Fleurieu Peninsula (South Australia)

7/12/15  Time and Space caught up with us at McLaren Vale. There was only so much space in the van for bottles of wine and only so much time to drink it before buying more. We had been visiting so many wineries and gathering bottles at a much quicker rate than they could be consumed. Only one or two bottles at a time, but they quickly add up when you visit so many wineries each day.

So, at McLaren Vale we calmed our pace and visited only a select few wineries rather than most of them. The problem, you see, was that most of the wines we tasted at cellar doors were so very, very nice. They make lovely reds in SA. Di went off whites and took to the GSM blends of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre (also known as Mataro) that we’d come across in the Clare Valley, Barossa Valley and now in the McLaren Vale District. After lots of tastings and individual bottles that we purchased, we now know which wines to order when next we go back home.

Di and I checked out the beaches along the coastline east of McLaren Vale, from Sellicks Beach in the south to Brighton, just below Adelaide. These were much more scenic than the ones we’d seen on the Yorke Peninsula, and with a lot less wind as well.

A day trip to Stirling and Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills was a nice drive. The heritage town of Hahndorf was particularly interesting, with its German immigrant tradition, nicely maintained 1800s stone buildings and the local Arcobrau Zwicklbeer at the old tavern. Being so close to Adelaide, it had lots of small shops targeting day visitors, and reminded us of Montville back in Queensland.

The Landy went in for a regular service at Triumph Rover Spares in Lonsdale, a southern suburb of Adelaide, and we were given a well-used little Getz loan car for the day to look around the area while that was being done.

Both cameras had been in heavy use in our travels and were in need of a good clean. We found a camera service and repair specialist in Thebarton, an inner suburb of Adelaide, dropped the cameras in and then looked around the city centre for a few hours, including the museum, art gallery and library. They have a tram system that operates every ten minutes or so, free of charge throughout the CBD, which we used to get in and out from where we’d parked at Thebarton, and it made accessing the city centre so easy. It’d be good if there was something like that in Brisbane…hang on, there was but some Premier years ago thought it a good idea to rip it all up.

We could see why Victor Harbor and Port Elliot are so popular with locals and visitors as they were very pleasant towns with picturesque sandy beaches and amazingly clear blue water. At Victor Harbour, we walked across the old wooden causeway to Granite Island, the route of a horse-drawn carriage service that has operated since 1864 – the carriage, anyway; the horse gets changed periodically. Unfortunately, we were on the island at the wrong time of day to see the penguins which come to shore just on dusk.

A little further along the coast, the view from The Bluff at Rosetta Head across Petrel Cove to West Island was spectacular. We returned to McLaren Vale by the western road that does a circuit around the toe of Fleurieu Peninsula and up through Yankalilla. All the way, Di suffered from camera withdrawal, being limited to just the one in her mobile.

After a stay of eleven days at McLaren Vale, time came to move on.

“Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it.” – Anonymous

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