But Why Would Anyone Go to Adelaide?
We arrived in the dark after a 14 hour bus ride. The streets smelled like night jasmine, but it wasn’t until the morning that I discovered our tree-lined streets were dripping with purple flowers. I guess dreams really do come true.
Surrounded by parks, the 4.1 square mile (10.5 square km) city of Adelaide is more than delightful. By the end of our first day wandering the city, I was beginning to think Adelaide was just showing off. Everything I loved in a city was bountiful here.
One park boasted of an equine sporting event this coming weekend. Vegan food was plentiful and delicious. The weather was hot. We randomly caught the free tour of the Royal Botanical Garden where I continued to be baffled by the beauty of Adelaide. I went for my first run in a month.
We rented a car and drove two hours north to the Clare Valley, an area known for excellent Riesling.
McLaren Vale, our second wine region, is about 45 minutes south of Adelaide.
I enjoyed the wines more there. The Alpha Box & Dice was really creative in their winemaking processes. I especially loved the bitter orange flavor in their Semillon blend. So interesting.
d’Arenberg was situated on the top of a hill and was building a new restaurant and tasting room (called cellar doors here) that took full advantage of the view. They let us taste a 2011 and 2007 Grenache side-by-side. I loved seeing the differences in color, smelling the markedly different noses, and trying to find the words to describe the distinct flavors. It was so much fun.
McLaren Vale was also interesting because we stayed at the Big4 Holiday Park, a campground similar to a KOA but nicer. Not having a tent or an RV, we rented an Oz Shack, which were half dome wooden structures with a bed.
As we arrived at the park, we noticed a sign for an “unclad” beach just around the bend from the park. We checked it out at sunset; it was nearly deserted save for a few naked men. One in particular struck up a conversation with Martin and donned his towel before I arrived. He chatted with us at length. At first, he seemed nice, but then he just seemed creepy and weird. He just kept talking and talking to us. He said the RV park we were staying at used to be a nudist camp. Interesting. He followed us down to the beach – the opposite direction he had been headed – talking all the way, asking us the same questions he had already asked. Then he followed us back up to the parking lot. Eventually, we were able to separate ourselves from him and concluded that nude beaches are weird.
Driving on the opposite side of the road was terrifying.
Staying on the left was the least of my worries. The turn signal was opposite, so I kept signaling with my windshield wipers, and I could never remember which way to look for traffic when turning. Eventually, instead of saying “Left Turn” or “Right Turn” I would say to myself “Cross-traffic Turn” or “Merging Turn.” I welcomed the moment we returned the car.
We spent our last night in Adelaide planning our trip to Sydney the next day – or at least figuring out accommodation for a few days. I had bought the plane ticket from Adelaide to Sydney before we arrived in Adelaide. Now was sorely wishing we had more than just 1 1/2 days in the funky, beautiful city.