Sunday, March 17, 2013

Day 2 - Adelaide Central Market, St Kilda, Semaphore and Largs Bay

Saturday 16th March
Awoke at 6.30 did a bit of journaling and chatted with Step-mum. Everything from criminals to cats and Hubby's late father and the new house. Hubby didn’t sleep very well, and ironically, dropped back off to sleep when I got up and then didn’t get up until after 8.  More chatting then with a reminder about the time we had a tour around the garden in daylight.  It is Hubby's first time here. Everything has suffered in the heat of summer. Step-mum says she’s not planting anything any more because the conditions are so harsh. It’s sad to see because she has always loved her gardening and got a lot of pleasure from it before moving back to be near her siblings and their families after over thirty years living in Sydney.  Everything was looking so much happier when we were here in spring 2009.  Very few of the houses around here have lawns. Just bare parched earth or brown crisp carpets of grass that look like they’re in a very bad way.
Casper the cat is still going strong. Getting pretty old now though.He is HUGE. Everyone says that. Step-mum reminisces about Hubby's dad and how although he rarely swore he did when she brought home a kitten. "Not another f-ing cat!" He'd been very upset when a previous adopted stray had met a sticky end. Run over by a car and found in the gutter. None the less, he promptly went out to buy it some food and would also bring him home tasty treats all the time. Step-mum laughs as she tells about how Joe would bring home a whole chicken. "Casper can have the breast and we'll eat the rest". Casper's getting pretty old now. I think it will be a fresh blow to Step-mum when Casper passes on. The loss of a link to the love of her life.
We slowly drag ourselves off to the car and set off for Adelaide Central Markets. We’re both pretty tired though.  I was overtired before leaving home and not really preparing for the trip all that well really. Had a persistent feeling I was forgetting things. Seems Adelaide brings out the incompetent nincompoop in me.  It is soon apparent that one of the things I was forgetting was my hat of all things. GRRRR. .. and my SA road atlas… GRRRR.  Step-mum makes up the shortfall and also kits us out with a silver chiller bag for transporting our purchases.  I need to go back inside to get the charge cable for my phone as I’m finding the internet access on my phone exceedingly useful but it will suck the juice out of it if I keep it up. Eventually we  are done with the dithering and are away.
It’s about half an hour into the central markets and we find our way very easily with the aid of the Tom Tom. I love the stone buildings which to me characterize South Australia. I can’t wait for Hubby to see the Barossa Valley and Kapunda. I wonder what it will be like after all the heat. Probably very different from when I last saw it in early Spring.
On arrival at the markets the car park is quite full, but we have no difficulty finding a spot. We make a b-line to the piroshki shop.
The piroshki shop has a lot of different fillings available.  I recommend we just get the potato and leek one but Hubby insists he wants to try the beef one. I repeat my warning to no avail. Oh well. I on the other hand have already learned by experience so we all know what I ordered.  We also got some tiny round morsels labelled cheese patties or something like that. They were 2 for $1. We find a spare table among the many people gathered at the markets for brekky and commence our feasting, carefully recording a feast for the eyes that we can enjoy for years to come.
the cheese patty
mmmm piroshki
The little cheese patties seemed to be made from ricotta and sultanas and were only very slightly sweet. I’m glad to have tried them.  Hubby, predictably, agrees the potato and leek piroshki is much nicer than the beef.  Yes. I know. He suggests that we buy more. I resist. I have been here before. I know that these are just the beginning of endless food temptation. I am determined to pace myself.
We decide, or mainly Hubby decides, that we will proceed around the entire market in a systematic fashion, so we begin wandering the lanes admiring this and that. I am tempted by some peacharines that are only $3 a kilo. They are not yet ready to eat though and I’m not sure what the rules will be regarding taking fruit onto Kangaroo Island so I get some grapes and a couple of nectarines instead that we can eat quickly.  We move on.  
We resist the Mettwurst shop. We can buy that online if we choose. I patiently wander the avenues until we get to Say Cheese. 
Hubby doesn’t want cheese L  But he’s not putting me off getting dips and bread. Mmmm yummy skordalia… we complement that with a tub of baba ganoush and of course we get a small loaf of Turkish bread.  The baguettes in a box near the fridge look awesome but we resist. I’m wandering past a beautifully set out fruit vendor and spy something I’ve never tried. 
Jujubes. I photograph and purchase.  This display is beautiful so I can’t resist a broader shot and the  colours of the dragon fruit are so rich and vibrant.

 I spied some jars of Quandong syrup for sale. Mmm that sounds tasty. Can’t resist delicious quandong stuff. Jam too. Mmm. And lookie here. They have real egg shells filled with chocolate truffle and painted beautifully for easter. Let’s get some for the kids. Haha look at that. They have heart shaped lamingtons. Lovingtons.  That’s COOL.  So cool Hubby insists we get one.
