May 21, 2010
At a place called Kimba in South Australia, we halted to take a picture of a giant galah, but then we managed to get Geoff out of shot so we could get a photo of the big parrot.
Our next break was at Iron Knob, as we just couldn’t resist.
It is the birthplace of the Aussie steel industry, as the knob itself was almost pure iron ore.
As mature adventurers, we felt beholden to crack some puerile knob jokes, many featuring rust, before decamping for a last blast to Port Augusta.
This was meant to be our last night in the bush, for tomorrow, it was Adelaide and the end of our long run.
As it turned out we had one more final night out in the country, as with the chaos caused by the Icelandic volcano eruption, we hadn’t yet heard from our airline and so had no date to fly.
Rather than rush into Adelaide we detoured to the Clare Valley, a famous wine growing region.
The explorer Horrocks is buried there and as Geoff was tickled by his tale, we stopped at his grave and monument so he could pay tribute.
Clare town is right next to the Armagh valley settlement, so we felt right at home, and it seemed fitting that we spent our last day roaming around familiar place names.
Spotting an Irish tricolour flying at a small country pub, we decided to investigate and learned that the Irish had come here in force over the past 200 years, and become heavily involved in the wine business. The barman displayed one bottle from the vineyard of a local maker called James Barry.
‘$270’ he said casually.
‘What $2.70? said Hill, still reeling from his experience at the Voyager winery in WA.
‘No, $270, though you can get some for around $190.’
Geoff picked himself up off the floor and acted like a carpenter, that is, he made a bolt for the door.
I put the bottle down very carefully and, as they say in the journalism trade, made our excuses and left.
The next day, we were suddenly in Adelaide.
It was something of a culture shock, as one minute we were sailing through rolling sheep and wheat country and the next caught up in heavy traffic heading into the city on a three-lane freeway.
The Adelaide Adventure was over. We pulled in elated, but at the same time deflated and with those mixed feelings chewing around inside us, congratulated each other on making it all the way around.