See what happens when you talk to strange men?
8.19.06 0 °F
22 - Australia Diary – May 9 – July 13 – Sixth Week – Adelaide.
PHOTOS TO COME
Saturday, June 17
Flight on Virgin Blue to Brisbane and then Adelaide arrived around 1pm with no dramas.
I had booked a reservation at a hostel called My Place and when I arrived, I was given a dorm room that I would have to myself that smelled of smoke. I stored my baggage in the room and as it was not what I had ordered, I searched in my LP and found that the YHA was just up the street. I went off to see if they had rooms. YES and because I was staying a week, I received 7 nights for the price on 6. YAAAH! I was in room 11 in the corner of the ground floor with two windows. No view, but I don’t plan to be in my room much.
As I began to walk around, my first impression of Adelaide is that it is a very clean city, reminds me a lot of Denver with mountains in the distance and it seems to have a modern furniture store on every corner. Adelaide has three major universities and a very prosperous technical college. From all the signage, I could tell that there was a Cabaret Theatre Festival in town and would be here for the entire week. This was a wonderful development and as I picked up all the brochures, there were several things that caught my eye. More research tomorrow.
As I arrived in Adelaide, I was surprised to find that it was ½ off from the time of Australia’s East coast. This is the first time I have had to adjust my watch only ½ hour.
As I was getting ready for bed, Room 11 with the 2 windows and ground floor was very cold. I took all the blankets and pillows from other bed and slept in long johns
Sunday, June 18
Slept in which felt like such a treat.
Went off to find the famous market and found it is only open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Did find the most marvelous café and ordered a Mediterranean egg dish which was scrumptious!
I walked all day to get my bearings and found lots of shops to look at and I found wonderful books about wombats that I bought. Found the Diary of a Wombat that Tina recommended and love it, but it is in hardback. I will hold off.
As I passed all the museums, I went into the Migration Museum that told the story of all the immigrants who settled South Australia. Not the usual story of convicts, that is New South Wales, but lots of Scottish, Irish and Chinese to help in the mines.
Many of the museums are celebrating 100 or 150 years and there was a brass band out in the park to serenade us. Lovely sunny day with parents and kids out, all with pink balloons for the birthday for the Art Museum and one Dad showing his son how to balance the balloon on a stick on his palm.
I found the big theatre complex that is called the Festival Theatre and this venue is a multipurpose complex houses the resident theatre company. It is also used by the opera, ballet and other companies and has 200, 600 and 2000 seat houses plus many numerous smaller areas. There are 8-9 different locations for the various performances at the cabaret festival. I bought tickets for the cabaret – Spontaneous Broadway and Sing your Own Musical tonight, Tribute to Danny Kaye on Tuesday and Noise and Smoke (German Cabaret) for 2 on Wednesday
Spontaneous Broadway was a hoot! This 1.15 show had 5 performers take made up song titles from the audience. The 6 that were picked were presented by one of the performers and they gave a back-story and sang one of the songs. They had a marvelous music director who when they gave him a theme and style, began the melody off they went.
Some of the songs presented were
Shot me before the curtain falls from a gangster musical I can’t remember the name.
How in the hell do I get to Heaven? From the French musical about two girls in the convent
There is qui qui in your eyes, but no no on your lips. From the musical Dark Space
A funny song about a Scotsman whose secret ingredient in his world-famous porridge was whiskey - from the musical Porridge
Why didn’t I eat? (This was mine but the original title was "Why did I wait so long to do it?") from the musical Anorexia. I stood and applauded loudly in order to have this one performed, but they told me sit down and to eat something before the show next time.
If I had to do it all over again, I would do it all over you. From the musical Tattoo. This one was done in its entirety (in 30 minutes, complete with minimal costumes and blocking). This performance was astounding to watch 4 of the 5 actors make up story line and songs without much notice and steer each other into the next song by saying, “I don’t understand what you just said, why don’t you sing me a song about it!” Some of the looks that they gave each other were priceless. The 5th actor was the narrator from the back of the room and he kept the action going but filling in the plot and calling actors to the stage in between the songs. This concept would be a great acting exercise for an ensemble with an excellent accompaniment to work on.
