Up and out again by 8:30 so I could meet the coach for another tour. We were taken to the bus station again and in our minibus I got a front seat but I soon realised that I couldn’t stretch my knee and I would end up in pain. The driver was also coughing and spluttering so I moved to the back of the bus and had two seats to myself. I could put my leg out into the aisle and stretch my knee whenever I needed to. We had just over an hour to get the the first winery so I settled in to knit and watch the scenery go passed. The weather got worse the further we got from Adelaide – firstly the wind was whipping up a storm, blowing the dry soil into dusty storms across the road.
The first winery was the largest Seppeltsfield in the Barossa Valley and the vines stretched for miles. The wine we tasted there was okay but at 10:30 in the morning I don’t think we were ready! The best was the tawny port which was very smooth. They also had 100 year old port which we were able to smell but not taste – and it costs $700 for 100 ml!
Then it was back on the bus to Jacobs Creek – more wine testing and this was better and then we had a blind tasting which was a rose that was the nicest and I hope I can find some at home this summer.
By the time we had finished here it was raining and the wind was still blowing. We were off to Chateau Barossa where The Queen had opened the rose garden in 2006. Apparently it is the biggest rose garden in Australia not that we could see it as it was really raining by the time we got there. We had our lunch and I had pulled pork in a roll with wedges followed by vanilla panacotta and a cup of tea.
We were supposed to be having a look at the gallery but I am not sure what happened to that as when I went to do it most of the group were back on the bus! A few of us had a quick look through some of the windows and could see a glimpse of the grandeur of a past era. Then we got back on the bus. The weather was really poor now, the rain was lashing down and the wind was breaking smaller twigs off the trees and they were hitting the bus. I think the driver was driving far too fast for the conditions. Then we had to stop as a tree had fallen across the road hitting a car. Fortunately, the woman driving was shaken but not hurt and luckily there was a truck full of workmen with a chainsaw. They made short work of the tree and got one side of the road open and let us through in about 10 minutes. The tree had hit the windscreen of the car and made a plate sized hole just above the steering wheel – that woman was very lucky.
We continued on our journey – still too fast in my opinion – there was lots of debris on the road and another tree had been moved from a side road we passed. We did get to Hahndorf in one piece and were given an hour and a half to explore the street. By this point the rain was tipping down and I was very glad to have my new rain jacket.
The first shop I found was four rooms full of all sorts of things. I found real Russian dolls and had to buy one and also found an infinity scarf and had to buy that too and a little present for Elsie. Next was a craft shop which stocked yarn but they couldn’t guarantee that it was grown, dyed and spun in Australia so I resisted buying any. I walked as far as the Birkenstock shop getting wetter and wetter as I went. I crossed the road to come back up the other side. It was clear that Hahndorf was making the most of the fact that it was one of the oldest German and Russian settlement in Australia. The Alpaca shop also had yarn and varieties that were 100% Australian but I didn’t buy any there as I had already found them in previous shops. I also popped into a china shop and got talking to the owner about Wedgwood and Moorecroft. I had to shake his hand when he said that he no longer bought Wedgwood as it wasn’t made in the UK anymore. Finally, I went into a shop in the oldest building (1839) where I bought some earrings.
I then got wet and then wetter again! At the end of the street I found a bakery and bought a raspberry and white chocolate muffin and headed back to the bus. I was early but everyone else was already there so it was time to head off back to Adelaide. It took us about 35 mins and I managed to knit all the way back.
I must say that people are all so different – there was one couple who were really helpful and polite – making sure people had a glass and making conversation and then there was another couple who were always at the front and as they were quite tall blocked the view for others and made it difficult to hear the wine person sommelier.
I was back at the apartment by 6 spent the evening tidying, packing, cooking, eating, knitting and preparing to go back to Byron tomorrow. While I listened to the radio I found out that there was 20mm of rain today!
Quote for today