The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

Around the World (Again) Christmas in South Australia

 ‘Twas Christmas day in the workhouse and Dirty Dick weren’t there!

Hi again, well I was up and about, packed and ready, I said my goodbyes, promising that they would only be Auf Wiedersehens.  I lugged my body complete with accoutrements in the direction of the bus stop, it actually isn’t all that bad, it is a question of packing and balance, you pack the heavy things at the bottom and you balance the whole rucksack on your hips, I often see back packers with the waist straps flapping about like a pair of wings, they are there to take the strain off your shoulders and to evenly distribute the weight through your legs.

I reached the bus stop with no visible signs of fatigue (it was after all about 500m from YHA and bus stop). I was not the only one waiting that Monday morning, but I was the first. The bus came and the said bus set into motion in the direction of Victor Harbor, and then through the Adelaide Hills, with its vineyards and fruit orchards, it was as uneventful as the journey on the way from Adelaide, I think I did doze a little.  I will not bore you with Photographs of the vineyards and fruit orchards sufficient to say not a lot had changed in the couple of weeks since I last passed this way all be it in the opposite direction and I minus a hat!
We arrived into Adelaide, I knew it now like the back of my hand and after all I had a mission, I was on the trail of my HAT! I arrived at the central Bus Station that goes from Franklin through to Grote streets, I immediately went to the information counter and asked a pleasant enough chap, where their main office was as I had some lost property to collect. He said you go out of the back door pointing and then go along Grote and it is near the end just before you hit West Terrace. I not being silly, asked if he had a map he said he had and I sked him could he mark it on the map for me (it is called intuition). I was first going to the YHA not far from the Bus Station and get booked in get rid of my packs and then set out to find my old mate.

So armed with the map, off I went along Grote street, I walked along it until I hit the end at West Terrace, would you believe it, Nowt, no main office, I turned the map around and thought it might be on the other side of the street, nope no main office, by this time I was thinking who was stupid me or the bloke in the Bus Station.
I returned to the Bus station information desk, waiting carefully until the fellow that had been so forth coming with the wrong information was busy and tried another chap. I explained and showed him the map that his fellow imparter of information had marked up, he sucked his teeth, gave the other a sideways glance and whispered, he marked it up wrong, it is almost on the end there is only a filling station between it and West Terrace, now this sounded good as I had seen a filling station, but having been bitten once I asked, what is the number? He wrote on the map 286, just as I was leaving he said you can’t miss it, it is a three storied blue building! Funny I couldn’t remember a blue building whether 3 stories or 33 stories high.

Never mind I walked along the street he had said on the left, I counted the house numbers down until I came to the end, no blue building of any height, the numbers ended at 252,and in fact no filling station either, well not on this side of the street, but on the other there was. I walked across and then saw hidden behind it the 3 storied blue building. The first numb skull had marked it on the wrong street and the second had thought he couldn’t be so stupid not to know which street their head office was on. It was on Gouger not Grote and nothing can go wrong I had thought when I got off the bus. I then went through the main entrance up the lift to the second floor, into the reception, saying to the lady at the desk, I am here to pick up my hat, I explained that I had left my hat on one of their buses about 16 days prior and that a friend had phoned on my behalf and that it was in safe keeping here in this very office. She looked on her data base, we had a one, but that was picked up ( I thought no daft booger would put my old drovers hat on their head, would they? She then phoned to someone else asking the question about my missing mate, a lady popped her head out of a rear office, asked could I describe it, which I did in great detail even telling her about the missing brass kangaroo that used to dangle from the hat band but had went walk about a few years ago, she didn’t seem interested in the least, some people! She disappeared into her empire, of lost and fund hats, returning with my old mate, wrapped in two plastic bags (two! I ask you it doesn’t bite, it is a friendly hat) this it, I said it is, you have made an oldish man very happy going to pick up the bags with content, not so quick, you have to sign for it first, paper pushed under the nose, my monika supplied. I took my hat out of the restraining bags plonked it on my bonce and as happy as Larry (who was Larry) asked the lady can you please take a picture of this reunion. She gave me a wry smile and did so. And so my dear friends that is how I retrieved my hat.
Return to Adelaide
I was returning to Adelaide as this was the nearest city that I could get onward transit to Perth, I had hoped that I would be able to do the route that follows the Great Bight and be able to get to see the Nullabor, through coastal desert road and passing along one of the least travelled roads in Australia, no busses pass this way, only the hardy and fool hardy. I could have joined an outback tour, but $1400 was a bit steep for sleeping in tents and under the stars. The other option was to take the Indian Pacific Railway for a similar sum, but that is for those that can`t stand the heat, sand and spiders. I thought, well if I am going to sit in air-conditioned for 3 days at $1400, then I may as well fly and spend the extra time in Adelaide and Perth at the Princely sum of $400 and be there in 3hrs 15 min.

