I wasn’t looking forward to this trip to Adelaide, but in the end, it wasn’t so bad. Nothing in particular went wrong, I didn’t crash the car, and the AGA is sitting on the floor of the apple shed, which is all I wanted…
I left Friday morning to catch that evening’s ferry to Melbourne. We didn’t sail at night on the last trip, so I wasn’t aware that the recliner chairs for sleeping had been refurbished, for the worst in my opinion. Sure you can keep your smart phone charged on the USB built into the chair, and there are now power points for the laptop (and CPAP machine had I know there were power points), but the new chairs hardly recline, the foot rests are useless, and the seats are hard as. I reckon half the people there ended up sleeping on the floor!! Even I had a go. The last thing I needed before driving 750km to Adelaide was a bad night’s sleep, but that’s what I got.
I was one of the first cars off the boat, and was driving over the Westgate Bridge by 6:30am. When I hit Ballarat, where I filled up with cheap Victorian petrol, a pea soup of a fog hit the windscreen so sloppily, I had to have the wipers on. And it lasted easily 100km, with nothing to see. And I drove and I drove, and…. only to be detoured on the approaching side of Horsham where a fatal accident occurred.
Apparently, a man driving a BMW swerved into the path of an oncoming truck. Such a scenario happening to me was my worst nightmare on this trip. The number of times I’ve seen cars veer into my lane inexplicably is really scary, and for something like that to happen when you are just minding your own business and hundreds, if not thousands of kilometres from home, would not be nice to say the least.
I realise that compared to the destroyed lives of those involved my annoyance at being a good half hour late for my destination doesn’t really count, but there you go….. yes, I was annoyed.
I stopped for another fuel refill at Bordertown in South Australia and a quick burger for lunch, and within a few more hours I was at Mt Barker where Sam so kindly met me to direct me and my steed to the mansion where the AGA had been dismantled.
Now, AGAs are often viewed as status symbols in the UK where they are reasonably common, but I wasn’t expecting to see quite such a house, especially in the Adelaide Hills where I was expecting more of a hippy atmosphere. I guess we all come with preconceptions! I hope my new AGA will forgive me for taking it to a far more humble kitchen!
Without Sam’s able assistance, I think I might still be in Adelaide loading the ute. It was a much bigger job than I anticipated, but I came prepared with lots of ropes and rubber padding, and we eventually got it done, getting back to Sam’s place for an oh so appreciated dinner cooked by his lovely wife Angela whose patience I must’ve really stretched. I’ve known Sam for many years online, as you do, way back when the Running on Empty list started in the early noughties. It was great to meet up at last, and go for a stroll near the Adelaide seashore for a wonderful organic breakfast.
Eventually, I left, and because I had too good a time in Adelaide, I wasn’t even close to making it to Melbourne that night and stayed the night in Stawell (pronounced Stall I quickly discovered!). I stayed at a backpackers’ in St Kilda the following night, and caught up with Carlo who is drawing the plans for Mon Abri MkII.
The next day I caught up with Brendon who had kindly stored bathroom gear I picked up cheap as chips on my last visit to Melbourne. With a few hours to kill, I went to the cinema and watched The Martian, starring Matt Damon. A good yarn that almost involves permaculture on the red planet, but really, it’s all a flight of fancy. I still recommend it.
Another night on the damned ferry, though this time I brought my own pillows and slept better.
Crossing Tasmania is a mere 360km, and I was home well before dinner to unload before any rain might spoil the whole effort.
I’ll have my work cut out to get this baby back together, but first I have to start building a house. Keep your eyes peeled….