. After about an hour and a half we crossed the border into South Australia. Nothing but flat grasslands, vineyards and blue skies. Eventually I arrived in Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley and from there a quick connection got me to my destination in Tanunda. I expected the accommodation to be good based in the brochure I had seen while I was in Melbourne, and I was pleasantly surprised by just how good. It’s new, it’s clean, the kitchen is well stocked and the washrooms are filth-free! There are some great couches in a TV room with a flat screen and Playstation3, comfy bed and a super comfy doona- although its been so hot, I haven’t even needed the sheet! In fact my only complaint about this accommodation is that there is no aircon, and the air tends to not flow in unless our door is open. The heat here has been in the high 30s so it has been uncomfortable. This is minor though, we open the door for a bit and it cools down. So, I am super happy to have found great accommodation-- but wait it gets better!
! We are located on the Chateau Tanunda, a complete winery with vineyards and winemaking premises’. Some of the other guests work in the winery or other cellar doors (winery sales areas) and are usually bringing back wine for us to taste! Most evenings I have been sampling some new wines! And it gets even better from here if you can believe it… As of Tuesday I began cleaning for my accommodation!! The ultimate in backpacker life for me, is to find a place where I can clean because it means NO RENT! So after all the misadventures and filthy bathrooms, I’ve found myself in a clean, fun hostel, no rent and free wine. I’m not sure it gets much better! I have been looking for work in the town, but it’s quite small, and this hostel is new and my impression is that the town is a little bit “local” They don’t seem to respond well to those of us who have been looking for work here. The grape harvest will be starting anytime within the next few weeks, and I should be able to get a harvesting job when that starts. There are about 15 of here right now waiting for the jobs to start and we’ve been having some fun evenings out at the picnic tables, and watching the Australian Open tennis on TV.
Tanunda is a really cute little town with German heritage (as is all of the Barossa Valley) that’s located about an hour or so east of Adelaide. It’s the most famous wine-making region in all of Australia, and the whole area is covered in vineyards. The hills in the distance are not surprisingly, reminiscent of Kelowna- Canada’s winemaking region (where I lived for 6 years) The heat is the same as well- I remember great sunny days in Kelowna that were 36 degrees, but because the heat is dry, not humid, it’s a pleasant temperature for me. The same here. If I look out behind the hostel here, I really could be in Kelowna on a beautiful summer day. There was a bit o a heatwave last week 38-40 degrees, but it's gotten alot cooler- now only 33 or so and quite nice, and also a cool breeze in the evenings.
I’ve been here just over a week and will update again when the work starts, or if I’m able to take a little trip into Adelaide. Today is Australia Day and I think we’ll be having a barbeque and then maybe out for some drinks to celebrate this great country!!! Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!!!!!
I had a 5 hour greyhound ride/escape from Mildura on the morning of the 17