Sunday, 8 February 2009

Friday 30 January: A long road!

We’d originally planned to fit in another walk today before heading back on the road but there was no sign of the temperature dropping and, frankly, even if we had the energy, it would have been fairly dangerous to go walking in that kind of heat (let alone the risk of bush fires!). So we decided to head straight to Adelaide, a drive of around 800km. We weren’t sure what the drive would be like and had kind of psyched ourselves up for a long, arduous day in the car – but it was actually really quite nice. The road was long, straight, almost empty and very pretty in a dried out, bleached kind of a way. Spotted quite a few kangaroos in the yellow grasslands along the way. The sheer amount of parched land with almost no trace of water around was quite staggering. Amazing to see how the trees survive and frightening to think about what must happen when bush fires take hold (as is currently happening).

The border crossing between Victoria and South Australia was uneventful and we stopped just after that for a spot of lunch from our cool bag (which loses its coolness quite quickly when in the back of a car in 40+ degree heat for several hours!)

As we made good progress, we ended up near Adelaide ahead of schedule so decided to drive to McLaren Vale, on the Fleurieu Peninsula. We checked in to a fairly basic caravan park and left the air conditioning on in our little wooden cabin for a few hours to cool it down from sauna-like temperatures to something bearable. In the meantime we went for a swim on Maslin Beach, which is possibly the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. Really gorgeous sand, ocean and stratified cliffs in the background. Stunning. After our swim (and a slightly unfortunate incident involving K, bodysurfing, a very large wave and the bottom of the seabed!), we walked along the beach for a while – and then realised we’d ended up at the nudist end of it! As you do…

Dinner tonight was at the divine Salopian Inn, a really gorgeous, intimate little place with its own wine cellar and a beautiful seasonal menu. We ended up having three courses and a very, very good bottle of cabernet sauvignon from one of the local wineries. Mmmmm!

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