.

Here, we got a guided tour that offered a brief commentary on how wine was made. Richmond Grove has one of the best ports I have ever tasted! YUM! But I didn't buy because I was ready to pee.

A tour of the Barossa Valley is not complete if you do not visit one of the best known wine-makers in Australia.

Jacob's Creek

It's huge, huge, huge!!! After we left, we continued driving for about 10 minutes, and were still in the brand's vineyards.

Sadly, I don't remember much of its wines because I was busy looking at the scenery and making pseudo-intellectual poses.

Thinking up some poetry perhaps? Nah! Wondering where to go tomorrow!

Ah, yes! Some proof of Adelaide being a windy state.

Forget styling your hair. Tousled look is the ONLY look here.

At the final winery, we didn't bother trying anything. Some of our fellow tourists however, seemed very excited to be at this particular winery.

Chateau Yaldara

I was more interested in spotting sheeps?

Chateau Yaldara is a beautiful place. Lots of them bought stuff from there. I saw a box, some beer, and some bottles. You can even get opal there. And see sheeps of course.

All too soon, we were at the last stop for our tour.

The Whispering Wall at Barossa Valley.

View from the reservoir

See the video to believe it!

Gayle said that the reservoir is almost always full. Surprising because Australia is the world's driest continent. JY asked me later, "If it's always full, why don't they just drink the water from there?" And started the ball rolling for our keeping-our-national-treasure-at-all-costs theories.

When we told Gayle we wanted to drop at The University of Adelaide on our way back, the girls turned to us and asked in awe, "Don't tell me you're going back to school!" Nah! Just for photos to show we went there, done that. To entertain us on our journey home, Gayle asked everyone to do a short introduction at the front of the bus. A few of the couples were retirees, something I look forward to. Imaging touring your own country with a loved one after you have stopped working permanently. Sounds like quite a plan.

We asked a girl to help us take photo while we posed in front of the sign "The University of Adelaide". For some reason, she stood very far despite us asking her if she could come closer. Blah!

I take better pictures myself.

Right beside the university is UniSA's east campus.

Not easy to do this kind of pose when the red light is on at the nearest junction. Many amused looks thrown our my way.

We walked and walked and walked, thinking all the time for a place to eat. My phone rang halfway. YAY! I AM POPULAR!!!

WOW!!! IT WAS S! She was back in Perth to attend her convocation. Wow! Had a long chat with her about shopping in Australia and the boringness of convo in general. Latest sales, nice clothings conversation punctuated with lots of "OMG!". I think JY was twiddling her thumbs and suck the air when I finally got off the phone.

Church picture of the day.

Did I mention how nice Adelaide bus drivers are compared to some others I have met? When I got onto the bus and asked for a ticket to The Parade, the driver struck a conversation.

D: Which bus stop in The Parade?
Me (looked at JY in question and JY looked back at me in shock): Ermm... Around the middle of The Parade?
JY: Bus stop 9?
D: That would be $20.
JY and me: (silent screams of "Oh no! Not Julia's bad bus driver karma again!!!") Huh?!?!?!
D: Just kidding. That would be $3.80.
Me (heaved sigh of relief and paid with a $5 note)

Then the bus driver started his entertainment. When giving me my change, he did the disappearing coin act. Boy, was he fast! That was a fun thing to do. Take time off and put the silly girls who didn't know where they were going at ease. I like! *stamp of approval*

Our cheesy smiles on the bus.

Had our dinner at Cafe Buongiorno. One of my best meals in Adelaide. It serves excellent pasta, although I would prefer my Fettuccine Bosciaola to be al dente. JY's Con Pollo would be an excellent choice if you prefer something less creamy and a little more sour. Yum!

It rained halfway through our meal and blew our pasta cold. It was still good nonetheless. Fantastic Day 3!!! Something I thought I wouldn't enjoy since I don't know how to appreciate wines!

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