I can’t resist a sample at a store spruiking delicious light rye bread with a beautiful pattern on it.. and peach slice. Mmm.  Yes Please. Hubby, would you like a leek and gruyere tart? No? I would .. mmmmm.  Loitering here gives us an opportunity to sample the debrecziner from Barossa fine foods which a lady is walking around handing out from a tray…mmmm yeah… fruit, dips, bread and debrecziner.. that will make an awesome picnic.  Some special maple and cinnamon bacon for brekky won't go astray either. We take a ticket and make our purchases. 
Just the yoghurt shop to go now. We have some fun chatting with the various young ladies serving. We buy three small tubs. One tub half apple crumble and half caramel crumble; another berry and muesli and one cappuccino  We resist the honeycomb one.We’re getting pretty loaded up by now and we’re regretting not getting  a small loaf of the rye bread. We head back to get ourselves better organized in the chiller bag and head back down to get the bread... and some cultured butter to go with it. Oh and Hubby has decided he should have got the honeycomb yoghurt so we go back for more, raising much merriment and chat from the friendly girls there.
Ok now we’re out of here. We decide to head home to put stuff in the fridge and perhaps eat lunch. I admire the beautiful avenues of native vegetation which are a delightful feature of Paralowie.
Step-mum's not well, and looks it, so there's no point having lunch here and making her feel obliged to play hostess. We've been thinking of maybe heading down to explore Glenelg. She kits us out with all manner of things for a beach picnic. Towels, rug to sit on, ice packs, plates and cutlery. The works. Off we go. Step-mum has recommended we head to Semaphore, but first I decide I’d like to see this other place on the map that is close by also. St Kilda is only 15 mins away. 
We find ourselves outside the St Kilda Mangrove Trail. Before we eat, we decide we’ll go in for a look. We loiter about with comfort stops and while I'm waiting for Hubby I admire a small raptor hovering over the reserve. We wander in, towards the visitor centre, encouraged by a passing ranger. 
The visitor centre is not operating at the moment but we are welcome to take a walk.  I hesitate because it’s the worst time of day to be in the sun. I feel that my cap is inadequate and bird watching would surely be better in the early morning. However Hubby assures me it won’t be open in the early morning. The padlock hanging on the gate backs him up. We head in.  
We’ve not gone far before we come across a dangerous looking snake sunning himself on the path. He’s felt the vibrations of our approach and is moving rapidly away when I see him and stop excitedly exclaiming to Hubby to check it out. No more vibration, the snake stops too. Long enough for me to get photos, then I move forward and snakey scurries off into the vegetation. We wonder what species it was. It was a brown snake but I mean that as a descriptive term not as identification. We guess it could have been anything and I would say definitely dangerously venomous. Hubby laughs at us because we’ve just changed out of covered shoes into thongs before we came down the path. We didn’t expect to meet any snakes on a mangrove boardwalk excursion.  I’ve never seen a dangerous looking snake in the wild before so this has been an exciting encounter.  I’m really glad we decided to come in.
We wander along in the sun reading the interesting interpretive signage here and there. Initially there are large expanses of quiet salt water. It’s very peaceful and there are occasional bird hides providing shelter.Not a sound of any birds now in the middle of the day. I’m kicking myself we didn’t bring our lunch in here.  We decide that if there is a good seat at this lookout we will go back and get our food.
Hubby stops me for a photo and complains that I’m shaded by my hat. With considerable relief at the observation I reply… yeah… that’s the idea.  I’m quite distressed about not having my usual hat with me. I’ve been regularly checking that my hair covers my ears as I tend to brush my hair back behind my ears. I'm sure I must look even less photogenic than usual at the moment.
There’s a nice hint of aroma in the air. It changes periodically. A sign tips us off that it is the mangroves flowering. I had seen the flowers but not really registered them for attention. We look around for a nearby flower and sniff.  Hmmm. It’s a sort of beery smell.  Sort of a mix of beery, yeasy, fruity. Interesting.  I’m enjoying this walk much more than I expected to.
The boardwalk passes under the canopy of the mangroves and is pleasant and shady, another surprise. I stop Hubby to retaliate and get a photo of him. He stands looking at me hands by his sides.  I meant a more informal spontaneous sort of pose. He makes a move, laughing.. Like this?
I laugh and snap, suspecting the result will probably look something like Dr Frankenstein’s monster. Perhaps a more zombie like facial expression would be required for full effect. Hubby does a fine line in iconic monster photos. I also have a great picture of him at Standley Chasm looking for all the world like a Yeti on holiday.
