HOT, HOT, HOT! Luckily I had booked this park well in advance, (top tip thanks Jacobsens). The tour was literally riding right past us and it had a huge pool and water park. Ironically it was too hot to venture outside, even too the pool. We did eventually go but not until it had started to cool down a little in the late afternoon.
So we mostly found ourselves flaked out in a puddle of sweat in the van. Even with the air conditioner on, lying still I was sweating. Ken was totally over cooked one of the days and didn’t even bother getting out of bed (Ken – I was probably tapering down for my own mini-tour in a couple of days!)
On our last day the tour was riding through, so we were going to have to leave the van and my FOMO was well and truly amped up or maybe it was the cabin fever setting in. I finally mustered everyone into the car so we could attempt to see a bit of this beautiful part of Australia. I had snuck out for an early morning walk through the town which was full of history old building and beautiful Lutheran Churches and I wanted to see more. We couldn’t leave without taking in some of the scenery and finding some delicious food and or wine from this magnificent region.
Maggie Beers Farm shop and Restaurant was not far away and seemed a good little outing before finding a shady spot to watch the race come past. The shop was delicious but mostly off limits for the dairy, gluten and sugar free diet. We did however manage to have a quick but yummy lunch and they were great at accommodating our needs.
From here we just headed straight back to the van and walked out the back gate of the park to watch the race come by. A beautiful elevated, shady spot on a slight hill. The usual fanfare come through first and Ken has rigged up the live feed on the iPad so we can watch the race as it approaches. The excitement is building, the cow bells ringing, and ………….. gone. Even on a hill the pace was up and in a moment it was all over.
Oh well, more fun and excitement tomorrow. We are leaving Tanunda but have discovered that we will be traveling some of the route the TDU is on and there is a section on which they do 7 laps. That sounds like a much better viewing day. We’ll have the van hitched on, providing all the comforts of home to set up for the day road side and get to see the riders pass 7 times. Perfecto!
Hats of to Adelaide for having a quality caravan park tucked away on the outskirts of the city. It’s not something we have found in any other capital. It’s fantastic as there are bike paths everywhere so we will be able to ride about the city and get in to the vibe of the Santos Tour Down Under.
Keen to soak up that vibe we have an early dinner and go exploring on the bikes on our first night. It’s very picturesque and the CBD is quiet. We ride up the main drag with only a few other cars. Where is all the vibe? I was expecting the city to be buzzing. We did just catch a glimpse of the TDU village but nothing was on and it was getting late so we made for home in the dark with some very tired kids. They did great!
The next day we schooled, grocery shopped, tended the laundry and found a Naturopath that seen us on the spot to help heal Georgia’s gut. She is still having regular pain and aches and feel we need to do more to aid her recovery. It was such a great find and helped give us a little support I was seeking.
It was a very warm day so a quick dip in the pool before heading into the city in the late afternoon to visit the art gallery and state library. There was an exhibition on of Picassos early sketch work which was a little weirdo for the kids so we just skipped to the sketch room were we could have our own go at sketching. Was a little something different for the girls and ticked some of the homeschooling boxes. The Library had a Chinese exhibit on and we all had a go at doing Chinese calligraphy.
From here we explored the shopping precinct looking for a good place to eat for Ceoliac. Along the way we came across the most fabulous health food store with the most delightful owner. It was perfect timing as I had things to pick up for Georgia and the selection of gluten and dairy free products was fabulous.
The next day was our first taste of TDU racing, the Ladies Race. We were keen to get the girls out to see the ladies competing and performing at the top level. We jagged a totally fabulous spot, shaded, on a hill and right out the front of a delicious cafe all geared up for GF and DF as the owner is Ceoliac himself.
Totally kicking goals at the moment, which is just what we needed. I think we were all feeling a little weighed down by the dramatic change to the way we can eat and Georgia being unwell and miserable. She doesn’t let on but, she is not her usual happy self.
In the evening we headed back the the TDU village to soak up the atmosphere and get up close to the men’s teams at the Team Presentation, prior to racing starting tomorrow. It was pretty cool being there in the flesh with all the cycling pros and commentators we have watched on TV for years. We wrapped up early as the girls were participating in the Mini Tour in the morning. So we all need to a good nights sleep for an early rise the next day.
First we had to ride to the event and then get the girls set to do their circuits on the same course the men will be racing on in just a few hours. Georgie was cool as a cucumber and Charlotte was a bag of nerves but excited at the same time. They were in different age groups and we all stood on the barrier to cheer Gigi on. She did great and stayed on her bike with only a few near misses, but talk about the carnage.
OMG heart in mouths as a group of 50 or so 4 – 7 years olds, pumped to the max approach the first u-turn corner. One really shouldn’t laugh but they were crashing everywhere. Coming in at top speed, all the parents shouting “slow down, Break, BREAK, BREAK !!!!!” Total carnage, bless them, pile ups, crashes into the barriers, bikes just slipping out from underneath them.
A few tears, no real injuries, and most dusted themselves off and got back on. But now all the parents were nervous wrecks and questioning the sense of having enrolled the precious little ones into this total madness and mayhem. Still most of the finished with smiles on their faces and Gigi did so well. Big sister was the first to greet her beaming with excitement and pride. It was worth it just for that moment right there.
Next was Charlotte and she also did super. A totally different approach after watching the carnage of the first group her strategy was to just take it slow and play it safe. In the end, (somehow, as kids do), she made a friend and the two of them just casually rode along chatting away oblivious to the fact they were totally slowing down the pace of everyone else on the circuit. But again finished without incident and beaming.
We had intended to head home and come back for the men’s race but once we were here and as it was getting hotter and hotter the thought of dragging everyone home and then gearing up to go again wasn’t appealing. So Ken rode home and back to picked up a couple of chairs while the girls and I picked our spot and set up camp.
It made for a long day but a fun day. We got to be part of all the build up, pre-race paraphernalia and meet some of cycling royalty. The crowd swelled the excitement built up and the racing got under way. It was indeed exciting and fast.
We had placed ourselves just after the finish line, on a corner and with the big screen TV in front of us so what we couldn’t see, we could watch.
A fabulous last day here in Adelaide. The girls loved the buzz, (Lulu slept through the entire race), but they were pumped and looking forward to watching more racings!
Phew, cause they were going to be watching it anyway, but at least we wont have as much moaning as we may have had. With the race finished we packed what we could carry (we collected so much stuff from the pre race vehicles we couldn’t take it all, hats, cow bells, egg shakers, inflatable batons and so on). The ride home was all down hill and after a hot day we all jumped in the pool to get cool. Perfection! Thanks Adelaide.