Sing your Own Musical –
This has already begun by the time I made it to this venue and it was a Rogers and Hammerstein sing-a- long complete with songbooks. At times, they would invite groups from the audience to join them at the mic to lead us – Wash that Man Outta my Hair and Nothing Like a Dame for example. It was good fun and the group grew every time they offer this performance. They hope to expand again next year as well.
When I returned to the hostel, I asked at the desk for the possibility of another room – they offered to turn up my heat that had not been on. HMMM. What a difference heat in the room made to a good nights sleep.
Monday, June 19
As you may remember, I had a rabies shot in Auckland and they wanted me to do a follow up blood test to check the titer. I had an appointment for the blood pull and hope to have the results just before I leave Adelaide in about three weeks.
I AM Pooped, after two weeks of running around behind wallabys and yesterday trying to walk all of Adelaide in one day. I indulged in a 2-hour lie down.
I then called Robert Mohler (one of the men I met on the cruise of Doubtful Sound in NZ) – he will pick me up on Wednesday for an early dinner and will attend the cabaret with me. He offered to host me at his house for two nights and show me around McLaren Vale, about 45 minutes from Adelaide and then return me on Friday. YAA!
Poodled around for the rest of the day, watched the movie offered at the YHA – V is for Vendetta and went to bed.
Tuesday, June 20
I went first thing to see if there were additional tickets for the festival tonight for Robert’s friend Ron, but no such luck.
I then went on the back stage tour of the Festival complex and continuing my run of good luck with really interesting tour guides, I met Betty and Sel (Selwyn). Sel will also be at the Danny Kaye tribute tonight. I adore private tours especially with two tour guides!
Also on my see Adelaide Card ($45 for 8 different tours in the city) I went to the Jam Factory artists center and watched glass blowing. It was most definitely a group effort as three women worked the glass and the firing in the ovens to get this one piece finished. I watched for an hour and it wasn’t even close to being done. I now see why some of them cost so much.
Another poodle day with laundry, lunch and catch up with the life and paperwork afternoon.
I called Marlborough to see how Tina and Wiggles were doing and to see if they had any news regarding the health department inspection. Sophie said that it had bombed rain again , the new volunteer was excellent, Doc’s foot is much improved as is his condition and he is now easier to catch and that Wiggles misses me. (That is what I wanted to hear). Tina finally got to the phone and said that the wombat people liked the facility and want to use them, the health inspection wasn’t too bad but that they need to build a separate kitchen for the volunteers that no animals can get into to. Simon (the sugar glider) has an eye issue going on and they need to put drops in, I wish I were there to see that! Sounds like things are perking along.
The Danny Kaye tribute concert was very good, but at times the piano overpowered the singer. Actor looked very similar to D Kaye and was an excellent performer. At one point, the actor was saying how much Danny liked to conduct orchestras even though he did not read music. He made the front part of our audience his orchestra and gave this one man the responsibility of being the triangle. When he was checking in with the sections, the man’s entire table chimed in as trianglesand he said that was the first time he had had an entire triangle section. It was very fun. Sel found a seat at my table so we continued our conversation for earlier today.
Asked the YHA about by prepaid room nights, as I would not need the room for two nights. They rebooked me and gave me $60 refund for one night I could not use and took the rest for my last night with them when I return from Kangaroo Island.
Wednesday, June 21
Checked out by 10 and did some computer work and ended up paying the refunded back due to an accounting error. Easy come easy go.
The sights today were Tadanya Center for modern aboriginal art, Ayers House (home from late 1800’s, the South Australia Museum and shopping.
Met with Robert and dinner at Thai Restaurant
Cabaret Festival – Noise and Smoke – German Songs Karen Kohler and the male singer who I can’t remember his name are both originally from Germany. The male singer, bless his heart, had almost no voice after the first song and did a lot of talking instead. He had NO VOICE the day before and as they only had two performances, was pleased to at least partially participate. The songs were from 1920-1940 and they alternated between English and German. Weill, Brecht and other composers of protest songs from the era. Wonderful.
Drove to McLaren Vale and stopped at Ron’s house for tea and to pick up the dog, Japanese Chin dogs - black and white – Sammy. Ron’s dog Lola and Charlie. Saw Ron’s art and costuming pictures.
Not much sleep – no more tea after 4pm from now on.
