Because of the rain the YHA crew had put on a whole day of films, the first one starting at 12:00 was Nottinghill, I had seen this many years ago and do like Hugh Grant and Julie Roberts so it was no problem to watch it again. After this I popped out for a bite to eat, I had noticed a nice little Indian restaurant just across from the Victoria Barracks. I decided to give it a try, they had a nice looking set of about 10 readymade, Dahls, Rogan josh goat curries. I had a the 3 meat curry choice with Basmarti rice and a garlic Naan all washed down with a mango Lassi, well worth the 15 Bucks for the lot.
The road traced the flow of the river Terrane as it winds its way up through the wooded hills interspersed with farming pastures and fruit trees (it is here that the cherries that will grace the tables of Australia at Christmas will most likely come.
Our first stop was for a cup of coffee at the largest Rocking Horse in the world, you can also pay 2 dollars and climb to the top of the horse (I wonder if the Greeks had to pay to get into the one at Troy), it is here that wooden toys are made (I didn’t go into the shop either as I think I have out grown wooden toys). Into the bus (Amber was keeping us to a tight schedule) our stopped off was famous(they said so, not I) for its dried fruits, the farm shop was in a small town called Anguston.
But I did here buy a bag of Müsli for no other reason than I needed some.
Into the bus and away we jolly well went, Amber giving us the patter (very interesting patter, she should try doing this for a living). We at last entered the Barossa Valley for real, here they came miles and miles, sorry Kilometre upon Kilometre (Australia is metric, may be some others should try it!) of vines, you name it they have it, of course many are heavily influenced by the German influence (they being the first settlers in the region).
Amber was driving a hard bus, but she kept on with the facts and figures, I was able to keep up with her at this point. She then informed us that our next port of call would be lunch, she had handed round a list earlier and everyone had ticked what they wanted for lunch; it was a two course with a salad bar (so really a three course if you piled your salad plate up, wink, wink, we backpackers know these things). We arrived at the Vine Inn (original eh!), it was a very respectable place and we were ushered to our tables, I ordered a bottle of white New Zealand Marlboro pinot blanc ( I love to see the Aussies squirm). I had ordered the Kangaroo, this came with mash and a nice pepper sauce, you could then helped yourself to potatoes and cauliflower cheese (which I did). The meal was way above my expectations, I have been on these type of jaunts before and the meals are not of the finest quality, this was also not of the finest quality, but it was way above average. The meat wonderful and juicy (you cannot eat kangaroo anything above medium, and I really mean you cannot eat it, it is like a lump of shoe sole) full of taste and the cauliflower has still a bit of bite, the spuds also well cooked. The Kiwi wine just rounded it off.
The next and last was my favourite, Kies, not because it was a vineyard of distinction, or even had excessively knowledgeable sexy ladies behind the bar (notice how low we are stooping), but it was a hole in the wall type of place, the walls festooned with all manner of bric-a-brac most of which had little or nothing to do with the wine trade.
The sun was hot by this time and it was making me feel a little drowsy (did I hear you say something about amount of wine may be?). I took a couple of photos, of Jacquie (she’s the lass from Letterkenny, remember)playing with the vines and miniature grapes. There was also a tea room at this place, but who needs tea on trips like these, we headed for our last stop, nothing at all to do with wine, well I suppose it does in reality as without water there would be no vines), it was the whispering wall, this is the dam wall and because of its shape if someone stands at one side and speaks quite quietly people at the other end can hear quite plainly. I did not want to take part in this nonsense as I have done at various structures at various places throughout the world, the most famous being the whispering gallery at St Pauls Cathedral, I also wanted to take some pictures of the dam and reservoir and I needed a pee.
I didn’t buy any wine (I think I had consumed quite sufficient without having to BUY any), but I did buy a wine pourer with a cooling piece and aerator, I will see if I can get that home or if it manages to become separated from me, I also bought some drop stoppers, I bought these as souvenirs as they had the Wolfs Blass emblem on them.