Saturday, November 17, 2012

A very bikey weekend indeed

All weekends should be like this. My muscles may not agree but whatever. 

Saturday JB and I rode to town, picked up some lunch (which took foreverrrrrr) and did the traditional mad dash for the train with the added bonus of dragging our bikes along as well, and eventually arrived at Noarlunga. Spent a little while trying to find the Coast to Vines trail as it was largely diverted due to the roadworks along the Southern Expressway, but soon enough we were underway. Followed the bike path along the side of the Expressway, through the burbs and past the airstrip for the little old biplanes, until just before Seaford. Veered off to do a spot of impromptu shopping and then tackled the last big big hill before Maslins (and thanks to the very observant car full of teenagers that slowed down near the top to yell "You're on a bike" at me, cos until then I thought I was floating up on a fluffy white cloud. Darn kids).

Recharged with iceblocks (thanks Robbie!) and spent a lovely afternoon catching up with Robyn and being wowed by Lachie's mad drumming and bike riding skills (I think its safe to say Uncle JB has a new number one fan). And then we did it all in reverse. May have slightly dozed off on the train (once they shut off the ticket machine alarm anyway) and then, just as a bonus, threw in a ride up the hill up to North Adelaide to get some dinner before hitting the couch, hard.

Today, having been reprieved from helping drain brake fluid (or something) I decided to continue my search for convenient walking spots for the tragically car deprived, i.e. me. Of the many things that continue to make Adelaide my favourite city to come home to, Linear Park is way up there. I love that you can ride all the way from the hills to the beach without going on or across any roads, and I especially love that within minutes of leaving the CBD you could easily be riding through bushland (if you ignore the OBahn buses zipping past anyway). Having only realised at Trailblazer exactly where Linear park finished in the hills, I headed out that way, arriving at Black Hill Conservation Park an hour later with a flourish as I hit a patch of gravel in the car park and mildly fell off my bike to the general amusement of picnicking retirees nearby.  

Passed a jogger on his way out just as I headed in and after that, not another person the whole time I was there (sorry Stephanie and Seek, no sexy Australian men for you this time). Left my bike behind and hiked up the Main Ridge Track, pausing to enjoy the views over Adelaide from time to time (not at all an excuse to rest on some of the hills, nope nope nope) but mostly just soaking up the solitude and thinking how lucky we are to have such perfect little spots of tranquility so close to the city. Made my way up to the ridge, and eventually met up with the Yurrebilla Trail for the rocky climb back down to Amber's Gully, keeping a watchful eye out in the warmer weather for any innocent looking sticks along the track that might suddenly decide to move (luckily all those that did had legs), and was I was back at my bike but with plenty of plans to return to explore all the other trails that caught my eye along the way. All the witnesses to my very elegant arrival luckily having departed, I climbed back on the bike and enjoyed the much swifter ride home for a well earned beer to round off an excellent weekend (trying not to think about how sore I'm going to be tomorrow :s).

Monday, November 5, 2012

Vic road trip

After nearly 3 years of promising and failing to deliver on visiting Adele in Edenhope, at last the stars aligned to make it possible! With a car half full of dismembered mannequins (don't ask) JB picked me up from work on friday night and we slowly trudged out of the city and towards Victoria. Stopped for dinner (and a personal apology from the manager for JB's meal being forgotten) in Tailem Bend and finally arrived in Kaniva where I got given the grand tour. Unloaded the mannequins into the front lawn and set out for a night at the pub - love those country beer prices!

Next morning, with the Biz off to get grubby at Lake Hindmarsh, Adele came to collect me and the mannequins. After nearly driving of with Adele's purse on the roof of the car, we decided to do a little exploring of Kaniva's main street sheep art and refuel with coffee before heading for Edenhope. Stopped by Lake Charlegrark on the way for a bit of a look around, then of loaded the mannequins finally at their new home and headed back to Adele's for lunch and some artsy brainstorming. Decided on a plan for the rest of the afternoon, I comandeered the car keys and we were off.

Drove back into SA and cruised through the Coonawarra wine region. Stopped in Penola to buy some delicious treats from the lolly shop, marvel at some of the order pieces in the antique store and checked out the work of local artists in the main street gallery, then onto Mt Gambier. Headed straight for the (not as blue as it will be in a month or so) Blue Lake which was just beautiful. Followed a path all around the crater and had a look at Leg of Mutton lake crater as well. Adele got some blue lemonade to match the lake, and then we had a wander around the pretty cave gardens. 

We were then going to go to Beachport for tea but with it still being fairly early by the time we reached Millicent (and Adele having foolishly surrendered the keys to someone with an insatiable love of kitschy roadside attractions) we decided to continue out to Kingston S.E. Found the Giant Lobster (yay!) and amused ourselves and passing traffic posing for dorky photos, then brushed up on our zombie blasting skills at the world's saddest video arcade (the zombie game was the only one plugged in) while waiting for our take away. Had a lovely dinner down in the foreshore with our very own squad of menacing magpie bodyguards to chase the mooching seagulls away followed by a lovely twilight stroll along the jetty. Then it was back in the car, through Naracoorte, back into Vic and home to bed.

Sunday we spent a quiet morning around the house and at the school working out some logistical ideas for Adele's latest project, and after a quick circuit of the town to try them out, we headed for Mt Arapiles. Got pulled over for my very first RBT (much excitement) on the way, and we drove up to near the summit for a picnic lunch and a bit of scrambling over rocks to enjoy the view from the very top. Drove back down to the base so we could follow a different trail up past where all the climbers set themselves up. did a bit of exploring around the cliffs (bit tricky in the wind) and eventually made our way to another lookout for a quick rest. Took another trail back through the valley with climbers on the rocks on both sides, and indulged in a bit of bouldering when we got back to ground level.

Stopped at the cafe in Natimuk for a well earned cold drink and had a look at the town's mosaic statues, then onto Nhill where we had a last mini picnic at a park on the edge of town while waiting for JB to collect me. Adele headed for home while we returned to Kaniva for a roast dinner, a visit to the horsies and a very good night's sleep. Spent monday out at the farm and had myself a short (and extremely unexpected) ride on one of the horses. Eventually packed up the car and got back on the road. Stopped in Keith to check out the Land Rover on a pole and Andy Caldecott memorial, then on back to Adelaide and all the wild weather at home.