Thursday, June 22
Up and breakfast with Ron. Robert had warned me that Ron likes his food and upon finishing breakfast we would already be in discussion about morning tea, lunch and even later meals of the day. We discussed all the various options of things to do – the wineries, the olive groves, the almond groves, the coast, highest point of the vale and as it was all new to me, I indicated that any or all of it would be fine.
First stop was to drop off an itinerary with Diane whom Robert and Ron will travel to Europe with in October. One month in Italy and then a few days in London and a few days in Kuala Lumpur before heading back.
Robert is very familiar with the wineries in this area and one of his favorites has a sparkling red wine he wanted me to try. It was lovely and they had a warm fire going in the hearth as we sampled our wines at the D’arenberg winery.
Next we went to an olive tasting room for excellent kalamato olives, tapanade and olive oil. I bought some for the gentlemen as thank you for their hospitality and presented it them at the end of my stay.
By this time, Ron in the back seat was faint with hunger, so we stopped in Willunga at the pie shop – Ron loves his food.
Then off to Victor Harbor to check out where the Southern Wright Whales were to be seen. Walked across the causeway to Granite Island and had lovely sightings of dophins playing in the waves. Then off to one of the beaches for minimal sightings of the whales and finally to Goolwa for up close and personal with the largest pelicans I have ever seen. There was a man fishing and catching fish and then allowing the pelicans to have the fish. The man was fishing for European Carp that is not indigenous and therefore you can take as many as you like and feed them to the pelicans. On the way back to the car, I was introduced to two Pugaliers. What are pugaliers? They are small dogs that are a cross between a pug and a King Charles spaniel (sometimes known as Cavaliers). They were short, brown with black points, longer than normal curled pug tails, a slightly less pug pronounced nose and they were VERY FRIENDLY!
Home for soup and photos
Friday, June 23
Slept in until 8 and had breakfast with Robert.
For those of you who know about Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (Australian children’s book about gum nut babies) I was on the hunt for actual gum nuts. Robert found two different species for me to photograph and they are exactly like the drawings in my old favorite book. SUCCESS!
On the way out of town, we stopped so I could say goodbye to Ron and dogs. Three photos taken but not one of them has all 5 subjects looking straight at the camera at one time in focus. Oh well, I can remember how cute they all were. Especially Ron and Robert.
Robert ended out time together with a tour of the perimeter parklands of Adelaide. Some founding father set aside a huge parcel of land on all four sides of the grid for Adelaide and they have lovely open space and parks that are well used by the citizens. On the North side of town, is the new Oval (Cricket pitch) with the very disappointing and very expensive one-time-only retractable lights. There are four huge sets of lights on high stands that illuminate the cricket pitch and they obstruct the view of the highest neighborhood of North Adelaide (lots of $$ there). They were supposed to be retractable into the ground and they were. ONCE! Now they are permanently erected and the view is obstructed. The newest indigestion for the very conservative citizens of this city is the pink (very light pink) sails over a part of the pitch. Pink! After all, we are in Adelaide you know. Robert was a hoot about it.
I had such a lovely time with the gentlemen and heard so much about the local history and life in Australia; I am so pleased that I called when I got into town. See what happens when you talk to strange men on buses on tours in NZ? Lovely and interesting friends.
Tomorrow, I am off to KI – Kangaroo Island.
Kangaroo Island is, for the most part, a reserve and we had been warned that the camp would be rustic. I went shopping for a 12-volt car adapter for my camera and had hoped to find one for my computer. I decided to not worry about the computer, as I would on small planes with severe weight limitations and would try and take notes and then transcribe them when I got back. We were also advised to bring tennis shoes as the tread on the bottoms of most boots and shoes are too much for the fragile earth. I had a shopping coo with two pairs for only A$20. Not going to make it on the runway in Paris, but I can dump them at the end of the project with no regrets.
I am pooped and plan an early evening. Feasted on tinned tuna, carrots and cheese and crackers for dinner and took myself off to bed.
Alarm at 6:15 to finish packing and get the airport by 8:30.
NEW AUSSIE VOCABULARY
Hungry Jacks Fast food chain = Burger King. I looked at the logo for weeks and it seemed familiar and sure enough, Burger King. NO, I did not eat there.
Pokies – Slot machines. I assume because you poke your coin in the slot, never to be seen again.
Good Nick – Toned and excellent condition. i.e., The Animal was in Good Nick.