Saturday, November 13, 2010

Adelaide - quick visit across the border

A good opportunity came along a couple of week-ends ago to take a trip across the border to South Australia & visit Pete & Leone. It doesn't seem that long ago that they were locals but now they've settled into life in the city of churches - Adelaide.
We decided to drive across and took the most direct route through Horsham & Bordertown & planned to arrive about 3pm - it took us 9 hours in the end with a few stops on the way.
The thing that stood out was the difference in road surface quality when crossing from Victoria - it was like going from a dirt track to a graded road! The roads in Victoria are a disgrace compared to South Australia's smooth cambered surfaces!
You can tell when you've crossed the border without looking at the signs!
In fact, the roads in Victoria were so bad that I had to replace all the headlight bulbs when I got home as the vibration from the ruts had broken all the filaments - the high tyre pressure put into the new tyres when they were put on the week before didn't help!
Leone & Pete are well settled into the more laid back life over there and Pete's having a great time exploring the twisties in the Adelaide Hills.
We took a trip up through the hills and as well as the awesome roads, scenery & wineries, there's a great chocolate and cheese factory at Woodside. We walked away from the chocolate factory with a couple of bags full of goodies!
On the way through Woodside another treat for the boys - a BMW 1000RR came up behind us & shot past - one beautiful bike - looked & sounded awesome. I think I want one...
We got back to P & L's place in time to listen to the prison show on the radio - yeah they have a show where prisoners make radio requests and leave messages for their wives - some very interesting messages on there!!
One other very noticeable thing about South Australia is the absence of sneaky revenue raising speed cameras.
In fact, the location of all police speed cameras is published in the newspapers as a deterrent to wannabe speedsters - pro-active policing to stop accidents before they happen - unlike Victoria where they worry that the road fatalities are increasing but still catch people after they've been speeding so they can collect the cash!
Adelaide's got a very different feel to any of the other cities I've visited - feels more like a big country town although new development is going on quite a lot so that could change. They're big into recycling with purple water taps on all new development indicating recycled water for use on the garden.
Port Adelaide resembles Geelong in some ways with the old wool sorting sheds - most of these are being converted with coffee shops, cafes & bars turning it into a cool place to hang out.
It was another 9 hour drive back & we did some good deeds helping Belgian tourists to understand how to use a phone card on the way.
The Bordertown bakery is a great place to stretch & have a home made soup or a pastie. The place is a tin shed built around the old brick police station which is still preserved inside.
Next time I get over there it'll be on the Speed 3 to sample those Adelaide Hills twisties on 2 wheels. Pete's hooked up with the local Triumph riders group - they sound like a great bunch & will be coming over to the NSW Rally in April next year - should be a good rally.