Just Huggin’ the Shade Folks

December 27

After a run day yesterday, we’ll call today a roaming day. I pulled up fine after the marathon, so we headed out for a strolling roam in the leafy surrounds of Adelaide. It wasn’t easy though. If yesterday was spending time in an oven, today was the fiery furnace itself. It hit 42C and we were out in it. Smart? Hmmmm, perhaps not. Smart would probably have been staying somewhere cool or heading to the beach and lolling about in the water like a listless blob of kelp. But no, instead we headed into the face of the furnace and took to the hills.

There’s some great murals and street art around Adelaide too

Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens are a short drive from the middle of Adelaide and was a top place to visit. Spread out over acres of walking trails and paths, different gardens and lakes, we strolled along the paths and took in the lovely surroundings. I’d read that the gardens are home to a plentiful colony of koalas, so at the risk of face planting into a Watsonia or stumbling into a herbaceous border, I walked along with face to the sky, scanning every fork in every trunk of every gum tree I could see in the hope of spying a kipping koala. Alas, just as so often happens when we are on wombat watch back home, the little critters eluded us. Too hot even for them to make an appearance.

The plaque for this read ‘The Miracle of Life – we exist only because plants exist. We eat because plants convert sunlight into food. We breathe the oxygen that plants produce. We drink water that is purified by plants.’

As we strolled along the path, Steve suddenly changed course and began tacking to the starboard side of the path. He’d spotted something.
“A sprinkler!” he announced. He upped the pace and headed straight for the spray that was watering the foliage and skimming part of the path. Just as he closed in on the arc of water, it suddenly stopped. “Aww,” was his deflated response.
“Maybe it’s on a sensor and stops when someone walks past so they don’t get wet,” I suggested.
We walked on and looked back to see if it started up again, but it didn’t. Steve was a disappointed chap. He was all set to head straight into those droplets and enjoy a moment of cool down. It was not to be. He just had to keep on frying in the furnace.

We found a nice shady bench overlooking a lake and settled in for elevenses, taking in the view. There were a few families out and about enjoying a walk through the gardens too, heat or not.

Elevenses view

“That looks like a great hill to roll down,” said Steve, as we walked past a long sloping bank. Yep, I could see Big Steve doing a roly poly down that hill, gaining momentum like a giant wheel of cheese. Someone had obviously had the same idea and maybe even given it a go, with less than winning results because then we saw the sign. Party poopers.

A hill just made for rolling
Just contemplating life, the universe and everything.

We braved getting back into the explosive heat of the car and headed further up into the hills to Mount Lofty itself. A short walk uphill and we were at the lookout and could take in the view right across Adelaide. Location, location, location.

Heading up to Mount Lofty
The view from the top

To continue the garden theme, we tootled down the hill, back into the city to check out the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Another top spot. All we managed to do though, was just look for any path that appeared to be in shade and headed that way. There was no doubt so much more we could have seen, but we stuck to hugging the shadows and that was that. We stopped at a shady bench under the trees for a spot of lunch.


“You know when we were on the bike trip,” began Steve, “and I used to say, ‘if only it was about six degrees warmer’. Remember those cold days when if it had only been about 6 degrees warmer it would have been so nice. Today, if only it was about six degrees cooler we could get out and do something.” For someone who constantly wants it to be hotter, it had hit a limit even for him. Fancy Steve wishing for a cooler temp. Well, I mean, 40+ degrees is a limit indeed, especially for these two Tasmanians!

Now that’s what I call tree roots! What an awesome tree.
The awesome tree was also home to a family of parrots
A 2000 year old River Red Gum
This little statue was in recognition of Mrs Henry Rymill, the Commissioner for Brownies 1936-1942. The stones around the outside read ‘Lend A Hand And Play The Game Lah Lah’. How delightful!

So, with the air being a full immersion heat pump, where do we go next? Into the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion of course. Why not go and have a look inside a fully glass building with soaring humidity on top of the raging temperature blazing through the glass! Those lily pads were very cool though, the size of a car tyre.

A bit more of a garden roam and we choofed off again, motoring along the coast to see the beaches with wall to wall smart people, taking in the cooling water, before finally heading back to our digs.

It was just an easy day of roaming in the lovely outdoors, with trees and views and top surroundings. I’ve decided Adelaide is a very friendly place too. There’s a good 98% on the “Hello” returns and people giving a smile as they walk past, saying hello or just generally looking very friendly. It’s a nice city. Open and leafy and a nice vibe. Another nice day in a top place.

Tomorrow we move on and continue our exploring further afield. More to see and explore. Wagons roll…

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