Adelaide Gratification


(This article is dedicated to the brave volunteer firefighters of Australia. One of the volunteers in Lobethal lost his home while he battled the fiery bushfires on December 21 to save residential areas. One of the houses that he kept safe from the calamity was my friend’s whose property was only two kilometers away from the fires. Some of the familiar sights we visited that are included in this story are now burned. The former green-colored plains and hills have now turned to dark ashes.)

Upon our close friend’s invitation, we decided to spend our birthdays in Adelaide, South Australia. My Australian friends live in Lobethal, an hour’s drive away from Adelaide City. Our family instantly loved it there. The laidback yet progressive city has a lot to offer that I might run out of bytes (sa pictures pa lang!). So, after long contemplation, we finally consummated our “Adelaide gratification” starting a day before my birthday.

The concert of the legendary U2 was another reason to visit. It was said that the Joshua Tree Tour would be the band’s last grand tour before Bono retires. It would be the best birthday gift for me. I love some of their songs. Also, Bono, I recently read, professes his faith openly. Their most popular song, With or Without You, is also a favorite even before it was used in a scene in F.R.I.E.N.D.S. where Ross and Rachel broke up. Anyway, the concert was phenomenal. The crowds at the Adelaide Oval were energetic and blended well with the lively grand display of an audiovisual backdrop. It was my first time watching a concert with a humongous jumbotron expansively stretching from left to right that one wouldn’t miss a thing. It was also worth noting that Bono paid tribute to the firefighters who were, at that time, braving the bushfires in Sydney. He repeatedly honored them in-between songs and ad-libs. U2 is also known as a human rights advocate. The group promoted love for everyone, by “carrying each other” to overcome it all. That message was included in their song One (from the album Achtung Baby). Before this blog becomes political, I’d just like to say that U2’s concert was one for the books. It was an experience worth mentioning to my future grandchildren. Music is a powerful means of expression to deliver positive societal change. (OA ba? 😛 )

Now going back to our journey, the sights in Adelaide are a mix of hilly (same as Tagaytay), woody areas, wide and curvy roads, suburban spots, and waterfronts. This cornucopia of pleasant views is endearing. I love the pleasant smell of leaves, grass, pines, and the cool weather. Uniquely Adelaide-ish or Australian is the sporadic presence of koalas on highways prompting the noticeable road signs. One time, we saw a rabbit and a joey. My husband drove one time, but he was extra alert because he is an animal lover.

Our friends treated us to a lot of things only Adelaide locals can have plenty of, like wine. The region is famous for its wineries. We went to Bird in Hand, and Golding. It was also a pleasure dropping by a decades-old chocolate factory. It is untouched from its original state.

I was particularly pleased with Glenelg (notice the palindrome.) It is a very nice high-end beach. The real estate value is prime. It was my first time to see high-tech portalets with a built-in voice prompt that instructs which button to push for closing/opening the cubicle, for flushing, and for the other help that persons with disabilities might need. The AI says that you only have 10 minutes to use the portalet so that you give equal chance to others. I was thinking: “Am I in an elevator with a toilet?” Not to mention, it was so squeaky clean! No unpleasant odor at all. I wanted to use up all my 10 minutes haha! I was so amused I forgot to take a picture.

South Australia is also known for its beaches and fishing. So at 3 am on a Saturday, we were already on the road. We caught three crabs. The fishing sites were so pristine and cold! Australia was already transitioning to summer, but the biting cold was too unbearable for my tropical skin.

We did not regret we decided to finally go on this trip. It had been on our calendar for almost two years. Delayed, yes, but it was what I call Adelaide gratification.

My birthday pancake.
My friends are too sweet. I woke up on my birthday with flowers and a pancake.
At the Lobethal Bushland Park. Supposedly my birthday trail, but it was closed due to the possible danger of bushfires.
The highlight of my birthday: U2’s Joshua Tree Tour at the Adelaide Oval.
It was a display of colorful lights.
Just a chunk of the crowd that sang along.
 The gigantic audiovisual backdrop was a treat in itself.
I am pro-Bono. Hehe…
We’re just a dot in the vast universe of U2 spectators.
My Aussie friend has been a pal since kindergarten. I went home with a bottle from Golding Wines. Thanks to her!
The region’s blessed with the right weather for these vineyards.
At Germantown called Hahndorf.
Structures like this church, mimicking European architecture, are plenty in Hahndorf.
Of course, at Germantown, brewhouses are aplenty.
“If you wallaby my lover…” That was my husband’s caption in his pic with a wallaby. 😀
This white kangaroo looks like a rabbit.
We saw a lot of other animals at Gorge Wildlife Park.
Gone fishing.
Bird in Hand. Another vast winery we visited.
Catching the sunset at Glenelg. It is windy and cold.
The water is pristine at Port Hughes. Spot the merman. He is unmindful of the cold breeze and water. The fenced part, they say, are the markers for swimmers and boundaries for sharks, whether baby or daddy. 😀
Rolling out the barrel at Bird in Hand winery.
As mentioned, wines as “pasalubong” from Golding and Bird in Hand.
 Whenever possible, I’d stop by a nearby farm on my trips. Being the farm enthusiast and former entrepreneur that I was, I buy local organic produce.
Some of Beerenberg’s products.
My friend bought strawberries. We took home with us a small bottle of the blueberry jam, hubby’s go-to topping for pancakes.
Another only-in-South Australia item that I’d love to buy in bulk. But thanks to my friend for giving me the stash.
 One of my only-in-Adelaide takeaways. Can’t find it anywhere else. Huhuhu
Melba’s Confectionery surely captured my heart. It is like a wonderland for a chocolate lover like me. We took home a dark chocolate slab with almonds.
The loot bags are sold at Melba’s. The place was able to preserve its looks since it was established in 1980.
Our very generous friend cooked these for our last night in Adelaide. See the three crabs we caught? His own brand of homemade chicharon (pork rind) is a specialty that even Aussies find ultra-delicious.