Around Australia by Tandem

November 5. Very much at home here with Paul, Emma and Josh. Big barbie last night with the feature being kangaroo tenderloin.

 Big news. The BOB trailer company has promised to replace our damaged trailer in Tucson when the next production run takes place in February. We will now be unencumbered for the rest of the time in Oz, and we shouldn’t need the extra space for water and food, now that we are in the more settled part of the country. Our repaired BOB will live with Paul from now on. Lucky BOB, he gets to stay in Australia.

 Adelaide to Melbourne, November 6 to December3. 

 From Adelaide we took a train to Gawler at the beginning of the Barossa valley wine region. We have made good use of the wonderful public transport, both in Perth and in Adelaide, to avoid the traffic, which is just as bad as in the states in the metropolitan areas. I wish more American cities would provide such basic infrastructure.

Melbourne Cup Day
The Melbourne Cup is a horse race of arguably greater stature than our Kentucky Derby in America. It is sort of an unofficial holiday; everyone takes a long lunch and they gather in pubs to be part of the national consciousness. Australians are very big punters (bettors) and it is a social gaff of the first order to be unable to name a horse you have money on. Not wanting to be thrown out of Australia for social anarchism, we went straightaway to the Valley Hotel in Tanunda, and placed our one dollar bets. Not being punters ourselves, we had to face the embarrassment of asking how the TAB (betting) system worked. No worries. Aussies are very tolerant of  ignorant foreigners.

 Australian Hotels (pubs for public house) are divided into rooms, all licensed for alcohol, and segregated according to class and/or mood. The Valley had a very upscale lounge (licensed restaurant) where men wore slacks, shirts and ties, and women wore dresses and large hats, a Melbourne Cup tradition. Being dressed in sweaty cycling clothes, we chose to go the public bar where the eating was beer and cigarettes, blokes wore coveralls and Sheilas wore jeans. People were packed so tight their beer elbow was always in danger, and there was a real possibility of getting a cigarette burn or being asphyxiated. No worries. One man led his horse, complete with racing saddle, up to the hotel, in the spirit of the day. I yelled out that he was late for post time and Melbourne was better than a thousand kilometres “thattaway” (just to sound properly American). The bloke at the bar next to us was a ruddy red headed agriculturalist of middle years, very friendly and very confident of his horse. And well he should have been, for his horse won and he, wishing he’d a bigger punt, won  $280.


Around Australia by Tandem — 2 Comments

  1. Sounds like a true Aussie welcome to get you underway! Have a fabulous time. Can’t wait to read more reports, and see your slides this winter at FHTV.

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