Leaving Hay first thing on Anzac Day, we continued across the flat featureless Hay Plain. The funny thing is that it is still interesting! As we emerged from the plain into vineyards, we also reached the border between NSW and Victoria, crossing the Murray River and entering Mildura. It was a very brief sojourn in Victoria and in just over an hour we crossed into South Australia.
We reached the outskirts of Renmark by mid-morning and found Lock 5 where Peter wanted to inspect one of the Lock gates to inspect similar quoins, to the ones he had made, in situ. The area was locked off, but my dear husband scaled a fence and proceeded to take photos as well as he could. He was discovered by a workman, who happened to be the guy in charge who very kindly showed him around as much as he could, even offering to drain the water between the lock gates so Peter could see more – Another interesting Silo Art project (Paringa) has been created close by, so we went and inspected that before going into Renmark for some brunch.
The Anzac Day march was just about to begin and we decided to move on rather than be immersed in the commemorative march.
It always amazes me how Australia has such differing landscapes and how rapidly it changes as you are driving through. From the stark desolation of the Hay Plain, it changes rapidly to row upon row of vineyards, then as you emerge from Mildura towards South Australia it returns to dry land with little or stunted growth and sandy soil that looks as though it would not support anything. Just as suddenly, we entered the Barossa Valley, one of the major wine regions of Australia.
You cannot possibly drive through the Barossa without visiting a vineyard and tasting some wine. Of course, our visit was to Calabria Wines – where else! We came away with half a dozen of our favourite Three Rivers Durif!
The last part of our second long driving day was as far as the northern outskirts of Adelaide. We have stayed in some interesting accommodation in our travels, but this was more so. Run by an ex- English couple – been in Australia for fifty years, but both still have light accents – retired, so have set aside two bedrooms and a bathroom as an Air Bnb property. They greeted us and regaled us with stories for the next five hours! They run the Adelaide Pigeon Racing Club, so we watched their 500 pigeons training, and inspected their Bali House, with another half-hour with an explanation of the latest crafty creation. Having said that, we were supplied with a lovely stir fry for dinner.
I know both Peter and I have the ‘gift of the gab’, but they made us look like dumb mutes!