As we near the board walk we start to notice strands of sea grass festooned on the mangrove branches quite high up. The board walk has great swathes of grass over it. We run into the ranger again and he confirms that this area of the walk is under water at high tide. He’s been thinking perhaps he should clear the grass off the board walk because it can be slippery, but we probably noticed that.  Yeah. LOL A large section of the walk is closed due to damage by a king tide.  We have been careful and there’s no way he could have cleared the whole thing before we got here anyhow. It’s not bad and it will just be same after the next tide anyway.  We are just approaching the lookout and he says when we go up we will see that it looks like we might get rained on.  We engage in a mutual rain appreciation session. It’s very hard to get sick of rain after so long in drought. He has a property in Tassie that gets 1.8 m rain a year and still he never tires of it.
As we are approaching the lookout, signage describes the feeding of the black swans in the sea grass meadows of Barker Inlet.  We climb up about 20 stairs and into some powerful wind for an expansive view.
There are thousands of black swans feeding away in the distance. We employ the binoculars and the full extent of the zoom on the camera for a better look. I’ve never seen so many black swans in one place… except in Rotorua in New Zealand where they are not particularly welcome given that they are not native species there. Hubby surprises me and agrees to have a go on the binoculars.  He checks out the swans and the industrial installations across the water.  He’s impressed by the detail he can see and comments that if we can see so much with our measly equipment it's no wonder the paparazzi get long distance shots.  The mutual tsk tsk about the outrageous intrusions of privacy committed by the paparazzi inevitably follows but is short lived.
Time to head back. We climb down the stairs and take our time. It’s a really pleasant walk and the nice little bird hides provide some lovely scenes as you round gentle corners. The wood of the walk and the hides is nicely weathered to a pretty silvery grey. You wouldn’t find better in an open garden.
As we walk I notice a particularly nice mangrove flower and stop to sniff. Stop says Hubby. I’ll photograph you sniffing them.  We laugh. I’d asked earlier did he photograph me sniffing the flowers when he had the camera … "Well! That was a missed opportunity wasn’t it?" I teased.  Now he returns the joke… Not any more!  I imitate a world leader… head human meets official representative of the Mangrove Flower Federation and hold my pose for the paparazzi. Images of me wearing something other than my white hat will be one for the books!
I look around for snakey as we pass the area where he was seen and I silently regret his absence. We admire the pretty hues of the samphire as we pass the areas where they make such a lovely contrast to the rich green of the mangroves. I wonder if I photographed them earlier. Not to worry. Snap. Snap.
Back at the car it’s lunch time and I decide it’s time to have my little leek and gruyere tart… mmmm. So good.  
Before we head down to Semaphore we will do a little exploring around the rest of tiny St Kilda. Across the huge car park there is a shop – Tackle and Tucker.
I’m thirsty so I request a stop to buy some cold water. Hubby grabs a coke and we skip on the worms… and the live cockles they are selling.
I request a detour on the directions Tom Tom is suggesting, to head across for a photo of the adventure playground. It’s quite busy here. There’s a lot of cars.  Hubby parks and we get out. I wander across to the large castle structure. We’re blown away by the quality of this free playground. It’s huge and the equipment is truly superior.  We wander about recording the details to show the kids when we get home.

I notice some honeyeaters flitting here and there. I employ the zoom in maximum extent and manage a shot. It’s so windy it’s hard to keep the camera steady. However the result looks pretty good on the camera screen. I LOVE this camera. I’m so glad we upgraded.  
It takes us a while to get a good handle on everything there is in the playground. Slides, a huge long flying fox, see saws, round-about, special options for the smaller kids too. This has to be the best kids playground we’ve ever seen.  Very well worth going out of your way for.  I wish we had some kids with us!!  WELL DONE St Kilda Lions Club!! As we turn to leave I notice that this is where the local tram museum runs to on Sundays and public holidays. That would make a really fun day out. Historic tram to the adventure playground.  There’s also a swathe of green grass and covered picnic tables.  Sometimes you find some really great stuff when you venture off the beaten path. This is definitely one of those occasions.
I decide it’s time to break out my next morsel from the markets. I did the right thing succumbing to temptation at that shop.  Now… to Semaphore. Tom Tom is duly instructed.  Step-mum was right. Semaphore is lovely.  Lovely natural dune reserve, avenues of Norfolk Island pines, long silvery jetties stretching out over the gulf.  Despite the high wind the area looks inviting. Further to the north the sky is full of para sails and it looks awesome. 
We head up again and pull up near the Largs Bay Jetty. Largs Bay is even nicer than Semaphore.  What a beautiful spot. This is my favourite of all I've seen of Adelaide’s seaside.  There’s a bike track, playground, food outlets. The Largs Bay Hotel is very large and striking. It’s a navigational marker the street directory tells me.
We head out on the jetty intent on capturing something of the para surfer action.
