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Andy’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 11 Apr 2006

Location: Adelaide, Australia


Well i made it to Adelaide by plane. Had to stay up all night to catch the bus to the domestic airport in Perth at four o clock in the morning. Tiredness did not help my nervousness at flying so i very nearly did a ‘Final Destination‘ and didn’t get on the plane, but after a half of Nitrazapan (thanks family member who shall not be named) i felt fine (think Ross from Friends on tranquilizers after he loses his job…sorry i mean after he goes on ’sabbatical’)”.

Flight was not too bad. Arrived in Adelaide and had to change my watch - demonstrates just how large this country is. Bit chillier here so think the tan may fade a bit while i work my way northwards where the weather is now entering, or soon will be entering the Dry season (2 seasons up north, wet and dry).

Booked into a lovely hostel in Adelaide. Annie’s Place. Another good choice, not too big and impersonal, friendly, brilliant old building, and they organise nights out. Last night we went to this place called Grace Emily’s. Pub/Bar that really reminded me of some Shoreditch/Hackney type places. Intimate venue with really outdated decor (think seventies wood panelling), an inch of dust settled everywhere, bric a brac stuffed all over the place. Basicaly a general feel of being in somones living room. They had an open mic night - some great, some good and some awful music was played.

Have not seen much of Adelaide. Went to the Botanic Gardens which i was very impressed with. Got to see a Wollemi pine which was only discovered in a deep gorge just 120km NW of Sydney - in 1994. Not only does this demonstrate how much of the natural world still lies undiscovered (note to self - don’t tell anyone this last sentence is copied from the garden leaflet) but also demonstrates how much of Australia is still úndiscovered’ (though perhaps not to indigenous populations) and mysterious. I read the other day that even as late as 70 years ago indigenous populations in australia were experiencing first contact with ’settled Australia’”(that is the most diplomatic way i can term it).

Anyway the botanic gardens were great - huge avenues of palms and bamboo, rare plants, peaceful setting etc etc. Other than that i did not see much (well except the hula-hooping 73 year old Korean with a bullet in his leg - but that deserves a whole post i think) and China Town - Adelaide has a thriving Chinese community which means its cuisine is quite diverse…and cheap. The reason for my poor sightseeing was not due to lethargy however, as the moment i got to Adelaide i met up with a group of people heading down the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne, which i have wanted to do since i decided to come on this trip. So most of the time here has been spent hiring two camper vans and deciding on our route, provisions, car games and so forth. I set off in just under an hour or so. Road Trip!

I did walk around Adelaide though and it is strikingly different to Perth which is very much a clean, sparkling, skyscraper city. Adelaide is far more European. Lots of grand old mansions, stone civic buildings and statues of Queen Victoria. Seems a nice place. But its time to leave. Adventure calls on the Great Ocean Road. Will post again soon when i get the chance. Once i get to Melbourne i wil stay there for a few weeks so i will be able to start sending out personal emails which i know i’ve been lax with.