Welcome to Adelaide! Grumble, Grumble.

We have arrived in Adelaide too early

for the Adelaide Festival, which looks like it will be amazing (this is the Festival State, after all, as all the licence plates all tell us), but the Tour Down Under is underway. This is a 5-day bicycle race modeled on the Tour de France and sponsored by Jacob’s Creek. Walking around, we see the riders riding to the start of the fifth and final stage, which is happening in the parkland just outside downtown Adelaide.

Having covered the town, we have observed a huge number of parking lots. We think we now understand why there are so many – downtown Adelaide is about 1 square mile in size, and surrounded by beautiful parkland. To grow, this has meant that Adelaide has huge suburbs, which spread out forever for a city of 1 million people. To keep the downtown vibrant, the city has huge parking lots, and the suburbanites appear to use them readily.

Travel Spat in Adelaide

33 days after we started the 24/7 thing, we have words, for the first time. We want to do different things this afternoon, I want to sit outside in the beautiful day, Greg wants to focus on getting the website updated. We’ve forgotten that making sure that we had some time apart was, in fact, Plan A. It takes about 15 minutes to figure out that is what we need. When we meet again later in the afternoon, we are both in much better shape and happy to see each other. We go back to the hotel where, despite pillow menus, and promises of service, our room has not been made up and the lights in the hall outside our room continue to be dark. “Housekeeping has gone home for the day, there’s nothing I can do” is all that Sarah can offer us. We ask for the manager, but of course she or he is out of town for the holiday weekend, so Sarah takes the brunt of our dissatisfaction.

Welcome to Adelaide! Grumble, Grumble.

Off to dinner – tonight is Argentinean. Without a reservation, we are offered table 11, right next to the kitchen. It is not a bad table, but our sense of humour wears thin after our waitress, Karen, “having an off day”, brings me the wrong entrée. This leads to a long delay in getting our mains – they don’t order them until the entrées are cleared. Sitting next  to the order and pick-up station, we quickly learn the process, and sit in wonderment at the lack of service but watching with fascination the goings-on in the kitchen, where there appear to be at least 9 people operating in a space smaller than our old master bathroom. Greg says “if we were sitting in any other area of the restaurant and didn’t identify with either the kitchen or Karen, we would be complaining.” And of course he is right. So we do complain, very politely (because we are Canadian). And the restaurant comps our bottle of wine.



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