How much can a Koala bear? (Adelaide, Australia 25 March 2012)
Yes we've reached the land of Oz. Random hugs maybe not be what you expect from an Aussie.
We've landed up in Adelaide - "city of churches" - although it hasn't struck me as a particularly religious place. Mind you it's a bit of a shock coming to stay in the centre of a large city after six weeks of NZ.
Rundle Street on a Saturday night looked, at first glance, a bit like the Bigg Market. Lots of bars. Young women in skimpy clothing (so Kate told me). Even a couple of stag and hen parties. But then we noticed the subtle differences such as a man sitting in a bar drinking by himself, reading a book. I bumped into a young man and, rather than threatening to start a fight, he apologises. And whilst the clubs had bouncers on the doors they didn't look as if they expected to be doing much. Everything was very relaxed. A very nice place to spend the evening of Kate's 58th birthday.
Today has been very cultural. A rather disappointing aboriginal art centre but then the excellent Art Gallery of South Australia and the 12th Biennial of Australian Art. Some really good work and imaginatively exhibited. It's also the Adelaide French Film Festival and Kate has gone to see 'The Best Marigold Hotel' whilst I'm off to see Australia's premiere improvising band 'The Necks'.
Tomorrow we're planning to cycle to the beach taking advantage of Adelaide's free bike hire scheme, developed to promote cycling. Now there's an idea for the Newcastle Cycling campaign to get behind.