So I now set about booking flights and the hostel in Perth. This is never any problem, as on almost every corner are bucket seat agents, each trying to undercut the next. Also the YHA have a central booking system so a click of the button and I was booked into Perth YHA for 5 nights.
Right that sorted, I decided to revisit some of the places I had been to on my last visit, but could have missed, I will not go over old ground again, but I returned to the Botanical garden to have a look at some of the plants, flowers and trees in more detail and to pick up some missing facts and names.

I also went back to the Art Gallery of South Australia, but more to the point I returned to the state library as I had missed a section and was most interested to visit this as it was the part built after the Library was sectioned off from the Institute.
I also wanted to visit “the” Anglican Cathedral, as I had been in the other one; I wasn’t going to miss ours.

So let us start at the beginning.

I arrived back on 23rd December and would now be flying to Perth on 29th, I would have loads of time to revisit places and visit some new areas not seen on my last visit..
Christmas Eve was a day that needed careful planning as I was going to have my Christmas dinner down on the beach at Glenelg and this needed buying.  I visited the Central Markets again and got myself a very nice Rock Lobster (Jasus Edwardsii) it is also called Crawfish in some areas, it is only found in the Southern Hemisphere in cold waters. The distribution is around the South Coast of Australia from central NSW to Southern Western Australia including Tasmania, it is also to be found in New-Zealand and quite a few less or uninhabited Southern Ocean Islands (such as the Chatton, Auckland and Antipodes Islands)

They are very slow growing and have, unlike the American and European Lobster, a bright red caprice even before boiling.

So I picked out a nice looking one (well they all look nice, don’t they) it was very busy at the fish mongers and many people were after either king prawns or rock lobster. My Christmas dinner safely wrapped and packed, I then decided to go for an Aioli to dip it in, there are also some very good delicatessen stalls at the Central Markets so I bought a tub of their very best and also a tub of spring onion dip. I lunched on Seaweed Miso soup and a bowl of rice from a Japanese stall, very healthy and very tasty.

After that I swiftly returned to the YHA to get them into the refrigerator.
As I came down into reception, I met a Hong Kong Lad that had befriended me, he and his German Girlfriend (Just friends) asked had I put my name down for the beach party on Christmas day, I said no, what, were, when?  He pointed to a rather large sign and it explained that the YHA was going to Glenelg to have a beach party, it cost $9 and this included a chicken meal, oh bother and I had just spent $60 on a lobster. I thought I may as well pop along with them; I could always eat the lobster for the evening meal. So I dutiful paid my $9 to join the party.

I decided to go into Glenelg to see what it was like and have a look around the shops and the other places of interest as the next day I was sure they would all be closed.  Jumped on a tram that took me all the way to the Glenelg Jetty. GlenElg was the original landing spot when the first settlers arrived to set up the City of Adelaide as laid out by Col Light. It was Governor Hindmarsh and his party on the Settlers aboard the first ships that landed at Glenelg, this now sleepy seaside town. 
A little bit about the Adelaid Transport Sytem, within the city limits, the tram is free, you jus t jump on and jump off as you wish, l once it leaves the city limits, it is then a matter of buying your ticket (it can be at any of the numerous stops and then once you reach the start of the pay part you put your ticket through the machine ( bit like getting your ticket punched in the old days).

It was quite warm and Glenelg is not a big town (even small than Whitley Bay, though  a hell of a lot cleaner and more shops), as I said this was the place that HMS Buffalo with Governer Hindmarsh landed in 1836, this was then the first port to supply the town of Adelaide, the actual first Port that could have become the Capital of South Australia was on Kangaroo Island (I may be repeating myself) and was the Cygnet River Settlement later to become Kingscote). When this was found far from suitable they moved to the already surveyed Adelaide (I bet the kangaroos, sealions penguins and all the other wild life gave a sigh of relief at that stroke of luck.
The little port cum seaside town of Glenelg is and always was a nice quiet (except in summer) a quaint town, fine sandy beaches, a nice long shopping street, a jetty and a small fishing harbour (notice the u). It has a nice memorial that  at the town square erected to commemorate the centenary, on it is a plaque to inform all those not in the know, that HMY Britannia brought Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to Glenelg when she visited Adelaide on her Jubilee tour in 1972 and again when she visited in 1986 as part of the Sesquincentenary (I wonder if they made that up for the occasion)of South Australia. You can therefore see that even today the port is still used to load and discharge quite important cargoes.  

