A Bevy of Beauties, Loads of Cars and Guinness
Adelaide, South Australia
Day 66 Adelaide
St Patricks Day! There's a bit of high cloud today so glad we did our beach day yesterday; much better for going to the Clipsal 500 racing that Bill fancies. It's actually on for 4 days but as we fly out tomorrow this is our only opportunity. The circuit is set in the middle of the city and is the same track that was used for the Australian Grand Prix before it moved to Melbourne. This is a really big event though and well attended even on the first day which is mainly practice and qualifying. Somehow we managed to get ourselves into the Gold Pass section although we only had trackside tickets. I'm not quite sure how but it must have been an area where they weren't checking and we just walked through Murray Walkers Hall of Fame and found ourselves in the area where all the performance cars were being stripped down, an off track pit lane under canvas. Of course Bill was in his element here. We watched as these cars went off to the track for their first practice of the day and then set ourselves up trackside by one of the hairpin grandstands; couldn't get into them unfortunately even though they were mostly empty. The practice continued most of the morning with Formula Ford, V8 Utes, some small Australian racers, older race cars such as Chevy's, Porsche plus the odd Escort and the big performance cars with Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Ferrari and the like. Oh and the driver was Fabian Coulthard not David, bloomin Aussie accents! We had a bit of a walk around after lunch and found ourselves out of the Gold Zone and unable to get back, however there was a lot to see in the main section including a big concert area where they were rehearsing acts for the evening concert.
As there were twilight races we got a passout and walked back to Rundle St for an early dinner. All the Irish and British pubs were full of people dressed in emerald green celebrating St Patricks Day so we decided to join them. The first pub we came across was absolutely heaving but great atmosphere with an Irish band playing that is until the police arrived at which point the festivities abruptly stopped! They weren't serving food anyway so we decided that it might be a good idea to leave. Found another one just around the corner which was better, Guinness was cheaper with a "Win a Hat" promotion and serving really good Irish Stew, we'd actually ordered a Beef and Guinness Pie but apparently this had been substituted; good of them to tell us - hey that's the Irish for you! We didn't win a hat with our scratch card but a girl on the table had two so gave one to Bill, made him look a proper leprechaun! Thought we would then walk back to the concert and check it out and gave ourselves a time limit as we had a 4am checkout for our flight to Brisbane; disappointingly there was some sort of live game show going on which as Pommes we had little hope of understanding or participating in and it was going to be ages before the group came on so after 30mins or so we upped sticks and went back to the hotel to pack and sort ourselves out for yet another part of our incredible journey. Next stop Brisbane then onto Airlie Beach via Mackay………