I must have planned my trip on the busiest time of the year for Australia. When I was in Melbourne, my trip coincided with Formula 1 Grand Prix and FINA World Swimming Championship. Now in Adelaide, it is the Police and Fire Games 2007 where participants (police or firemen) from all around the world meet up for the events. One of my room mate is with the Brisbane Fire Brigade and she was in the dragon boat race and the lawn bowling event (what a combination of events 🙂 ). She told me that her team lost the lawn bowling event to a bunch of old Malaysians who apparently have played the game for the past 20 years. She and her team only started 3 months ago ;-).
Well, today I took a bus to Handorf. It is a German Settlement in the early 19 century. It’s always in the travel books and brochures. I was not too impress by the town. It’s good for a lunch stop or a cup of coffee but not a place to spend the whole day. I had a “Berliner Custard” which is pretty much a donut filled with custard and it was good. Then I walked along the main street and stopped at Handorf Inn hotel for lunch. Beef and burgundy pie was on the menu and I remember reading about it in my Taste magazine. Unfortunately, the pie was not even close to the pies that are available in Christchurch, NZ. So I walked on after that and took a bus back into town.
Next stop was Port Adelaide. I like this town. It was an old working wharf and had a lot of character. It was easy to walk towards the town center since there is a light house at the edge of the town center. As I walked along the main street, there were a number of Victorian style buildings on both sides of the streets. They are now the town hall, tourist information center, little inns and cafes. There are also a couple of museums in town but I only patronized the maritime museum. Along the wharf are old sail boats, parked by the light house. The wharf here has essentially been replaced by the one called Outer Harbour. After walking around town, I took the train back to Adelaide.
The following day I took a tour called Coorong Adventure.Â It is a boat cruiseÂ that goesÂ around Coorong National Park and takes me toÂ the mouth of Murray River.Â I was picked from my YHA (Youth Hostel) at 9am.Â The tour guide was an older gentlemen name “Barry”.Â He was a good guide, both entertaining and knowledgeable.Â He drove me and another older couple from California (who participated in the Police and Fire 2007 Games, won silver in golf) from Adelaide to Goolwa.Â We then hopped on the boat and off we go.Â It was a hot sunny day and asÂ a result of sitting on the top deck of the boat, I (the Malaysian who never ever get sunburn) got sun burn on my back.Â I saw a lot of birdsÂ (Australian Pelican, Cape Baron Geese, Siberian something something, ducks and other birds).Â They were just at the sand bar sunning themselves.Â
The boat took us up to the mouth of Murray River where it meets Southern Ocean.Â There isÂ a large dredger there pumping sand out of the enclosed bay.Â Each time the waves hits, it brings in a lot of sand.Â At one point the water was so salty and shallow there weren’t much alive in the area.Â The Australian government is trying to preserve the eco system there and was said that birds and fishes are gradually coming back to the area.
Site Note:Â I am waiting for my flight to Alice Springs at the Qantas Club.Â It is nice not to have to pay for internet for a change!.Â It was AUD$4 for 30 minutes at the Y.
On Thursday night I decided to join Renee (the Aussie lady fire fighter) to the Games Village.Â I was interested to see what the Games Village was about.Â So we walked there from the Y, it’s only 5 minutes away.Â There is a concert everynight since the games started.Â Some of the police/fire fighters mentioned that “The Angels” were playing the night before.Â Well,Â as far as rock/pop music vocabulary goes,Â i have no clue who the Angels were (i presume some old band,.. will google it soon).Â Anyway the village is pretty much a socializing place for the participants of the games.Â The concert was ongoing until past midnight and beer seem to be flowing everywhere.Â I don’t know whether it makes a difference when a bunch of police/fire fighters gets drunk.Â The aussies are really friendly and relax (with a little help from alcohol ;-)).Â I had a good time chatting, felt a little out of place but still fun.Â I was in the catergory of tag along room mate which is probably 1% out of the hundreds of participants there.Â I stayed until a little before midnight, lost my roommate in the crowd andÂ started looking for her.Â AfterÂ looking around, I decided it was impossible to pick her out of the hundreds of people and decided to leave.Â I walked back to the Y and fell asleep almost instantly.Â I woke upÂ the next morning and found Renee in the other bunk bed.Â We had a good laugh since neither of us could find each other among the crowd.Â That was a nice experience, I have not been amoung so many fire fighters and police in my life.Â Â One thing I notice is none of them, talked about their work…….Â
Visited: Handorf, Glenelg Beach, Coorong, Goolwa, Murray River, Chinatown, Port Adelaide.