Journal of the far side – Post 2: Life in Crafers West

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Monday 2nd January, 2017

After a twelve-hour flight from Dubai, we arrived, late at night, in Adelaide. Medi, our daughter-in-law, collected us from the airport with much hugging. They have recently purchased a newish mid-sized four-by-four which converts to be a seven-seater, so our small stack of suitcases were easily swallowed.

The first (night time) impressions were of a very California-like environment; long, straight roads, with small shops and community-sized shopping centres lining the route. This wasn’t the centre of town – Aldelaide is a big city – but on the edge of the famous Adelaide Hills, which, from our knowledge so far, form a series of high ridges, a few miles inland from the coast. The district of Crafers West sits atop one of the ridges and is a beautiful place to live.

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(Image source)

The downside is that the newly-emigrated family are exposed to at least two attendant dangers: the risk of fire, and the proximity of fauna. There is a particular focus on poisonous insects: spiders etc, which although important, particularly to the safety of young children, is not the source of constant panic that you might expect…

There is also the local Koala Bear, a beautiful creature who sleeps halfway up one of the prolific Gum Trees, a short walk from the house. I’ve yet to pass him with a decent lens in my pocket, but a good photo is promised before the end of the trip!

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(Map source)

Bush-fires are a major hazard in this part of South Australia, which is hot and dry in the summer, though we have seen mainly clouds since we arrived…. not the first time one of our trips to the sun has been dominated by English style weather. We’re probably ‘rain-gods’, as Douglas Adams would have said! Better weather is forecast for the rest of the week. I’ll let you know…

One of the highlights of our trip so far has been a visit to the Woodstock winery and wildlife park, an hour away, due south along the coast.

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Woodstock is one of the major wine producers in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. Its formula for visitors is friendly and welcoming and they’ve put a lot of thought into making it pleasant for the kids, too. AS well as the focus on high-quality winemaking, there is a playground and a small wildlife park, whose highlight is feeding the kangaroos several times a day.

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Some very tame and well-fed kangaroos

More on that, later… Firstly, we had some wine-tasting to do – well all of us but Medi, our driver – who volunteered to stay dry so that we could fully enjoy the outing.

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Matt and Sam, Medi’s father

The formula is simple: you go into the tasting room and they give you a list of their wines, including sweet dessert wines and some very nice fortified wines – port by any other name. You can try as many as you wish, and there’s no pressure to buy.

img_4988 We did buy, though, of course… And left, slightly tipsy, an hour later and clutching a box of the winery’s finest. Medi’s mum, Tara had, happily, offered to entertain young Alice in the playground while we were imbibing, so everyone had enjoyed themselves.

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But then, by a stroke of luck, the local kangaroos and a stray wallaby, needed feeding…

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Matt, a kangaroo, Alice, Medi and Tara, Medi’s Mum

We stayed, watching a delighted Alice feed, then stroke the very docile matriarch kangaroo which is used with young children.

Then Dad collected young Alice in his strong arms and it was time for the comfortable seats of the Holden and the journey home. Some of us might have slept, I couldn’t possibly comment…

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To be continued…

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Barbara Walsh says:

    blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } Lovely , wet on the inside as well 🍷😂xxx

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      Thank you, Barbs. Australian red wine proving very palatable… xx

      Like

  2. Sue Vincent says:

    Reblogged this on Sue Vincent's Daily Echo and commented:
    More of Steve’s journey to Australia…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That sounds an idyllic way to spend a day, sightseeing and wine tasting. The pictures are amazing hope to see one at least of the koala before you leave.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      Thank you, Dave. I’m working on the koala pic!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks like a lovely place to visit, despite the spiders. I do adore koalas, and your granddaughter is absolutely adorable!

    Like

    1. stevetanham says:

      Thank you, Alethea. She and I are presently covered in peanut butter for our breakfast!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Looks like a lovely holiday destination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      Thank you, Robbie. The weather is slowly improving and my grandad duties are getting more familiar. Currently covered in peanut butter sandwich…

      Like

  6. Helen Jones says:

    Sounds as though you’re having a wonderful time, Steve! Happy New Year to you and yours 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevetanham says:

      Hectic but wonderful, Helen! Thank you, and best wishes for 2017 to you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Helen Jones says:

        Thanks, Steve! Lovely that you’re having a wonderful time, so pleased to hear it. And your photos are great, so nice to see. Your granddaughter certainly is a bundle of cute 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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