ALBA GU BRATH
It was suggested that since the disruption – whatever it was – at the hotel, did not really affect me, it seems a little excessive to be changing hotels because of that. Well, yes, up to a point that’s true, but I stay there because it is conveniently close to the road leading directly to the South Eastern Freeway. Mount Gambier is five hours
away. A long drive on a country road after the freeway exit. Not the sort of roads you travel when you are sleepy. (no road is!!) Not getting enough sleep before setting out and getting tired along the way puts me and other road users at risk. I need the rest, so if my Little Park Bench is not providing that, I need to be somewhere that will. As for Mount Gambier itself, I have already decided on a new hotel. I have had a few problems with the present set-up, so It needs to be changed.
The weather since I came home, has been cold, wet and windy. All the work that I did, before I left for Mount Gambier, clearing up the leaves and a general tidy up, has all gone for nothing and the place look just as untidy as it was before I started. The next few days, with a combination of high temperatures and north winds is not looking too great. I have the feeling that the lady’s coffee morning on Wednesday may well be called off. Annabell is talking about not going to the hospital tomorrow afternoon, which is fair enough. It is for physiotherapy and not really a medical necessity. I also believe that I was right and the Coffee Morning on Wednesday is cancelled – oh well, so much for my quiet time :o)
The morning began well and Benji and I went for our morning walk without any concern. The temperature was fine and we completed the walk and back home for a treat and coffee ( the coffee for me!) . It is supposed to be 37c today (Tuesday) but I expect that will happen sometime during the day. But at the moment (11am) I really don’t see it happening, but you never know with this weather. It was not bad enough for Annabell to not go to the hospital, but we didn’t linger and came directly home.
Wednesday and the temperature is forecast to reach 44+c today. The temperature didn’t reach the forecast 37c yesterday and peaked at 32c. Today over 100 schools have been closed in South Australia today due to
temperature of 44+c and high winds leading to a “catastrophic” fire danger. We are not included in the school closure list, so none of our schools will be closed for the day. I took Benji out for our walk this morning. I re-set the alarm from 5:45 to 5:30, and 15 minutes can make a great difference – and it did today. We were on the road for 5:45 and, although it was light, the sun didn’t show his face until we were less than 100 yards from home. It is now 10;30 am and I have stopped working outside. Not that I am too concerned about the sun and the heat but I am concerned about Benji. I go outside – he comes outside and, really, it is far too hot for him to sit in the sun, and it’s too risky with the wind to put the shade umbrella up. So here we are. And before you suggest it, yes I could close the doors and not let him come out, but given he is my dog and he likes to be with me, it is not really a solution. Better I stay inside and let him keep me company :o) . At the moment it is about 36C and the wind is starting to build up somewhat. Given that it is a hot wind I expect the temperature to exceed the forecast 44c ( it did!)
Thursday: Good walk this morning. I have gotten into the habit of feeding the Magpies. I bought a box of oat biscuits (cookies) and when I pass the Magpies I crumble a couple in my hand and drop the bits for them. I look back further on and see them eating. We also saw two kangaroos – a big one ( and I mean BIG) and a smaller one further
on. First time I have seen kangaroos in the area for a while since the rain has produced sufficient feed and water for them out bush although it is starting to dry up now. I get comments when I suggest the temperature “crashed” to 23c, but I suppose I could just say “dropped” but that really does not convey the massive change in temperature that occurs. Wednesday 46c – Thursday 21c and 21 is cool – less is cold and the wind changes to the south – which is a cool to cold wind. It all be verra confusing… LOL
Well, that’s Mount Gambier over for another year. The trip was interesting, to say the least. There was a fatal car smash at the dreaded junction of the Inter-state Highway and the Copper Coast Highway, with the rescue helicopter called in. The traffic was backed up for miles in all three directions. The elderly female driver died at the scene with the husband air lifted out by the Rescue Helicopter. He died a few hours later in the Royal Adelaide Hospital. This is a dangerous intersection and I have had a couple of near misses myself with drivers coming off the Copper Coast Highway and either not seeing or ignoring the give way signs. The Inter-state has “right of way”. The State Government and Federal Government have allocated funds to try and fix the problem but there seems to be no sense of urgency and the construction wont start until
“sometime” in 2020. Still, as it’s not in Adelaide, no one worries much. Between the detours and the delay, I was about two hours down. Generally, I shop off for a break at Port Wakefield, but considering the volume of traffic going through because of the accident, delays and diversions, I decided against stopping and carried on to Adelaide. Thursday was not too bad with regard to the weather. I was able to get some shopping done in town and at the Central Market.