Across from this monument is the town museum, this is situated in the old Town Hall (I didn’t visit the new one), it contains a lot about the town as a tourist resort and the bathing huts that at one time lined the beach (you had to bathe completely covered even the men, no budgie smugglers allowed).
I walked along the jetty took a few photos and then jumped on the tram back to Adelaide, I now had an idea of the town for tomorrow.

I arrived back in town and decided to go and visit the Anglican Cathedral, this is a little way past the Adelaide Oval and not as I thought it would be in the Centre (how did the RCs get the plum spot?). I went through the Railway station for no other reason that it is a nice building.

 Passing the Oval and across the bridge and there it is before you!

It is a fine piece of Victorian architecture with souring spires and flying buttresses, I thought I will just pop in to have a look and see what the interior was like, well I landed right in the middle of the children's nativity service and play (well it was nearer the end than the middle, so I took a pew and watched and listened as the kids (all dressed up as wise-men, angels and shepherds) sang carols and recited pieces from the nativity. It was very fetching, you remember “And there was no –pause to wave at mum- room at the inn”.

I stopped to take a photo of the very nice carved wood Altar screen and as I was leaving, I had a chat with the female deacon standing at the door (to see if there were any souls that need saving or worth getting at their savings), I said it was such a pity as this year I had not been or seen one single Carol service (oh, I do like a nice Carol Service), she then said well pop along tonight at 07:00 we are having a Carol Service and readings, now knowing this inside out from my formative years, I thought why not? I then headed back into town, walking along the banks of the river taking a few photographs of a couple of birds. There were of course a lot more, the Magpies and Parakeets on land and Pelicans and Shags on the water but you know all about them from my previous visit.
The first is a Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

The second was The Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)

I walked back to the hostel (I seem to walk everywhere these days, it keeps me fit, I suppose).

The rest of Christmas Eve went along almost as planned, I left in plenty of time as I decided to catch the bus along King William street  this took one directly to the Cathedral, what is that about the best laid plans? As I reached the cross road the was a procession , a very large procession of some sect or other proclaiming their faith in Jesus, there was much drumming and singing and a dance that was 2 steps forward 1 step back and turn around and clap your hands above your head, all very interesting, but I had an appointment at the Cathedral. The bus came and I jumped on, but bit just took up its position at the end of the procession as there was a police car with DO NOT PASS and flashing lights on top so we edged our way slowly, very slowly along King William street, In thought at this rate I will miss the midnight mass never mind the Carol Service. The bus stopped at the cross roads of King William and North Terrace, decided to jump off and walk the rest of the way soon overtaking the dancing, singing clapping procession. 

I got to the Cathedral and saw outside a group of various nations and the Bishop standing outside of the main entrance, they seemed to be waiting for the procession.
Undeterred, and to the sound of Oh come all ye faithful, I entered, was given an order of service and Carol Song sheet, directed to an empty seat in a row of pews and joined in. I do like a good Carol!
During a lull in the singing I could hear the thump, thump, thump of the drums from outside, these getting louder and louder. During the reading of the lessons you could even hear the singing and clapping outside, I did wonder what was the goings on outside, but to this day I am unable to fathom it out.
Service finished, I went outside no mob of singing, dancing drumming Christians, but a wonderful glow surrounded the Cathedral, was this a sign, No it was a very nice Sunset. reflecting off the spires, but it was a nice thought, LoL.


I then walked back to the YHA and had a look at TV thinking there may be something on the news that could shed some light on the procession business , the hostel clientele were much more interested in some Science Fiction, which I suppose so was I.

I was going to cook my evening meal but changed my mind and went to China Town to have Chilli Crispy Duck and the Chefs Special Fried Rice. The duck could have been a bit crispier and the special fried rice wasn't all that special, but it tasted ok even though I have had better.

Christmas Day.
I was up early as usual, went down had a chat with back home and back in Ireland, everything going to plane,  Linda would be at her sisters along with her Dad for Christmas dinner, she was making a seafood chowder, I just do not know about that lass she used someone else’s recipe, what was wrong with mine. At 11:00 all of those going to the beach gathered at reception.

There were about 40 of us , we ll got our water bottles, slapped on plenty of sunscreen and headed off down to the  tram and then on to the Beach at Glenelg.

We staked ot our spot on the beach, it was hot very hot, but we were not alone it was normal on Christmas day to come down and cool off at the beach, only there was not a lot of cooling off being done, people were playing American Football, kicking the ball around footy and interestingly beach Volley ball.

I and one of my roommates, decided it was getting far too hot watching the beach Volley ball, so we went to find out about our Chicken dinner at Nandos, it was ready, they asked would we be taking all of the lunches, negative, we would take ours and eat it outside than go and tell the rest to come and get theirs. My roommate was suffering one from too much alcohol on Christmas Eve and two he was suffering from sunburn picked up two days previously, he had even sunburn on his eyelids. We decided that it was time to head back to Adelaide and have a Siesta.

