Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Our 115 day World Cruise, day 46, Adelaide Australia

Everyday is a challenge.  I think that part of this is that everyday we are getting older.  I don't mean to get on the old kick but life changes everyday no matter how old you are.  In our minds we think that things will never change but inspire of what we think life changes as it stays the same.  I received a phone call from Mary Lou, my friend of 55 years , today.  She has been through a lot of challenges over the past 6 years and it appears she may be facing another one....  Holding our breath and saying our prayers and hoping for the best for her!

                Mary Lou loves to laugh and have a good time.  She is a good friend to a lot of people!                            


Today it is raining and so we thought we would wear our new Dennis Basso coats.  We love Dennis Basso!                                                                            

                   I really do like this jacket.  It kept the rain off of me as we ran from Starbucks, to Curves, to the bank, to the mall for lunch and then to the Apple Store.  I t seems like all we have done in the last few days is run run run!

Here I am with this young man that knows nothing about what I need help with. Not  only does he know nothing about my problems, he will not admit it and on top of that, now I have even more problems because he changed the settings!  Now I am at home and I am not a happy camper!  OMG!
I think I am going to retire to my cabin and call for room service!  lol!
Where we did not go today....but the Amsterdam did!

 Adelaide, South Australia, Australia February 20, 2013 Wednesday

Adelaide can be described as a solid, dignified and civilized city with a manner no other state capital can match. It has a wonderful setting with the city's center surrounded by parks, churches, pubs, and nightclubs. Adelaide has the backdrop of the Mount Lofty Ranges, the beaches of the Gulf of Vincent, and the Port Adelaide River and the River Torrens. Rundle Mall in the center of town has all the stores, shops, and restaurants you can imagine. And once again, stately 19th century buildings fill the city streets.

We had the chance to see most all of the city today on our way out to Cleland Wildlife Park. But since our tour did not meet until 12:50pm, we had a bit of time to walk the immediate area where the ship was docked. We began our morning by stopping and chatting with the welcome band that had been entertaining the cruisers as the ship was secured. They were really great musicians and singers. They told us all about living in Adelaide, and the recent drought problems and fires burning up the east coast where we have just been. Actually, once they found out we were from California, they said this whole area could compare to our Bay Area. The climate was similar as well as the terrain. This is wine country, with growing seasons quite the same as ours. They were also proud of the fact that Adelaide has recently built a desalination plant to help ease the effects of the dry spells. Of course, that came with a price....a lifetime of higher taxes. But they felt it was worth it to keep what they have green and clean. This same band will be playing at the deck BBQ at 5:30pm.

Anyway, we strolled on a newly paved walkway that brought us to a nice boat harbor with some restaurants. Sure wish we had more time here, because we found a nice seaside restaurant that served least 25 varieties of it. On the way back to the ship, we turned left to find the pathway to the beach we could see from the promenade deck. Again, if we had more time here, we could have spent some time beach-combing. A nice local lady took the time to welcome us and told us more about the area around this pier. People are sure friendly here. And for future reference, a complimentary bus shuttle was available from the pier to downtown Adelaide, a 45 minute ride one way. It ran from 10:30am to 9pm. Perhaps we will take advantage of this if we ever visit here again.

The four hour tour we chose had two busloads of folks that wanted to see the Cleland Wildlife Park, about an hour's ride through Adelaide. It was the perfect way to see the city on our way to the hills of the Mount Lofty Ranges. We were given 2 hours to explore the 172 acres that housed the huge collection of Australia's native animals. At the park, we were given a map and set free to roam through enclosures where the kangaroos, emus, wallabies and smaller animals roam free. Most everyone ran to be first for the photo op to hold a koala for a $30. charge. Even though these cute animals look cuddly, they really are wild little creatures that happen to be rather smelly. We have had friends that did the photo thing, only to find out the hard way that holding the furry critters left a large stain on their clothing that they had to smell all the way back to the ship. No, we were perfectly content to take photos of them in their natural setting while holding onto a tree limb.

We spent more of our time walking around inside the wetland area that included a large pond with streams and a small lake. We saw many waterfowl that included ducks, geese, swans, pelicans, spoonbills, coots, and plovers. Since it was later in the afternoon, we almost had the whole park to ourselves and our bus mates. Other enclosures had Tasmanian devils, mostly hiding because they are night animals. Smaller marsupials like potoroos, and bettongs resembled large rats. They ran the trails looking for food that you can buy in the visitors center for $3.00 a bag. Not expecting to view the wombats or echidnas, we were happy to see that they were out and about also looking for the pelleted food from visitors.

One of the best large enclosures was the dingo display. Two females were roaming among the grasses and trees, appearing to be like domestic dogs. However, a park ranger girl happened by, and told us everything we wanted to know about the wild dogs. Yesterday, the females laid into the male, giving him a large gash that had to be stitched up. Even though these dogs have been hand-raised, they still retain that wild nature that the caretakers have learned to respect. Because these dingoes can easily take down sheep, they have been eliminated from some areas of Australia. She explained that when too many of the dogs were killed, the kangaroo population exploded, a bad thing for the rest of the grazers. So, it's not nice to fool with nature, as the saying goes.

We ended up at the goanna display and finally the reptile house near the visitor center. Even the snakes were active in the darken viewing room. Luckily all these reptiles were behind thick glass. The two hours went by in a flash, and we were the last ones to join the bus at exactly 4pm. The traffic on the way back was light because we were going back to town, while the locals were on their way home. From what we saw, the homes in these hills were really nice as were the houses back in town. Our guide said pricing for the homes here was much less than in Sydney, but then the wages were proportionately less too. As in most countries, it is relative more or less. There is no doubt that this part of Australia is a great place to live.

Two couples were absent from dinner tonight, because they went to the Aussie deck BBQ. We took photos from deck 9 of the steaks, lamb chops, and chicken being grilled. And of course, there were skewers of shrimp on the barbie as the Aussies say. The trio, The Old Gum Tree-O Bush Band were performing sounds from down under and had the crowd singing and dancing in the aisles. What fun.

Every evening after dinner, we walk the promenade deck. Tonight we had a neat sighting of a dolphin swimming right next to the docked ship. Birds were flying in the lit area around the deck and also sitting out in the harbor waters. Strange to see them flying in the dark, but the lights must have been attracting fish for them to eat. Perhaps those fish were also bringing in the dolphins. Pretty cool.

Tomorrow will start early for us with a tour that begins at an ungodly 7:20am. Gosh, gotta hit the hay right now! The port of call, Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island, is a new one for us and the Amsterdam, we think. It is also a tendering port, so hope that works out OK.

Mary Ann & Bill

     Adelaide, Australia, Amazing Amazing pictures Jeff!

We arrived right on time this morning at 10:00 into the port for Adelaide Australia….  The conditions were extremely hazy and smoky.  The visibility wasn’t too good to say the least.  We took the first shuttle into Adelaide, about a 40 minute ride, and began exploring.  At first we took in some city highlights as we made our way to the zoon.  We had a great time there checking out all the animals.  Then we walked through the Botanic Gardens as we made our way back to the Rundle street area where there were lots of shops, restaurants and bars….  Then it was back to the ship for a wonderful Aussie Outback BBQ….  Great day!!!  Tomorrow, Kangaroo Island Australia.

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