At about 10:30 I started to get a bit weary so to bed I went, only to be rudely wakened at 3am with thumping, banging and loud, continuous screaming. Next thing I saw the flashing blue and red reflection on the window blind (police car) – more banging- bit more screaming – a female screaming like a banshee, lots of voices, some sharing their innermost thoughts, then quiet. By then I was wide awake and although I sort of dozed off in fits and starts, I never really got to sleep again. It was either a domestic thing or a sex thing. Don’t know and never asked. At 6am I was showered, dressed and booked out. By 6:30 I was on the road again – and it was raining.
The drive on the freeway to Tailem Bend was not one of the best drives I have had recently – it didn’t just rain, it poured, with the windscreen wipers sometimes having difficulty in coping. Fortunately, there was not a lot of traffic on the freeway at that time in the morning, which was just as well, considering the conditions. First time I have ever driven in the daytime with headlights on. By the time I reached Tailem Bend the rain has eased off – not stopped, just eased off. I did, however, get my usual photograph of the River Murray. The Murray is looking ok,
but the dull overcast conditions gives you some idea of what the weather was like. More rain on the way to Mt. G. but at least it was a lot lighter than on the freeway. Mount Gambier was not so great this trip. The cold and the rain caused a few electrical failures in Mt. Gambier, one of which was the heating in the hotel. Second concern I have had here, one last year and not another one this year. Perhaps time for a new hotel. One of our members is in Hospital and is not expected to survive. It is really a waiting period. All of his family are there, and no visitors are allowed, other than family. It has been a week since I returned from Mt. G. and I really expected to be called down to Adelaide.
Fires continue to rage out of control in New South Wales and Queensland with five lives being lost. Here in South Australia we had a bush fire in the bottom area of the peninsula outside Port Lincoln which was bad enough to put Port Lincoln under threat. Fortunately, that one was brought under control and extinguished reasonably quickly.
The weather here at home has been cool to cold but that is about to change as the forecast is a rapid climb in temperature to 43c on Thursday. Joy!!!
Leaving Hahndorf we headed in the general direction of Adelaide. After all the uphill and down dale and round every corner, the drive out of Hahndorf really floored me. Flat, good road. and within less than ten minutes we were on the approach road to the South Eastern Freeway, direct to Adelaide then through town to Tea Tree Plaza. A brief stop at Bunnings for young John (not me!!) and on to the shopping center. I had been given direction where I should find the shop that I wanted, but I’m stuffed if I could find it, and no shopkeeper in the area had ever heard of it. Anyway, by this time we had to set off for home. I drove to Port Wakefield then had to stop. I had to hand the driving back to John. Generally, I wear dark clip-on shades when driving during the day. I did not for three days. I had my eyes tested last week and asked for my driving glasses to have an anti-glare coating. This was done so when I picked up my glasses on the Tuesday I did not wear any protection from the sun, believing that the anti-glare coating was all I needed, and to be honest, it seemed to be. Wednesday we left and I drove to Adelaide. Thursday we collected the car and although John was driving, I was sitting looking out without any clip-ons. Thursday was a 39c day. I continued like this throughout the day, and took over the driving at Tea Tree Plaza. By the time we reached Port Wakefield my eyes were so strained and painful, to continue driving was dangerous for both of us, so John took over the driving. I went into my bag and got the face cloth from my wetpack, poured cold water on it and washed my face and eyes. I put the clip-on shades back on. By the time we reached the Tin Man (245 k) my eyes had calmed down and I was going to take over the driving again, but John decided he would drive us home – which he did. I felt bad about that but I really did believe that the anti-glare coating would be sufficient. I was wrong. I have eyes that are sensitive to very bright sunlight, which creates a bit of a problem – although I have shades of different degrees of darkness scattered all over the place, house, bedroom, car, garage and some float around the sheds
The scenery on the road to Lobethal was incredible, but with the narrow roads and no stopping areas (unlike Scottish Highlands Roads) I was unable to take photographs. Mind you not that they would have been much
good with trees blocking much of the view. With John doing his thing at several Beer Places I was able to have a quiet wander around Lobethal. Here I came across the white church and the foundation stone dated 1921. The place was a Uniting Church Building but since the Uniting Church did not exist in 1921, the original church was something else. My smartphone was not being very smart so I had to wait until I came home. As it turned out the white church was founded in 1921 as Tweedvale Presbyterian Church. Tweedvale is the name that was given to Lobethal during the anti-German feeling in WWI. It reverted back to its original name Lobethal by Government Decree in 1934. So the White Church began life as a Presbyterian Church. The Presbyterian Church had existed there since 1869 but it was 1920 before they had sufficient funds bu build their own place.
