Hello to all of our subscribers.
We are sorry for having not been in touch for the last two or three weeks; we have been busy exploring Adelaide and the surrounding areas, and spending money on our car!
Adelaide, dubbed ‘The City of Churches’, is the state capital of South Australia (SA), and is situated almost midway between Sydney and Perth on the south coast of Australia. Despite it’s consistently high ranking in the ‘Worlds Most Liveable Cities’ index, and the fact that house prices have tripled in the past decade, Adelaide seems to hold a bad reputation as a place which doesn’t really have that much going for it. Bizarre…
Our first impression of Adelaide was good. We spent two days passing through the city so that Simon could replace his defunct camera, before we headed out to the Barossa Valley and the Flinders Ranges. The weather was good, and we appreciated our time in this relatively small city.
The Barossa Valley, a famous wine region, was beautiful and, in our opinion, more spectacular than the Hunter Valley in NSW. Making the most of the sunshine and our quiet campsite, we kicked back for a few days. Before travelling north to the Flinders, we sampled the local produce and purchased a couple of bottles of Riesling from Yalumba, the oldest family-owned winery in the Barossa, to take with us. We believe that Yalumba export to the UK, so this may be a name that you are familiar with.
The journey north to the Flinders was long, and gave us our first glimpse of the arid “Red Centre”, so called because of the bright red clay soils and sparse greenery amongst it’s landscape. The campsite that we stayed at was our first without any grass, as water is too valuable in these parts to be used for watering the lawn. Having said that, during our stay here the weather was poor, and was generally overcast and wet. Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre of mountains, is one of the most popular sites in the Flinders Ranges. Unfortunately, following our 20 minute hike (yes, Mum, we hiked!) to an excellent lookout, our view of the Pound was obscured by cloud, so we have had to borrow someone else’s photograph to show you what it looks like!
We have now returned to Adelaide, and have used the time to get some minor repair work done on the van. This, of course, comes at a price, and we are disappointed to hear that the clutch will need replacing shortly as well.
The good news is that the van is now fully kitted up for running our electrical gadgets from our solar panel. However, the installation of this brought to light the terrible, and dangerous, work done by the Auto Electrician when we purchased the van from Kings Cross in Sydney! *Note to any travellers that are considering purchasing a vehicle from these guys – be sure to obtain an independent mechanical AND electrical check (from the NRMA) BEFORE you leave Sydney. We didn’t, and now wish that we had done… How can people like this sleep at night, knowing that they have effectively placed a ticking time-bomb in the back of an ignorant, and unsuspecting, backpacker’s car?! Anyway, all is good now…
Tomorrow morning, we continue our road trip, first heading north and then south around the Spencer Gulf. We have an overnight stop at Port Augusta en route to Port Lincoln, where we will be cage diving with Great White Sharks on Wednesday. Assuming that we make it out alive, we will continue to follow the south coast, heading north west towards Perth.
Between Ceduna and Perth we will sample our first proper taste of the “real” Australia: enormous treeless plains, endless driving, bush camping, and extortionately priced Outback fuel. This is a 1200km journey (nearly 1000 miles) across the Nullarbor Plain, from one point of civilisation to another, with relatively little in-between. Before we leave Ceduna we will stock up on water and imperishable food items, and make the most of our final shower before we arrive in Norseman, Western Australia (WA).
From Norseman we are heading south to Esperance and Cape Le Grand National Park, where the white sandy beaches are reputedly some of the best in the world. We are fast approaching winter in Australia, so we hope to be able to experience this part of the world in all of it’s glory before the snow comes!
So by early-mid May, we will be arriving in Perth, WA, where we will spend at least six months topping up our rapidly depleting funds. Our aim is to continue north, although we must plan our trip around the wet season, which makes the northern part of Australia virtually inaccessible during the summer months of November – April.
We have uploaded some more photographs to our Flickr account, which you can accessing by clicking here, or by clicking the ‘Our Flickr’ button on the homepage.
So, we may be out of reach for the next couple of weeks, but as soon as we’re able to get back online, we’ll be in touch.
Lots of love from us both, xx