My new header picture was taken in Adelaide, in fact in the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens, the Rhodendron Section.
Here is another view from that area, over the dam full of what we were calling guitar frogs because of their lovely tuneful plucking sounds:
When we saw a young park employee, we asked him the real name of those frogs, expecting the Latin genus and species. What are park employees taught, after all?
‘We just call them Bonker Frogs,’ he said, ‘….And they sound as if they are happy at present.’
Yeah, they sure did! So it was not plucking sounds, but something similar….
Google doesn’t come up with guitar frogs nor bonker frogs, but under ‘Frogs of Australia and of Adelaide in particular’, http://frogs.org.au/frogs/ofSA/Adelaide , I found:
Eastern Banjo Frog
Close enough, I reckon.
We were supposed to climb up to Mt Lofty before visiting the Botanic Gardens, but it was too hot. Or too cold. Or something. So we drove. Oh, right, that was the week I had the horrendous blister on my heel after taking the train from Torrens Park to Mile End to attend the Australian Veterans Table Tennis Championships (don’t ask).
Of course, it wasn’t the train that gave me the blister, it was the 3 hours ‘being lost’ part once I got off the train. You see, Adelaide isn’t that hot on road signs, especially in the outlying areas, and I was relying on an internet 1 in 100 000 printout that telescoped huge areas into tiny blocks with only 1 in 100 road names listed. It all seemed very clear till I got off the train. Another little idiosyncrasy of the Adelaide roads is that along a major road, the part of the cross road running west has a different name from the part running east, so even if there is a road sign going one way, it might not give enough of a clue to a tourist headed in the other direction.
I was looking for Railway Terrace, and casting about in ever widening circles, I came across lovely and helpful Adelaideans (sp?) who directed me here, there and everywhere BUT in the right direction. RAILWAY Terrace gave them a lot of problems in particular, as they felt sure it should be next to the railway line. Funny, it wasn’t.
The embarrassing part is that I was only lost for 90 minutes on the way there. On the way back, I decided that since I knew Mile End station and surrounds intimately, and that the sports ground was equidistant to West Terrace station as to Mile End, I would walk there instead. Yeah, equidistant. 90 minutes on blisters finding my way there too (in fact, not finding it, and being deeply thrilled to finally limp across familiar ground around Mile End.)
I spent less time at the table tennis tournament than I did getting there, so the day wasn’t an entire loss. Wish I’d been able to take some good photos, but this was the sum total of what I dared to take (I didn’t want to intimidate any of the players).
Adelaide has a lot to offer, not the least of which are the extensive wine areas. We toured Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley. We enjoyed this poster (and a fair bit of wine):
Reminds me of the fruit at Pick n Pay Wellington, with its hint of Cabernet and Shiraz….
I also spent a day in Adelaide CBD along a suggested tourist walk. A couple of highlights:
The chocolate shop (yet again, yum)… having enjoyed the Haigh’s factory tour; the opal factory shops (chocolates are more affordable); the solid colonial buildings and most of all, the unusual dustbin in Russell St:
Here we are at The Bluff, on the way to Granite Island (wow that was a freezing day with biting wind – what a surprise to wake up sunburnt the next day).
All too soon the visit was over. Thanks to D, G, M, C and T for your hospitality and the outings. Hope we can do it again sometime!
A highlight on the drive back to Melbourne was the stop at Bordertown where we saw the famous white kangaroos:
http://www.tatiara.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=337 for the white kangaroos.
Final comment from R the driver as we arrived back in Melbourne: ‘With due respect, we will need some help transferring all the wine you bought.’ Yes it was a great trip.