Day 64 – Barossa to McLaren Vale in the heat

After a casual dinner in the air-con, we headed back to the caravan to start packing up the van as we had an early start today, as we wanted to head to the Barossa Farmers Market before we checked out. The caravan park movie was in full swing as we started packing up the van – me inside, with the ‘blue’ light on, and tip-toeing around the sleeping princesses, Lachlan outside doing the BBQ, awning etc. I stepped outside to see how Lach was going to find him in major frustration as the awning wasn’t ‘sliding’ down. Somehow the slide had come out of the runner, and the banging which Lach was doing may have been interrupting the movie. Eventually a guy came over offering is assistance (maybe we were disturbing him too much) and said that he had been travelling for 12 months and never seen anything like it. However, eventually after an hour of trying to work out the science behind how to get a 0.5cm wide slide back into the runner which was maybe 0.3cm – we succeeded, including a thumbs up from a few people around us. I am sure that the noise would have been preferred at 9pm vs 630am.

Anyway, we all awoke early and were up and ready to leave at 730am. We drove past Nanna and Grandpa’s so that they could follow us and after 15mins we arrived at the Barossa Farmers Market – the early bird definitely catches the worm – the markets opened at 730am, and were really busy by 745am. We arrived and wanted to get our breakfast as a priority, so Rosie and I stood in the queue whilst Lach and John went off to the baker (Mehl) in the corner, which was a girl who served us at Rockford with her boyfriend who make Sourdough at home – 150 loafs they made last night. We had the bread for lunch today as doorstop sandwiches and it was fantastic – some of the best bread we have ever had. After we finished our delicious breakfast we all had a wonder around and bought strawberries, chicken and kransky’s. All of which we devoured for dinner this evening. What an exceptional way to start and finish the day – all due to the Farmers Market.img_2524

We then started our route down to McLaren Vale, however we wanted to do a D-Tour via the Whispering Wall, at the Barossa Dam. A 140m wide dam where the parabolic effect allows one person’s whisper to be heard 140m away at the other end. However upon approaching the gate – it was closed due to the high temperatures and risk of fire. So we needed to turn around and head back – not so easy when your over 12m long, so Lach had to reverse about 200m up the road to a driveway so that we could turn around. Luckily there was no-one else coming down the road, apart from Nanna and Grandpa, who we called on the UHF to let them know. After the turn, we had a 1.5hr drive and the girls slept whilst I did some research on places to visit in the McLaren over the next couple of days.

We arrived at the Big 4 Port Willunga just after 1130am, to discover that Nanna and Grandpa had decided to a D-tour of their own (wrong address in the sat-nav), but they arrived after we had set-up so perfect timing. So went across to help them up pack their bags (they are 30m from us) and then had a delicious lunch of Sourdough bread from the markets as well as ham and cheese in the air-con. Delicious. The heat is nearly unbearable…over 40 degrees with zero wind. After lunch we decided to wonder around the campsite which didn’t come up on Wikicamps as having a pool – so a massive bonus when we came across a pool, which wasn’t crowded. So after a leisurely swim and instant cool down, we all came back to get changed to head into McLaren Vale for my christmas present. Lach had booked me a 1hr massage – a whole hour for me – perfect. So the family came in as well, and they did gelato’s and grocery shopping. My massage was beautiful – i knew that over 9 weeks away from the desk would make a difference, but seriously I was so relaxed the whole massage was relaxing, no knots or sore points. Bliss. I walked out dazed from the spa into an oven car park to meet the family. Audrey ran up and gave me a hug saying “you smell lovely Mummy”, Ava proceeded to say the same, whilst Lach said “You look relaxed like you’ve been lying down for an hour – I will drive”. We drove back to the caravan park and thought we would have a look at the beach en route, as its just at the end of the street. We did see a sign at the end of the road saying “Maslin Beach – First unclad beach in Australia”. Luckily we turned left at the end of the road to a beach like none of us have never seen before, rather than right which was Maslin Beach – Phew. The coastline was rugged and bare with sparse vegetation, and a cliff down to the ocean. The heat was searing, however the wind was howling across the water and we could hardly hear each other talk, but only ripples on the bay, no breaking waves at all. It was eerie but beautiful at the same time.

