Due to the problem we had with the first van, the lady at the Adelaide depot had kindly told us that we could have the van until 3pm instead of getting it back by 10am, so on Wednesday we left McLaren Vale and headed to Henley Beach which is 11km outside of Adelaide. The sun was shining and we had a nice walk along the beach and a picnic lunch. From there we drove to our hostel in Adelaide to dump our bags and then at 2pm we went on a free tour of Haighs Chocolate Factory. Dedicated to fine chocolate production, Haighs takes you through the life-cycle of chocolate on tours of the factory. The major bonus is that you get lots of samples to taste and a coffee! After the tour we said goodbye to our van, and actually said a last goodbye to Southpark to which was parked outside the depot, and walked to our small, very friendly hostel called My Place, 257 Waymouth Street. The weather was lovely so we went for a walk round and thankfully Jem decided to go back to the hostel so I was able to buy him a little pressie for his birthday today! He's been reading loads since we started travelling, at the moment it's Madam Secretary by Madeleine Albright which happens to be the biggest hardback book ever, so I bought him a book called 'A Million Little Pieces' by James Frey which was recommended to me by another traveller.
On our first night in Adelaide we hit the lively Rundle Street which has lots of cool cafes, bars, shops and restaurants. Had a few scooners in the studenty Exeter Hotel and then went for a curry (I had a craving!). It was very nice to sleep in a bed again!
Thursday morning was started with pancakes, courtesy of My Place and then we went to look round Adelaide's amazing food market - Central Market (sells everything but we were just interested in the food). Bought a picnic for that day and dinner - lots of cheap, fresh, local produce and loads of yummy samples to taste! from there we walked, past Adelaide Town Hall, built in 16th Century renaissance Style with faces of Queen Vic and Price Albert carved in the facade, to the National Wine Centre of Australia. We had a look round it's very informative free exhibition which shows the stages of the winemaking process from growing grapes and making wine, to drinking and appreciating wine. The exhibition also had a great map showing all of the wine regions in Australia and films with winemakers telling their story.
The wine centre is just on the outskirts of the botanical gardens so we went for a walk round the garden, past the largest greenhouse in the Southern Hemisphere and had our delicious picnic from the market.
As a traveller you learn to lookout for anything that's free and so after lunch we walked to the State Library to use the free internet, which is a service all of the State Libraries in the cities do. That night we packed, had one last beer in Adelaide, in the really cool pub opposite our hostel called the Grace Emily Hotel which is great for live music and went to bed as our alarm was set for 4am!
Our flight was at 6.20am and we arrived in Sydney at 8.30am (Due to Daylight Saving, Sydney is half an hour behind Adelaide - don't ask me why). Happy to see the sun shining in Sydney and actually hot enough for shorts even though this is their Autumn. Got the bus to our mate Chris's flat in Bondi were we are staying and went back into the city to, finally, collect our passports! Spent the day doing admin and then chilled Friday night.
Yesterday I went to the brilliant Glebe Market which is in a cool, studenty, trendy area and I'd always wanted to go and had never got round to it. Treated myself to this really nice pendant which has a clock inside and was only $15 and then came back to chill in Bondi with Chris and Jem.
Again Chris has been an excellent host - we're very lucky to have such great friends!
Today is Jem's 31st Birthday - can't believe it! I've got Hil and my Mum's cards ready to give him and in a minute we're off for a wake up swim at Bondi beach! It's going to be cold - Argh! We're meeting our friends Dean and Michelle for lunch in Bondi and to say goodbye and then later Jem's cooking a meal, lamb backstrap, salad, goats cheese and potatoes (he wants to do it) to say thanks to Chris for having us and our other mate Graham is coming round too. At midnight we're apparently all going to be watching Man United (Chris is a fan) v Wigan United - but no doubt I'll be asleep by then!
We fly to Auckland tomorrow morning and finish the next chapter in our adventure. I'm so sad to be leaving Oz, we've had an amazing experience that we'll never forget. Ozzie's are very friendly, welcoming people, they use some funny words e.g. thongs = flipflops, lollies = sweets, capsicum = pepper, singlet = vest top, zuccini's = courgettes the list goes on. If you say hello you'll get no answer (especially with my accent which they think is scottish!) but say g'day and you get a genuine chat and if we come home saying awesome, no worries, far out, no dramas and for sure then don't blame us!