Heading West

Here we are in Ceduna and we are in the first caravan park with 500mb of free Wi-Fi. Would you know it and I haven’t got much to say? We had a rumble around Rundle Mall on Sunday, set foot in the casino for coffee and cake and dined at the Henley Beach Hotel for dinner to celebrate getting the washing up to date and our last night in Adelaide.

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Yesterday we drove up to Port Augusta, the trip was quite busy with traffic, rain and a stiff head wind. We had an ensuite for the night. This morning we had news that Adelaide and Hills had copped strong winds over night with trees down and power outages. So glad we had made to decision to head towards home.

The drive today started out as a sunny fine day with a slight head wind but bearable, but later overcast and an odd shower. Approaching Iron Knob we had to slow to 60km due to a community event. The army are in town conducting exercises in the area. We passed quite a bit of army traffic coming down from Darwin several weeks ago and they are still here. It took us quite a while to get past the exercise area and then a few more kilometres down the road we passed 2 soldiers in full kit and armed, patrolling another area.

The rest of the journey was uneventful, we did see sheep, emus and several dead kangaroos and foxes. The crops around here are shooting out of the ground so I hope the weather stays good for the local Cockies. Tomorrow we will head for the Nullarbor and probably stop at Nullarbor Roadhouse. The weather is supposed to be clear but I think the wind may still be a problem.

We did hope to have a night at Streaky Bay but our favourite restaurant doesn’t open on Mondays and is not open for dinner till Thursday.

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Courtesy of moceanstreakybay.com.au

Next time we will have to schedule our travel better. Pam has done a wonderful job of putting together a rough schedule and places of interest but that was only up to Adelaide. We left the journey home free to see what took our fancy. Esperance is still on the agenda once we hit WA so will have to remember to turn left at Norsemen instead of right.

Cute ‘n’ Kugglee

Today was one of those days where you get to fulfil another of those items that appear on your bucket list. Today we visited Adelaide Zoo to see the Giant Pandas. We didn’t get there until after feeding time but Fu Ni was still chewing away on bamboo shoots but Wang Wang was having a lie down after his meal. The pandas are in different enclosures and leading solitary lives as they would in the wild. They are only brought together when it is breeding season. The breeding season for giant pandas only lasts for 36 hours in which time the female climbs a tree and waits for the attending males to fight over her. When the battles have been settled she descends to mate with the victor. Last year in September they hoped that the pair would mate but in the end they had to resort to artificial insemination. It is not possible to tell if a giant panda is pregnant until two weeks before they are due to give birth. Unfortunately, Fu Ni was not pregnant last year.

Photo of Panda

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Fu Ni

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Fu Ni

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Fu Ni

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Sleepy Wang Wang

Also at the zoo were several pairs of red pandas. These little guys are much more active than their bigger cousins.

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Other exhibits were the Samaritan Tigers

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Meerkats

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Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat

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Sea Lion

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Hippopotamus

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Hippopotamus

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Hippopotamus

This Rock Wallaby will soon be sending her youngster out to work I think

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Plus many other exhibits.

Brrrrrrrr

Back to the reality of the Temperate Zones of Australia. We flew back from Cairns yesterday on the wettest day in Adelaide in 75 years. Temperature got up to 13⁰C. In Cairns the overnight temperature was lucky to go below 20⁰C. Back in the van and the heater is going full blast but we are warm and dry.

Today the Amarok went in for an oil change and inspection. We asked for a loan car when we booked it in over a week ago. The phone rang this morning before we left to tell us the loan car had not been returned, what did we want to do. They promised to complete the work within 1.5 to 2 hours so we dropped it off. The area was Mile End, an industrial area of Adelaide so we asked if there was any place we could grab breakfast. 2 blocks away was a 24-hour café which was part of a local pie and cake producer. The coffee and breakfast here was great and well-priced after some of the remote locations we have dined in. As promised we had the Amarok back within 2 hours so we set off for the Adelaide Hills.

First stop was the German influenced town of Hahndorf. This town was started in 1839 by mainly German Immigrates and has maintained it ever since. It has a lovely main street which is lined by deciduous trees, unfortunately leafless at this time of year.

One of the shops that caught our eye had a display of German clocks so in we went. There were regulator clocks, mantle clock, wall clocks and grandfather clocks and many cuckoo clocks. Every now and then a cuckoo clock or a chiming clock would go off. Thank goodness they all weren’t set to the correct time or as the o’clock came there would be a cacophony of chimes and cuckoos. At the other end of the shop were various stuffed toys and other collectables. The striking feature was a display of ‘Golly’ dolls. We noticed in the Territory that there were ‘Gollies’ for sale. I asked the sales assistant for help in choosing a ‘Gollywog’. I was politely informed that they were ‘Gollies’ to be P.C. to which I informed her that in my day they were ‘Gollywogs’. Her husband agreed but we had to speak in hushed tones. We had a great time in choosing a doll and finally chose the one called June.

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Our stroll along the main street was curtailed due to another shower so we adjourned to German Cake shop and partook in a monstrous slab of German Apple cake for Pam and Cherry Strudel for me. Fully fed and watered it was time to continue our drive. We wound our way through miles of cattle country and vineyards towards Birdwood. The Nation Motor Museum is located there but we continued on till we came across a scenic drive through a gorge that followed the River Torrens. Yet again different country than we had seen before. Eventually we came across a dam that was being upgraded. This was damming Kangaroo Creek which is part of the water supply for Adelaide. All in all a lovely day out that due to the weather could have been a disaster.

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