This last week has been the first mini heatwave of the season with the temperature peaking at 39c on Thursday. Friday was 34c and on Friday afternoon the thunderstorm started and it rained. Saturday morning and was still raining, so we were unable to go out for our morning walk. Benji is curled up in his bed so I don’t think he was too put out. The rain continued until early Sunday morning and by the time I got up it had stopped. We did go out and it was interesting to see that the ground is so dry that the water in the pit had already started to soak away into the soil. In some communities in New South Wales, water is being shipped in because their own source of water has dried up. I feel for our fellow citizens but am thankful that we still have a good supply of water and decent rains to back it up. Having said that, it did rain in New South Wales and Queensland over the weekend. Not enough to break the drought but very welcome none the less. Anyway, it was a nice two days away, but nice to get home again. However, this coming Thursday (7th Nov) I head off to Mount Gambier.
The largest Brewing Company is owned by the Japanese, but that aside, South Australian “Beer” is actually a lager beer, which the boys don’t like. Andrew has a list of the Microbrewery places in South Australia. They consider Lobethal to be one of the best. Actually I think almost all of the beer manufacturing in South Australia is foreign owned. I liked Lobethal., a quiet place, not very overtly German, like some of the other towns in the area – particularly our next stop. I had a wander around the main street, which for a weekday, was very quiet. I did, of course, find the little white church and took photographs of the 1922 foundation stone. Around the place there were many posts and posters highlighting the benefits of the Lobethal Lutheran School. All this came about in 1838 when George Fife Angas left South Australia to recruit prospective colonist for the new Province in South Australia. A number of Lutherans were anxious to leave the town of Klemzig In Prussia because of persecution by the King of Prussia. They were led by their Pastor, Augusta Ludwig Kavel. They settled in a small parcel of land by the River Torrens which they called Klemzig after the town they had left. Over the years the area has been absorbed into the City of Adelaide. The second wave of German Settlers move further into the interior of the colony and purchased land there. There were a number of settlements of which Lobethal and Hahndorf are
but two. With the anti-German feeling during the World War One, many of the German names were abolished and changed – Lobethal became Tweedvale. Most of the names were changed back by government decree in 1934 all except Petersburg. Petersburg became simply Peterborough. In 1934 when the other towns were allowed to return to their original names, Peterborough decided not to and to remain as it was. Interestingly, the first ever Lutheran Church in Australia was built in Lobethal and the 1641 Bible of Pastor Kavel is kept there. Not too sure about that so I will have to do some searching.
We spent some time wandering around Lobethal before heading off to Hahndorf for a late lunch. John had been there before so he chose the place where we would have our meal. We had a quiet walk through the local area before entering the “German Arms Hotel” Hahndorf was one of the areas settled by the German Settlers who became prosperous in the new settlement. The South Australian Wine industry, the largest in Australia had its Genesis here with several German families who realised that the cool climate of the Adelaide Hills was perfect
for growing grapes and producing wine. There are a large number of Wineries in this area and I am led to understand the the Wolf Blass Gallery and Museum will be built at Hahndorf. Unlike Lobethal, Hahndorf displays its German Heritage in a number of ways, not the least of which is its food and restaurants. Having been here several times, John took me to the German Arms a German Bierhaus and Restaurant. Because of
the long drive ahead of us we settled on Lemonade ( boo — hiss) John ordered a Trio of German Wurt with some sauce, -which he said was really good. I was less adventurous and had a Chicken and Prawn Pasta with a really nice cheese sauce. The portions were very large and I was unable to finish my meal. The staff did offer me a take-away box, but I felt it was a long drive and quite warm – too warm to carry in a car for 550 kilometers. Not being a food blogger in any way shape or form, it never really occurred to me to take photographs of our meal. The place was really nice, the staff friendly, the service excellent and it just had a really good atmosphere. I would have liked to have spent a lot more time there.
Leaving the German Arms carpark John set the Tom Tom for Tea Tree Plaza. I needed to go there to get some things for the
church before heading home. As I said in the previous post, our drive through to Lobethal and then to Hahndorf was uphill, downhill, narrow roads, sharp twists and turns, well, less than ten minutes after leaving Hahndorf we were on the approach road to the South Eastern Freeway and a short while later at Adelaide. I asked John why we didn’t go that way in the first place, “my way was more adventurous”. Sheesh…