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Port Willunga Beach, SA

There has been a great white shark spotting at this beach on 29th December…. I think we will be staying out of the water for deep swims. Upon returning to the car, Ava asks another clanger of a question (which Nanna and Grandpa are becoming accustomed too now) “Who was the first person in the world to die?”, we quickly get in the car having responded “I don’t know, that’s a tough question” before she thinks of any more questions, however whilst strapping her in, she asks Lach “Who was the first ever flying doctor to die? Was it your great uncle?”. Luckily we arrived back at the caravan within 1minute, so the topic changed. Arden, I hope your ready for this young lady, who is due to start with you in 23 days – perfect timing. She is SO ready.

Lach cooked a beautiful chicken from the Barossa Farmers Market this evening, whilst Nanna made a salad. The girls had been good and so were allowed to watch a DVD in the air-con. The first DVD of the holiday – they were engrossed – Charlottes Web – a christmas present.img_2539

Having had a bottle of Skillogalee Chardonnay to start, we then opened a bottle of Bulls Blood 2013 from Rolf Binder, and we were all blown away. None of us thought the cellar door tastings were anything special, but both N&G remember such great things from the cellar door from years ago that both of us ended up buying some. Boy, are we glad that we bought some, and now kicking ourselves that we didn’t buy more. It was a beautiful drop and just proves that sometimes, the tasting experience and palate of the day and previous tastings has such a huge influence on your tastebuds. Today we had only a glass of wine (Beer and GnT don’t count) before this drop and with clean tastebuds it was beautiful.

The girls finished their movie and went to bed, we then moved out of the air-con to the heat of the van – however the cool change has come through. Its dropped from about 39 degrees at 6pm, to about 25 at 730pm with a slight breeze. Bliss!!! Lach and N&G are playing S’Head whilst I complete the blog. The sunset was pinks through to purple whilst we sat outside enjoying the cooler weather.

A day of wine tasting tomorrow, with a lovely lunch somewhere – yet to be decided.

2 responses to “Day 64 – Barossa to McLaren Vale in the heat

  1. Sad story again I read the Blog after leaving Lachlan and Caroline’s camp to read the Blog and respond and posted it finding that John had turned off the hot spot and within a flash it was gone.
    I will try 24 hours later to remember all that I had said, getting more difficult by the day. I think Nonna must be waiting for the Blog to arrive and she responds immediately which is wonderful as we feel that she is with us on this adventure as I’m sure Lachlan and Caroline feel that as well.
    We started our day early as we were going to the farmers market some 20 minutes away. Unfortunately our alarm did not go off so we were so pleased that we were packed and ready to go as we knew we would have our travel companions on the doorstep at 7.30am. The farmers market was an experience in itself a great place to people watch!
    The produce was very tempting especially the strawberries and the mulberries.
    Breakfast was ordered, pancakes and strawberries and ice cream for Ava, Audrey and Grandpa. Lachlan, Caroline and myself had a more traditional sour dough, bacon, wilted spinach, tomato and pesto scrambled eggs which was a rather unusual colour, but was a great breakfast.
    After purchases for dinner we headed back to collect our luggage and the van.
    We headed off to McLaren Vale with a detour which only involved Lachlan having to do an incredible turn with the van and congratulations to him for his reversing skills in doing this.
    The day was 41 degrees, hot and dry, we enjoyed a swim in the pool which temporarily cooled us down. Dinner was in our cabin as we had the air conditioning pumped up to capacity. We enjoyed a Rolf Binder Veritas 2013 which restored our faith in his wine making as we were disappointed at the wine tasting buying 2 bottles and we are so pleased that we did.
    We returned to the van and while Caroline wrote the Blog we played S…head trying to keep our brains active as we settle into this lifestyle for a short period of time.
    Today while in the car John and I discussed the different types of vines that we have seen and the various ways they are grown from what we have seen in the Barossa and McLaren Vale to New Zealand, German, Italy and France. Some of the vines are trellised while others are bushy with no trellises something that we have not noticed previously. The foliage is so lush and green at the moment being pruned slightly and weeded with evidence of grapes appearing in readiness to plum up prior to harvesting in February.
    What a day, hope I remembered all that we had experienced.
    Love
    Mum, Rosie,Nanna xxxx

    Sent from my iPad

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  2. Sounds like a wonderful day from beginning to end. Need to think about the heat for our visit as it sounds too hot for us Poms in January. Amazing sunset though your photo captures it beautifully. shame about the dam, from memory this is only the 2nd area to be closed to you. One because of rain and the other due to the dryness. Opposites and both in the same state.
    oy sure which wine, but we drink Rolf Binder here. Had a bottle only last week.
    Relaxing weekend for us, unfortunately no wine as trying to loose some of the Christmas and December entertaining excess…. xxx

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