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Time for Reflections

Wednesday 12th August 2015

rain 19 °C

We are now in Adelaide, and certainly in terms of climate a total contrast. We had a bit of time free in Alice before our shuttle bus arrived to pick us up just before 11:30am. We meandered around the town for a bit dropping off people, and picking more up, so we were a bit concerned as to whether we would arrive in time. Check in was only a hour before departure and in the end we still had time to have a cup of coffee before we needed to board the plane. I had been looking forward to the flight with the expectation that we would be able to see a but more of the landscape beyond Alice. It did not disappoint in that we had great views of the desert but I was surprised how far south it went, with hundreds of miles of red rock and sand and as we went further south, large salt flats.

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As we got close to Adelaide the weather changed at it became cloudy and by the time we were coming into land in was raining hard and as we found when we walked out of the airport, decidedly cool.

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We had intended to get a bus into the CBD and then walk the last little bit, but given the rain we decided to get a taxi. Again the driver was particularly unchatty which considering how friendly most Australians are it is a shame that some of the taxi drivers are so uncommunicative. Anyway it was only a short drive to our hotel and we quickly checked in. We were told that we had been given an upgrade, and the room was lovely with a high vaulted brick ceiling and a massive bathroom. Unfortunately, perhaps because it was on the ground floor, there was no wifi signal to speak of which when you are away for the length of time we are, can be a bit of a frustration. In the end we spoke to reception and they were very understanding and we were moved to a room on the first floor. In some ways although this was not quite as grand, it was still a huge lounge with a separate bedroom and en-suite and because it was on the first floor, much lighter. We settled in and made ourselves a drink and also helped ourselves to a small box of raspberry and passion fruit melting moments biscuits, which were even better than the plainer ones that Mum used to make when we were children. We also booked ourselves a table for dinner. The restaurant was actually quite quiet but the food was very good. The waitress was a little bit too full of herself for my liking but not enough to spoil the meal. When we got back to the room I saw I had a message from a friend letting me know the time in the UK that a dear friend's daughter's funeral was taking place which was late evening Australian time. I took a bit of time to myself to reflect, sad about her cruelly premature death and that I wasn't able to be there for the funeral.

We didn't have any great plans for today, but I had found out during my research that Adelaide Zoo has the only giant pandas in the Southern Hemisphere and so we agreed to go there. We were able to walk from the hotel, first doing a bit of shopping for maps and a sat-nav in the mall and then admiring some of the sculptures including an amusing one of some pigs.

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We then walked through the botanic gardens my stopping off for a pot if tea, and then on to the zoo. I was happily taking photographs of some of the animals including the pandas and was unaware for a while that Nigel was hating seeing the animals housed in what were relatively small enclosures. Once I realised I suggested that he went and sat in the park outside whilst I saw the last couple of things I wanted to see before we met up again.

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For different reasons we were both feeling a bit sad, and we just took some time to sit, talk and reflect whilst sitting on the river bank. We then started to walk back to the hotel, stopping off at another Woolworths supermarket to get some food for dinner as we intended to cook that evening. By the time we got back to our room we were both really tired so we relaxed for a while before I made prawn pasta for dinner. Nigel went to bed a bit before me, and I stayed up for a while trying but failing to get up to date with this blog, before giving up and going to bed myself.

Posted by Gill's Travels 22:29 Archived in Australia

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