Evening meal was easy split the Lobster in half, heated it through with a few spices, then dipped the lumps of meat in the Aioli and ate it, it did taste smashing, I think I much preferred doing it this way as I am not a great fan of sand in my food.

Boxing day was a different kettle of fish to the laid back Christmas day, when no shops were open, it was the start of the Christmas sales.  But I was up and about before the crowds and hit the Botanical gardens early. Prior to that I had went to have a look at Government House, this is a most impressive building standing at the intersection of King William and North Terrace, I had noticed this yesterday when trying to escape the clutches of the drumming, dancing, singing, procession. I wondered if it was open to the public, alas no was the answer so after taking some photographs through locked gates and over high walls I headed along North Terrace to the Botanical Gardens.

I included the last two as I can never pass a War Memorial without stopping to reflect for a few minutes, I was looking at the many honours to the fallen and I chanced upon the wooden cross, this will more than likely be mentioned in no books on the First World War, but to me it was a reflection of the pure stupidity that these young Diggers crossed to the other side of the world and got killed in someone else's war. I have actually been to the site of this battle on one of my many trips to the battlefields of Northern France.

On arrival at the gardens, I took a better photo of the very large Fig Tree that shadows the entrance.

Walking to the lotus pond with its flowers now in full blossom.
I also wanted to get a better Photograph of the Wollermia nobilus, forgot about it already have you?
Crossing the bridge that leads to the tour starting point, I noticed a mother dusk showing her duckling a few tricks of the trade, dabbling in this case.

I looked around and had hoped that my silver tongued guide would be there doing her thing alas she was not on duty that day it was some Aussie Fella, just not the same so I just done my own guided tour, retracing and crossing the route that she had taken us on the previous time. It is amazing how much you miss the first time around, this time knowing a little more about the various flowers, plants and trees I was able to enjoy it just that little bit better.

I will not go over old ground again, but will fill in a few gaps left by my lack of knowledge at the time of my last visit, I also took some more photos in the certain knowledge that I knew what I was photographing.

I left the Botanical Gardens and crossed the road to a row of what looked like houses from the founding period and next to these was a building called Ayers House, it said it was part of the National Trust of Australia and all were free to enter, a chance would be a grand thing all doors locked and barred. I think that the name Ayres must have something to do with the large monolith in the centre of the continent, if so I would suggest out of respect they should change its name to Uluru House.
I  walked along North Terrace and into one of the large shopping malls, below street level Australians have taken a leaf out of Singapore’s Hawkers markets, here is a vast seating area and around the periphery are food outlets, this one was Asian (mainly) selling Japanese, Korean, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, you name it, it was there, wonderful, I had visited this place on various occasions when at the Art galleries and library and think that I would have put on quite a few Kilos if I was in Adelaide for any length of time.

After my Laksa, I headed outside and crossed the road to the State Library and visited the parts I had missed, very, very interesting, I love visiting places that actually explain what it is all about and the old section of the library certainly did that. HOWAY THE LADS

Next day I decided to see if I could get some new trekking sandals, I visited a lot of shops specialising in outdoor activities and recreations, I think I spent far too much time looking at things that I had no intention of buying; bivouac tents, dehydrated foods, cast iron camp stoves, tilly lamps all interesting stuff, but I still came away with no trekking sandals.

At the bottom of Rundle Street at the intersection of East Terrace, I spied an Oyster Bar, it getting on towards lunch I though what better way of starting then a dozen of those fantastic sweet rock oysters. A nice shiraz to wash them down and I then went in search of the next course. While crossing Randal street again I looked up and saw a sign above a restaurant that made me chuckle.

I was getting near to King William when passing one of the older buildings and a very nice arcade.

I arrived outside of Japanese Sushi house, I then decided on Sushi (if in doubt head for a Sushi train that is my advice), this one was very nice, but in Adelaide you really are spoiled for choice.
I had salmon rolls for starters


Scallops Sushi

King Fish Sushi

A selection of King fish, Salmon and Tuna Sashimi

Finally finishing off with a tempura soft shelled crab

I really did enjoy this (as I always do), but this was a very fine example of good Sushi and Sashimi.
I headed back through town and then a detour back to the YHA via the parklands that surround Adelaide and then along King William Street, taking a photograph of the tram and the Christmas tree in Victoria Square. I must say Colonel Light certainly knew what he was doing when he laid out his plans for the city.

The next day I was heading out to the airport, this time on the pickup service and my onward flight to Perth to celebrate New Year.   

No comments:

Post a Comment