Monday, 7 September 2009

A Day in Robe and on to Adelaide - 22nd and 23rd of August

We needed a day off and had decided to book in for two nights at Robe. It's always nice to stay at least two nights in a place as it means you don't have to get up, get packed and get gone by the criminally early 10am. After the drives of the past few days and the fact that the weather had become so windy that it was blowing metal signs down the street, it was a perfect day to stay in, turn on the heater, read and nap. Which is exactly what we did, with a quick trip out to buy the local papers (the 'local' being the Adelaide Advertiser - a dreadful rag that will waste about two minutes of your life, or ten minutes if you're into AFL). Feeling much better that evening for having done nothing, we went down for a couple of pints* of Coopers downstairs before again eschewing the pub restaurant for some very local, and very overpriced Chinese food. Even though we'd spent the day doing very little, we still opted for an early night.

The wind which we'd hoped would ease by today continued unabated. We did manage however to get a brief period of non-rain in which to pack. We did a quick drive around the town which was actually our first proper look at the place. We found the other pub which I now suspect is the place recommended to us as it had rooms opening onto an upstairs verandah which overlooked the sea. Robe seems like quite a nice place, well on its way to being completely fucked up with shitbox houses designed by f*ckhead architects being built all over the place. Which is a shame really. I imagine it was quite pleasant about ten years ago.
From Robe we headed to Kingston SE. The 'SE' or 'southeast' was originally to distinguish it from the other Kingston already in South Australia (now officially called Kingston-on-Murray). This was a refuel stop but unbeknown to us it was also the home of The Big Lobster. Apparently one of Australia's best "Big Things", it was actually pretty cool.
Having looked at Google Maps, I decided the coastal road would be the nicest and would hopefully get away from the neverending acres of pine forests. It also promised some large lakes right next to the road which due to a lack of recent rain, were nothing more than large areas of low-lying land. Still, it was an easy and pleasant trip to Meningie with not too much traffic for a Sunday. We stopped there for the obligatory two hour break and had a pie and quiche from the local bakery. I also bought a sausage roll which I didn't feel like after the pie, so I threw it whole to the waiting seagulls out of curiosity to see how long it would take them to devour it. The pastry was immediately removed and one seagull managed to grab and swallow almost the whole of the sausage middle which was quite a feat as it was still quite hot from the bakers. Perhaps it burnt his little tumtum...
I sent my friend Beej a text telling him we were on our way and we climbed back into the car for our last bit of countryside for a couple of weeks. The trip into Adelaide from the south goes through the Adelaide Hills and even though a lot of it is highway, it is still quite a pretty drive. It also drops you right into the Eastern suburbs and it seems to go from 100km/h to 60 a little too quickly. Luckily Beej and Tracey (and their lovely new bub, Campbell) live in Kingswood which is in the Eastern suburbs and from the end of the highway to their place was only ten minutes. We unpacked and grabbed some of the cheese we still had from the Dandenong markets and Apostle Whey, some wine and some salami and headed down to the park for an impromptu picnic. Unfortunately the weather had followed us and we had only sat down for half an hour before it got too cold and inclement to stay. A quick repack and we were back and enjoying drinks and food out of the wind and the rain. It was great to see Beej, Trace and Campbell again and nice to think we'd be staying in one place for at least a week.

* the pints we had were proper pints as you would reasonably expect. However, in South Australia what is known in the rest of the country as a schooner (425mL) is called a 'pint'. If you actually want a pint of beer (570mL), you have to ask for an 'imperial'. If you ask for a 'schooner' you will be given a 285mL glass, known in Queensland as a 'pot' and in NSW as a 'middy'.

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