Sunday, 28 August 2011

Recharging in Adelaide

Adelaide

As the second batch of home made pumpkin scones arrived on the table Jenny gently enquired:

“So, how long are you guys planning to stay for?”

Inhaling his 6th scone, Guy said between mouthfuls:

“Ohh about 4 days, we should be good to go by then.”

No one said anything, Freddie glanced outside from the comforts of the indoors, the wind howling in the trees. She was thinking what everyone was thinking: 4 days was was just the tip of the iceberg.||

Guy’s sister Justine flew out from Melbourne to visit for a few days, and Paul and Jenny graciously offered for her to stay in their house too. It was fantastic to see her again after such a long time.

Paul, Jenny, Justine, Freddie and Guy

Despite it being the middle of winter, we were lucky to have several days of gorgeous sunny weather, perfect winery touring weather so we made the most of it by visiting some of Paul and Jenny’s favourite spots in the Adelaide Hills, including Hahndorf, a village that was settled by German Lutherans, most of whom had arrived by ship from Hamburg in 1838. These early migrants began the tradition of winemaking in the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley.

 Wine cellar   German heritage in Hahndorf 

We took a stroll along the coast and a visit to the beachside suburb of Glenelg, and though it was winter it was still warm enough for shorts and t-shirts, even children were playing in the shallows.

Coastal walk   Coast in Adelaide

Not only is Adelaide a superb place for wine but its fertile lands are abundant with fantastic fresh produce so we headed to the Central Market where the city’s passion for food comes alive. We admired handmade soaps, enjoyed freshly roasted coffee and had some of the best dates since leaving Iran. A Sunday morning trip to Gepps Cross market saw us coming home with a car boot full of fresh fruit and vegetables, purchased in bulk from a variety of specialist vendors.

Koala    Picnic - note the bandicoot under the table

Paul and Jenny had promised to fatten us up after our trip through the Outback, and they did not let us down. We were bombarded by such delectable dishes such as home made pizzas, roast chicken, huge pots of soup, curries, golden syrup dumplings and a fresh loaf of home made bread almost every morning.

We also had access to their car so we took the opportunity to drive back up to the Barossa Valley for some wine tasting. Justine loves the odd drop of wine and enjoyed comparing the Barossa wines with her local drops from the Bellarine and Mornington peninsulas.

Guy and sister Justine   Jams and chutneys

Of course our wine tasting expeditions resulted in a few purchases, a stretch for any cycle tourer’s budget. Even here Paul had a solution for us: he had arranged some work for Guy!

Not having seen the inside of an office for 15 months, Guy understandably felt a little apprehensive, but Paul soon put him at ease and lent him some clothes and a shaver.  At the same time, a few UK contacts also got in touch with Guy about some work, and Freddie was able to work on an online marketing project and a translation. By the end of our stay, our coffers were a little more replenished, which took some stress off our minds as we had begun to worry about our depleted bank balance.

After Justine had returned back to Melbourne, Paul’s sister Melissa came to stay as she had a broken foot and needed some help with meals and shopping, and Paul’s parents came over for dinner before they jetted off on a trip to the US.

We also met Jenny’s parents, Tony and Janet, who are great travellers and had done the overland hippie trail to Europe in the 1970s. When Paul and Jenny went away for a weekend with friends, Jenny’s parents took us out for a hike to Mount Lofty to spot koalas (we saw 17!) and enjoy the first hints of spring in the air.

Dumpling competition   Rod having a ride on Kiwi

On the bike front, we had some maintenance to do. We completed an oil change, which has to be done every 5000km for the Rohloff hub. After using them for 13,000km since Istanbul, we also swapped our Schwalbe Marathon XR tyres out. Panaracer had put us in touch with their local distributor, Bike Sportz, who had generously agreed to supply us with new Panaracer T-Serve tyres to test. These tyres were much more lightweight than the Marathons and would be well suited to the relatively smooth tarmac roads we were expecting on our way home. 

The other item we urgently needed to repair was the zippers on Boris, our tent. With the help of Travelling Two’s Bike Touring Survival Guide we had figured out that we didn’t actually need to replace the zippers themselves, but just the sliders. It sounded like an easy job, but after spending several days trying to hunt down the correct sliders, we gave up. We had talked to craft shops, outdoor shops, had called YKK itself and visited their distributor, had searched for Australian online shops, but no luck: nobody stocked the zipper sliders we were looking for. In the end we just applied a quick fix by gently squeezing the sliders with a pair of pliers to tighten them. Hopefully this will get us home.

With that in mind, we were quite surprised to read that our friends Justin and Emma had managed to find a similar zipper for their Hilleberg tent in a market in Ulan Bator, Mongolia! If anyone reading this has contacts in the zipper world, we would be very grateful for any pointers on how to obtain some size 5 metal YKK spiral zipper sliders, double sided.

With all the excitement, socialising, working and eating, 17 wonderful days had passed and it was time for us to hit the road again or apply for official residency in Adelaide (which we considered!).

Paul & Jenny, thank you!

2 comments:

Friedel said...

Gosh, I can't believe you had such a hard time finding the sliders in Australia of all places! You still have the Hilleberg, right? They would probably send you some. We sourced our sliders within about an hour in Bangkok (the hardest part was just finding out where a sewing shop was).

Freddie said...

Thanks, Friedel. We'll give Hilleberg another try, didn't have much luck last time we asked them about this issue. Maybe we'll have to schedule in a trip to Bangkok (or Ulaan Bator!)

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