Adelaide (South Australia)

Melbourne - Adelaide (728 km)

(I had already finished this text about one week ago but somehow couldn't access the site to actually blog it, so sorry about the delay. Really glad it finally works!!) 

I'm glad I can say my second bus journey was more enjoyable than the previous one - mainly because I was asleep the whole time. It was an overnight trip and I had to catch up loads of sleep from the weekend in Melbourne, and by the time I woke up again half of the passengers had already left the bus. The first thing I noticed when I stepped out of the bus station at 7 o'clock in the morning was the extremely warm air. Ok, seems to be nice weather here I thought - and it turned out I was quite right. To be more accurate, the temperature never dropped below 35-40 degrees during the day since I arrived. EVERYTHING here is HOT. It's quite a funny experience to apply your deodorant and almost burn yourself as a result. The strange thing is it doesn't really cool down at night, and I reckon I was never sweating at 3 o'clock in the morning before. Although the heat is tiring and you're constantly trying to avoid every unnecessary movement - I don't mind at all!! I guess I'm glad to finally experience real Australian summer since the never-ending rain in Sydney was more a demonstration of life in Northern England.

Actually, quite a few people in Melbourne had tried to prevent me from coming here ("You're going to Adelaide?? What a stupid thing to do! There's nothing else to see than churches!!" Good work I didn't listen to them. I can't really say it's the best city I've ever seen, but I feel as if it's the first really typical Australian place I visit. Sydney is American. Melbourne is European. And Adelaide is Adelaide, a nice and quiet town, isolated from the rest of the world and yeah...full of churches!! After 10 pm you're most likely the only person on the street (in the city centre!), wondering where the hell everyone is and I found myself more than once standing in front of closed shop doors. There are some nice buildings and lovely spots in the city though, I really love the riverside and the beautiful beach at Glenelg (crystal clear water which is perfect for a swim), but the main reason I'm still here are all the wonderful people I met. Sunny's Backpackers, the hostel I'm staying at, is definitely the best one I've ever been to. (As you can see, I'm more than happy to make some advertising for the place here: If you ever happen to stay in Adelaide - this is your place to go. You shouldn't mind bed bugs and cockroaches though..Seriously, it might be one of the roughest backpacker's in town, but it's for sure that you'll have a whale of a time!! In addition: breakfast, Internet and coffee are for free. That might sound banal, but it means paradise for a backpacker.) Besides, it's probably the only Backpacker's in Australia where you can actually find Australian people!! Anyway, people here are incredibly friendly, just want to hang out and have a good time and the staff is really laid back as well. It's hard to describe the atmosphere here, it's a little bit like a family, but to cut a long story short: I find it very hard to leave. Yesterday I actually put off my stay for the third time! I'm afraid I'm meanwhile quite a known person at transport ticket offices and hostel receptions all over the country as they had to cancel and rebook my bookings and reservations for several times. I had even checked in at the bus station yesterday and all my luggage was already stored when I suddenly thought : Hey, what are actually doing here? You don't wanna leave yet!! Ten minutes later I was out on the street again with a new ticket in my hand. A frequent question I've been asked at the hostel for the last three days goes consequently like: "What? Didn't you want to leave today??" Aaah, yes...

A person I really don't want to forget to mention is John, a very competent, friendly and in particular extremely patient guy who runs the hostel and the included travel booking office. He gave me loads of useful advice concerning my stay in Adelaide and my future travelling and even let me borrow his bike for a trip out of the city. Thanks so much again John, that was excellent and you're my hero.

I used the bike for a ride along the Torrens river to Glenelg at the sea. As it was still boiling hot in the early evening I decided to take the tram back into the city - or that was at least the idea before I made my encounter with the Australian legislation. I hopped on the tram and saw the ticket inspector approaching me, and he went like: "What a wonderful bike you got there!" (???) "And what a pity it's not allowed on that tram!" Oh yeah, I love Australian humour. He followed me outside and said: "You might wanna catch the train from Goodwood, they'll definitely allow your bike on there." Okay, so I decided to act on this wise man's advice and checked out Goodwood on my map - only to find out that it was like the second closest station to the city. He was such a funny man. When I was back on the saddle with a really sore bum, sweating under the helmet (which I was obliged to wear in order to avoid a 180$ (!) fine), I experienced one of those very, very rare moments when I wished I was back in Europe where no one gives a damn about bikes on trams!!

One of the other things I did during my time here was a tour to the Barossa Valley which is the most famous wine-growing district in Australia. We visited four different wineries (three of them in the morning!) and tasted loads of delicious local wine from there - very careful though as it was another extremely hot day.

Besides I spent half a day on a sailing boat watching dolphins and we could even swim next to them. They're pretty hard to spot but we managed to see them a couple of times playing underwater.

Quite interesting as well was one afternoon at the South Australian Museum - and I'm sure the Aboriginal art exhibition there is excellent - but to be honest, the main reason for going there was definitely the fact that it was fully air-conditioned.

Last but not least I want to say THANK YOU to all of you guys from Sunny's, I had this more than amazing time in Adelaide because of you. I'll never forget singing Beatles songs with totally random people walking by or the 'Fridge Climbing' in the kitchen, that was so hilarious. The last night and day at the Murray River in Wellington were the best finish ever. Guess there's only one thing left to say: Good times mates, good times.


9.3.08 02:00

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