Mosquito Hill

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1 travelers at this place:

  • Day36

    McClaren Vale

    November 25, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 15 °C

    Today we have had a great day out with a lady called Jeanne, a local tour guide. She has taken us to places we would never have found and was great company. She had carefully planned the day to incorporate some gardens and art, plus wines that we could source in the UK. The McClaren Vale is north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, abutting southern Adelaide. It is renowned for red wines predominately, but we actually tasted some very palatable whites also. The wineries are mainly small and boutiquey and prepared to experiment with their blending. The countryside is simply beautiful, mixed agriculture, or grassed and rolling hills
    Fox Creek was our first stop, where we sampled the full range. Again, the sparkling Shiraz was a star. It is something we have not come across before coming to South Australia and it is eminently drinkable. The Winery is set in a pretty English cottage garden and we are continually amazed at the English flowers that can be grown here. The roses are stupendous, despite the lack of water, but no problem with an open sunny aspect of course!
    We had coffee and scones at a lovely garden cafe whose name escapes us. Minor birds serenaded us from the trees and the blue fairy wrens were everywhere. Lunch was taken at Gemtree. Another lovely Winery with a view to die for. The wines were pretty good too; organic and biodynamic, which means the work in the vineyard is organised according to the phases of the moon. This is of course a growing system as old as the hills and largely forgotten in these days of inorganic methods, but boy does it work. We finished the wine tastings at Coriole and had a really interesting encounter with a lady called Dorinda Hafner. Here we met an engaging and ebullient character. She is originally from Ghana and married to an English Psychiatrist. She is something of a television personality, has written twenty books, mainly cookery and raised her family here in Australia, although they were born in London. She proudly showed me a picture of her two grandsons (well you know Grandmas!). "Look at that"she said "white as a sheet - when I take them out I'm mistaken for the hired help!" I produced a photo of Rafe, explaining his lineage. "Well, at least he looks as if there is a touch of Africa in him". She was delightful and it was one of those meetings where you felt as if you had known one another for ever.
    The day was drawing to a close and Jeanne drove us across to the coast and the famous Aldinga beach. It was warm, sunny and the sea true blue, dotted with surfers and a real sight to behold. Dinner was taken at The Victory close by, accompanied by a glass of Rockford's Black Sparkling Shiraz - the best yet. We drove back across the Hindmarsh Valley and to my delight there were Kangaroos everywhere. It was a superb day to complete our stay on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
    Thank you Jeanne!
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  • Day33

    The Fleurieu Way

    November 22, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 18 °C

    We left Kangaroo Island yesterday on the 10o'clock ferry and slowly drove part of the Fleurieu Way to Victor Harbour. It was a quiet Wednesday morning and we scarcely saw a car, or person, for the whole sixty kilometres. The south coast of the Peninsula is the most beautiful area. It is a wonderful rolling landscape of mixed agriculture, with a vista of crops, grassland, plentiful trees and grazing animals. The sparkling blue sea is visible it seems around every other corner and it does have a hint of England if I'm honest, but warmer and sunnier!
    Our home for the next three nights is a golf club complex on the edge of the town. It is peaceful and our room overlooks the surrounding hills and first tee. It made for interesting viewing first thing today, as golfers queued to tee off.......FOUR!! There were some sights, even to my untrained eye.
    Today has dawned cooler, around 75 degrees, which has been much more palatable to the whinging Poms and talking of whinging Poms, the first day of the Ashes series began this morning at the Gabba in Brisbane. We watched the toss and saw England into bat before heading off for the day, with our fingers crossed.
    It has been a day of exploration mainly along the coast. Victor Harbour itself is the largest of the settlements and whilst being pleasant enough, would not hold the attention for long. It is set at one end of Encounter Bay and has Granite Island just off the coastline. This can be visited by causeway from the mainland and is home to the Little Penguins. ( been there done that) The guy in the Tourist information said the one thing we must do is visit this by horse drawn tram. (?!) We passed. Out in the bay, was a rather curious looking object with a boat moored alongside. It looked like a circular deck with people cavorting around it. On enquiry we established that this was where one could 'swim with the tuna'! I've heard of swimming with dolphins or whale sharks, but this seemed bizarre. Peter announced that there was no way he was paying an extortionate amount for the privilege, when he could run a bath at home and chuck in a couple of tuna pouches to the same effect!!
    We progressed down the coast to Port Elliott and Goolwa. These were much smaller, but charming and we had a good wander round, visiting bakeries (another PL pick!), art galleries, waterfronts etc. As ever, the Australians were very happy to chat and the morning passed very pleasantly.
    A late lunch was called for and we headed up into the hills to search out Mt Jagged Winery that I had seen in a brochure. We found it about 15kms out of town and had a fabulous epicurean lunch, tasting a couple of their wines. We couldn't pursue a full tasting as we were driving, but sampled a very good Semillon and a dashing sparkling Pinot Noir. Gorgeous spot with chickens free-ranging it all around. The garden roses were stupendous and we've noticed that before. We passed a beautiful garden in Kangaroo Island whose roses the RHS would have been proud of. Apparently, the climate here is very well suited to roses, despite the heat and sometime drought, they cope well. Our day concluded with a drive through the Hindmarsh Valley, which was another ooh & aah session. Simply beautiful countryside and the whole area is so unspoiled. This part of South Australia is definitely under the radar.
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