Back to the hills

Majella’s itinerary for today was simple. We were to drive to Hahndorf, via some other interesting locations, explore, eat lunch, explore some more, and return to base. The distance is not great so we had no need for an early start.

I was awake about 6:00 am but rolled over and waited almost an hour before getting up to shower and eat breakfast. I expected to manage at least a necessary minimum of activity through the day and wanted to finish processing photos from yesterday. I did that after breakfast.

Departure time was set for 9:00 am but somebody had heard that a coffee shop just around the corner had the best coffee in Australia . That was enough to prompt a move for coffee at 8:45 am and even that was anticipated so that everyone but me set off for coffee soon after 8:30 am. I had a problem with a stalled upload of photos to Flickr so stayed to fix that before joining the group at First Pour for coffee.

Coffee took a little longer than expected so we did not quite make the 9:00 am departure but that was not a problem. It was good coffee but there was some ambivalence about its status as ‘best’.

We headed out of town with Michael at the wheel and Russell handling the navigation. Our destination was Hahndorf via Stirling but Majella had the Mount Lofty lookout as a waypoint and fretted for a while about whether we were on the right road or might miss the lookout.

DSC_8971We were on track and we made it to the lookout. There was a spectacular panoramic view across Adelaide to the gulf but haze obscured the far distance. It was possible to see the CBD and Glenelg but the details were shrouded and we did not need more coffee just yet so we did not stay for long.

DSC_8983On the way back down we visited the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden. It was a quick visit. The site had slopes in both directions, up and down, so the walking was more strenuous than some preferred and the long dry spell meant that it was not at its best. We enjoyed some camellias in bloom and some autumn leaves before driving on.

From there we drove on to Stirling. Majella had selected The Locavore, a restaurant specialising in food from within a 100 mile (how quaintly outdated) radius, as a possible lunch venue. By chance we found a parking space on the street in front of the restaurant but it was just 11:00 am and too early for lunch. Majella and I did look through the window at the menu. That attracted the owner who assured us that he could be open in a few minutes and happy to have 10 of us for lunch. Despite his enthusiasm it was too early for lunch.

DSC_8985We explored the streets of Stirling, enjoying the autumn colours of the leaves on the trees that shaded the street, which was lined with a variety of interesting stores. The women disappeared into a kitchen shop for some time but, fortunately for our baggage allowances they exited without purchasing. There were a few more deep explorations of shops before we walked back to the van and drove on.

DSC_8992At Hahndorf we were lucky to find a parking space on a street just off the main street near the middle of town. That was around noon so we agreed to wander around independently and meet at 1:00 pm for lunch. There was plenty to see along a street lined with buildings that dated back to the establishment of the town in 1839 so the time came around quickly. We bought some fudge for immediate consumption and a small painting by an indigenous artist. He was actually working in the store so we had an extra connection.

Lunch was at the Hahndorf Inn which offered a variety of German dishes and more common fare. Majella and I shared a sausage tasting platter and a tasting paddle of 5 beers. Warwick was most adventurous with his pork knuckle. The meals were tasty but generous and some of us struggled to finish them.

DSC_8990After lunch we took another 30 minutes to explore Hahndorf before driving on to Beerenberg Farm where we picked up some jam and other goodies. Some topped off lunch with ice cream or other treats.

Final stop for the day was just out of Hahndorf at The Cedars where Hans Heysen had his studio and was succeeded by his daughter Nora. We enjoyed the small display of art work and the historic ambience. There were a couple of small purchases too.

On the way back to our apartments we stopped to pick up some more supplies for a simple evening meal of chicken with bread and salad, washed down with a variety of wines and other beverages. We called stop for another early night.