Journey’s end

I realise the blog posts are a little out of order, but holidays will do that to you!

The GhanAfter one last gorgeous sunrise from The Ghan we stepped onto the station platform to be welcomed with a blast of air straight off Antarctica. Consequently we are both now proud owners of coats  – not much use to us in Cairns…

Adelaide is charming and organised and pretty. It reminded me of England, which isn’t surprising considering its history. We’ve decided they have the cheapest and most efficient public transport of any Australian capital city. $9 took us all over Adelaide on trains, trams and buses  – GW was determined to get his money’s worth 🙂

We were fortunate to have dinner with Phillipa Fioretti, author of The Fragment of Dreams, and her lovely family. I knew she could make jams, but I had no idea she was a talented pie maker as well! It was wonderful to kick back by their roaring fire and chat about writing. I treasure time spent with other writers as it happens all too infrequently and it’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re the only one dealing with issues.

Next morning we headed down to Glenelg for breakfast and walked along to Brighton. Hold Fast Bay may have been named for its anchoring properties but, after almost being bowled over by the wind, I think the early settlers nailed its name! After three days of watching the view go passed it was lovely to stretch our legs and be amongst it again, even if I did have to resort to wearing a beanie. For once I didn’t even dip my toes in the ocean – the dogs chasing sticks looked too cold!

The rest of the day was spent cooing over the Adelaide markets and drooling over the quality of the produce. Living in North Queensland is fantastic, but the heat plays havoc with fresh fruit and vegetables… We found a wonderful Greek Restaurant named Eros for dinner  – very appropriate for a romance writer!

The next day we wandered the city, checked out the Museum and their wonderful exhibit on Mawson and his Antarctic expeditions, and sheltered from the rain. The gardens around the city were beautiful and so different with their cold climate plants. I loved the statue of a reader along North Terrace. In a little arcade I found the most amazing button shop with a wall of colour. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many or varied buttons in the one place. It was a day for quiet discovery.

By the time we’d had lunch a cold front was headed for Adelaide and we left just before it hit. When we landed back in Cairns we’d gone from 13 degrees in rain mid-afternoon to 18 degrees and clear night skies. Home. There’s nothing as delightful as sinking into your own pillow!

Our holidays once again went in different directions to our plans but, like last year, it meant we saw more of this amazing land. I’ll get to New York and Vancouver eventually – they’re not going anywhere in a hurry! Now it’s back to work with a stack more new ideas for stories bubbling around in my head.

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16 thoughts on “Journey’s end

  1. No swimming pools, but the food is marvellous, and the hearrt of Gracecourt is an old mansion (from which it takes it’s name). Once the home of sa shipmaster and shipowner, it was deeded to a consortium of churches by his descendants.

  2. Yes, she is, going back to repsite for ten days in September, she views it as a holiday and we’ve taken to calling it “Club Geriatric”

  3. I hope those birds have good scan rates, Cathy! Hate to see them busting a minima somewhere 😉 Good to hear you had Bett out for a walk! She must be feeling a lot stronger.

  4. Sandy, I may need to sneak a button shop in there somewhere! It was beautiful – they looked edible and oh so decadent! I must warn people though that we are looking to travel over Christmas so on our track record that should mean a volcano somewhere in the world will erupt and disrupt Australian flight paths for the third time 🙂

  5. Lol, Phillipa, we didn’t try Lucia’s coffee but I had some wonderful roasted macadamias that were divine! The weather added to the fun – nothing like warming up by a gas heater with my back starting to roast and my nose still cold! Love it 🙂

  6. Fine today although foggy this morning (even the birds were IFR) Got Bett out for a walk. Still nice tough starting to cool as the afternoon draws on

  7. Good on you and G for making the best of a change of plan holiday! 🙂 Especially as your disappointment in not getting to NY would have been great. Still, you did get to see Phillipa – and pies. Not a bad alternative 🙂

    And coming home bubbling with new ideas is nothing to sneeze at either. Are we going to experience a button shop in the next book?

  8. It was lovely to have you both here, Helene. I hope you get to Adelaide more often. More pies if you do. It was pretty damn bleak weatherwise for delicate tropical souls, and for that I aplogise. The weather fronts come straight from the Antarctic and do not pass Go. Good to hear the rest of you stay went well. Central Market is a gem too, where too much cheese just isn’t enough and the coffee at Lucia’s is second only to Nino’s. As he will tell you.

  9. Eleni, I hadn’t registered you were from Adelaide! I admire your courage in the face of such cold 🙂 What a lovely city with beaches just down the road. I think it’s another ‘best kept secret’ in Australia.

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