Garlic and wallaby do blue? Up early yesterday to get the first tram into the centre of Adelaide. Unfortunately the Christmas Pageant (in early November?) meant we could not take the tram all the way and we had to go further to get to our bus. So,in the sunshine and warmth of 6:50 on a late Saturday morning we walked with our cases past people who had already set out their chairs along the route of the pageant to get thevfront two or three rows, with people kipping, children playing excitedly or chalking on the road and people queueing up at stalls for food and/or drink.
It was pleasing that whilst late we were not the last. When they arrived we set off and spent the morning driving through farm land with the occaisional stop for a toilet break, coffee (at a place called Keith, the middle name I do not use but I still had my picture taken with a sign there) before lunch at a place called Frances. Hot-dog with salad provided just the right mix of foods to keep us going through the afternoon.
During the journey people introduced themselves and it turned out there that out of our group of 11 people, eight were German, which, as regular readers will be aware, is something I am exremely comfortable with.
After more driving we came to Mount Arapiles, a sandstone outcrop amongst the farmland. Millions of years ago when the land had been under water it was an island before the land rose up and the seas withdrew. We walked up to near the top and had a fantastic view of the countryside around. Despite being sandstone it is not very crumbly and the sheer former cliffs make it ideal for climbers and there were a lot of them camped around.
From the top we could see the Grampians and that was where we went next. The route there was along dirt roads and the dust from other vehicles meant thatvwhen we arrived everything was covered in red dust. We reached an area called Halls Gap and there hadclearly been a party going on at the clubhouse next to a footy pitch surrounded by trees. The kareoke was still going on and people had clearly had a beer, or maybe a few more. On the footy pitch were a number of kangaroos so the bus emptied to take photos of them. I did not resist, as you can see.
We then climbed Chutauqua Peak and went to Clematis Falls, which were a bit disppointing, as though someone had had turned off the water. After a lot of walking and climbing people were reieved to go to the backpackers were we were to spend the night. A dinner of skippy bolognese was very welcome. People sat around chatting for a while but the exercise and fresh air soon had everyone in bed and sleeping soundly.