The pier crosses over the beautiful white sands and when we emerge from the protection of the dune area  the wind is fierce. Quite incredible. There’s an amazing performer running back and forth alongside the jetty. He goes screaming past and whoah UP UP he goes raised skyward by his para sail. What a master. This is AWESOME to watch.  I snap a still photo, trying to capture as many of the sails as possible and this fellow in particular.
"Take a video. Take a video." Hubby says.  I press the button and the camera dies just as he leaps airborne once more.  Oh bugger.  Never mind I have a spare battery in my pocket. Learned my lesson after going sailing last week.  With difficulty I install the new battery into the camera. The wind is so strong I’m worried about it blowing the battery out of my hands.  Oh shit. This battery is dead too. My other batteries are back in the car. Oh shit.  Oh shit.  Oh well. We walk all the way back. Not really hurrying. I enjoy the BBQ smell that is on the air as we reach the protection of the dunes once more.  I’m trying to remember where on earth I’ve put my bag… then I realize… I’m wearing it. Oh shit.  I can’t believe that. I had another spare battery on me all the time. Gees. I confess. Hubby smiles. That brain scan is getting closer. LOL. I photograph the damn thing for posterity. Stupid.
We walk back out, stopping mesmerised by a super nifty starry ball racing around casting shadows on the sand.
Back out in the howling gale our favourite guy is way further north now. We watch him leaping and somersaulting off in the distance hoping he’ll come back this way again to no avail. The guys near us are wizzing back and forth, but gosh, when you’ve drunk Brown Brothers Zibbibo the house wine doesn’t seem so impressive.  Time we made a move. We’ve really enjoyed our stop here at Largs Bay. Way to make the most of the weather today. In fact all things considered, it’s hard to say there was anything wrong with the weather. It was fine and very very windy.. just what you need for para surfing apparently.
The avenue looks inviting to the north but we decide to come back that way to go home and head down southward to check out Glenelg as originally planned. We’re looking for nice views while we eat, such as we had a fews years back when we ventured down to Port Noarlunga.
I’m too lazy to order another stop to get a decent image of the stone tower at Semaphore… is it perhaps a semaphore tower? I snap some dreadful quick tries as we wiz past…yeah... really dreadful actually.
We wander along in no particular hurry, not finding anywhere that compares to Semaphore and Largs Bay. There’s more para surfers and also sail boarders down around Fort Glanville and we note the visitors centre at Fort Glanville. That might be worth a stop some time in the future..  We head on, past protected Boat Lake with what looks to be lanes for rowing races or something.
Past avenues of palm trees of various ages. I think of the many parks a hundred years or so ago where these palms were planted. Its so unusual to see young ones and I think of what those parks must have looked like for the people who chose to do the plantings all that time ago.
Eventually we get to some extreme ocean front at North Glenelg(?) where we can park with a view. Here at last we indulge in delicious Skordalia and Turkish bread along with slices of debrecziner. Mmmm. The baba ganoush isn’t as good as my brother makes, but its nice. Not nearly as nice as the skordalia. Mmm.. Skordalia.
We are both getting pretty tired now and our enthusiasm for heading further is waning, but we’re so close we decide to make the effort.  We seek Tom Tom’s assistance before again just following our noses around the seaside areas. Tall apartment blocks. Modern development.  Hmm. This is the Gold Coast of Adelaide we comment.  Don’t like this much. Too developed.  It’s no hardship to turn back towards the east and program Tommie for Largs Bay. Take us the quick way Tommie.  Our quick route is very pleasant and lined with Norfolk Island Pines. The penny drops. THIS is a beachside scene. I’m a NSW girl and these trees are extremely popular there for shading the sea side promenades. They like sand, they like salt winds.  Is it this element of NSW style that makes me appreciate this area so much? Perhaps a little bit. There’s plenty in the scenes that is not at all like NSW though. The lack of surf, the colour of the sand, the general landscape and arid zone vegetation. We regain the coast at Lady Gowrie Drive and turn to the north, forgetting to turn into check out the historic town centre. Oh well, we’ll be back here again some time when we come to visit Step-mum again.
Heading north the pretty pine avenue continues until we come to an area of more modern development. Ho hum. Then it's around past the passenger terminal big blocky freighters are moored. It’s a wonder they don’t just get blown over.  On home where I have an early dinner of  more market morsels.  While we've been out today, Step-mum has taped us Mercurio’s Menu because today’s episode is focused on the Adelaide Hills where we are heading tomorrow. We enjoy exploring the foodie delights of the area vicariously then Hubby helps Step-mum with her Galaxy tablet and we send test email s back and forth.  I can’t get into the journal in the noise of the living room so adjourn to the quiet of the bedroom after a (hopefully) reviving shower. I get a bit done but in the end am too tired and it’s too late, so I call it a day with the intention of finishing it off in the morning.  Nighty night.

1 comment:

James Brighton said...
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