Friday, February 13, 2009



Once again, we made a leisurely start to the day but were on the road south toward out next destination by 10:00AM. We retraced our route from Seven Hill down to Auburn where we turned SE toward Saddleworth. Very quickly, the vineyards disappeared to be replaced with the multiple shades of brown and gold left by the wheat harvest with spots of green around the homesteads.
This area of wheat growing, like the area to the north yesterday, is covered with abandoned homesteads. It reminds us of areas of the American West. We surmise that, when first settled, a family unit took possession of that amount of land which they could cultivate and they built their homes on each such piece. Over the last 150+ years, the small holdings have been consolidated into larger tracts suitable for mechanized farming methods and what once belonged to 10, 20, 30 or even 40 families, now belongs to one family unit or even a business unit with no family living on the land at all. The old homes, made of stone and brick, are falling in on themselves due to neglect. Even so they are quite interesting and we stop several times to explore. Most of them must have been quite pretty in their prime as they show much care in the stone and brick work as well as what can be seen of decorative wood trim. This idea is brought home by the beautiful old homes that are still lived in. For us, they make interesting photo opportunities and I am sure one or two of the best photos will go into the memory book we compile of this trip.

Our first stop of the morning, other than for photos, was Eudunda, another quaint, well cared for small town with absolutely nothing going on at 11:30AM on a Wednesday morning. Carolyn visited the bakery for something sweet and visited with the baker. We then walked around a bit. Even the local heritage museum was closed so the docents could attend a function somewhere in town. An elderly gentleman who found out from the baker that some Americans were in town, tracked us down and offered to call someone to let us into the museum but we declined and moved on down the road.

From Eudunda, we drove to Truro stopping at Collingwood, a National Trust Property,the home of one of the early wealthy families in SA, along the way. Then we drove into Nuriootpa where we stopped at the Wolf Blass Winery for a visit to their tasting room. We came away with a bottle of their 2008 Red Label Traminer Riesling for $12.50AU. Penfolds Winery is here also, but we did not see them before we had to make a turn and head out of town. Our next stop was in Woodside to check out Melba’s Chocolates and Woodside Cheese Wrights. Melba’s did not have anything to tempt us but we did a tasting at the cheese factory and bought some Garlic Chevre Goat’s Milk Cheese. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Shortly after 3:00PM, we check into our accommodations for the next four nights; the "Lavender Fields Cottage" at Adelaide Hills Country Cottages, just outside of the village of Oakbank. This B&B was named the "Outstanding Bed and Breakfast in Australia" in 2005 and we can see why. The cottage is quite nice. It has two bedrooms, a large living room, kitchen/dining area and two baths. As usual, it has a gas "barbie" outside. One key feature is that it offers us a washer with which to catch up on the laundry. The cottage is secluded and set in beautifully landscaped grounds. About 4:00PM we head down the road a short distance to the delightful little hamlet of Hahndorf where we gather in some much needed information about the area from their information office. The various districts put out great booklets with detailed maps and information about each town. This is a village which we plan to return for purposes of exploration. Perhaps even tomorrow. We add to our grocery supply and, when finished, we are fairly well set for the rest of our time in Australia when we will be doing some of our own cooking.

Dinner is to be a rack of lamb with rice, vegetables and some of our wine stock. It is quite cool, so we do not sit out and enjoy the lovely gardens around the house. It is supposed to warm up some over the next few days and we are looking forward to exploring the grounds around this little hide-a-way.

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