There’s these signs all over the Youth Hostel here: “So-and-so’s Week in (R)Adelaide!” – “Livin’ It Up In (R)Adelaide.” – “Thingy’s Week In The Liade Of Rad.” All designed to make you think Adelaide is the hip, happening place to be in South Australia. It isn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, Adelaide’s nice, quite pleasant in fact, but that’s about it. Like Perth, it doesn’t leave much of an impression.
I didn’t plan on staying here as long as I have. I was meant to head down to Melbourne the day after I arrived. But the yoga centre I was heading down there to help set up hit a few legal snags, so I delayed my arrival by a few days, then by a week, and as it stands right now I’m not sure what’s happening. But anyway, I had a week to fill in Adelaide, including my 39th birthday, so what to do, what to do?
You generally can’t go wrong with a wildlife park, so I decided to follow the advice of Joel who I met on the Indian Pacific and go check out Cleland Wildlife Park. I had to catch a couple of buses to get out there, but it was worth the effort.
All the animals were local; ie: kangaroos, koalas, dingos, tasmanian devils, etc., and a lot of them were just running around loose. You could buy a bag of animal feed on the way in, and really, who’s going to say no to that?
I fed anything that came across my path! Big, small, I didn’t care. They all seemed hungry, and I was happy to oblige. I had them eating out of the palm of my hand; literally!
But that wasn’t the highlight. The best part of the trip was I got to hold a koala bear!
How cute is she? Her name was Holly and she was about 6kg, half the weight of one of the boys (but heavy enough, let me tell you). Her breath smelt of eucalyptus, and you had to wear that very fashionable green jacket to stop her claws ripping your clothes to shreds. She was, quite literally, adorable, and I wanted to take her home with me, but I’ve got enough stuff to carry and nowhere to put a koala bear.
Friday the 8th of February was my 39th birthday. Now normally, when I was in London, I’d go see a show or something to celebrate, so I decided to do the same here. Now you’d think there’d be loads to do in (R)Adelaide on a Friday night. There’s not. I went to two ticket agents and all they could offer me was the Rolling Stones musical ‘Satisfaction’, some show with a bloke with a banjo, and a screening of the Blue Planet with live orchestral accompaniment. Naturally, I chose the latter.
But first, food! For my birthday meal I went to Bliss Organic near the Chinese Market, and had their lentil dahl with fruit smoothie and blueberry maca raw cheesecake for dessert.
The food was lovely, and they were very sweet writing ‘Happy Birthday’ on the cake plate with agave syrup, but I barely had enough time to scarf it down before I was trotting across town to take a tour of the Haighs Chocolate Factory.
No Ooompah Lumpahs here I’m afraid (and no interior pics either: not allowed!), just a bunch of people in hair nets going through the very mechanical process of making dozens upon dozens of identical chocolates.
Still, their dark chocolates were nice, and milk free I’m glad to say, so I had to indulge, buying myself some marzipan bars and peppermint frogs for the show later on (not that they all made it there, lol).
The Blue Planet show was good. Just a lot of clips from the show with some commentary from a guy that seemed like he was famous in Oz for diving but who I’d never heard of, and the ASO, which is either Adelaide or Australian Symphony Orchestra.
I enjoyed the show, even with all the scenes of ‘predatory behaviour’, lol. Not sure if it was worth the $89 it cost me, but it was my birthday so I was treating myself.
And really that’s about it for Adelaide. I’ve been to the Botanic Gardens a few times,
saw some Lion Dancing in Chinatown for Chinese New Year (year of the snake),
and now I’m waiting to catch a bus to take a tour of Kangaroo Island for a few days. I’m back here for a day after that, then I go down to Melbourne on Friday. If the yoga centre isn’t sorted by then I’ll go visit a friend I’ve got down there, and if it’s still not ready after that, I dunno… Tasmania? As you can tell, I’m pretty much playing things by ear at the moment.