Wednesday, December 05, 2007

DAY 60: day off in Strathalbyn

Tues 4th December 2007
cloudy, 23 deg C

Decided to spend another day here and explore the Scottish connection, not to mention the 3 bakeries and umpteen cafes. Plus the birds won me over too - I had to determine what species the thousands of white ‘parrots’ are that are taking the town by storm. They’re all white, VERY noisy with their demented screeching in deafening flocks of 100 or more at a time - yes! - Little Corellas! I thought the Galahs were loud but these things take the biscuit hands down. They dominate in every part of the town.
Hows this for a hedge Lyn? (right). Jealous??

So a nice lie-in until 8 was in order, then back to the peanut butter and jam muffins for brekkie - yummy - and coffee as I leave the stove set up if I’m staying another day. First stop was the TIC and raid of the literature / cross examine the ladies about what’s what locally. Very fruitful too, spoke to the boss man who knew all about the Scottish origins, although to be truthful there isn’t a lot to say about it. In short, the Rankine bros arrived on the good ship ‘Fairfield’ in 1839 and set up home on the river Angas here. They noted the good quality grazing land and started to keep cattle brought from the UK. The original house, started in 1842 is still here, and i went to have a look - it’s a Christian retreat now.
The town is very pretty and well-loved. There has been no inappropriate development to ruin it - well done all involved in this; it’s paid off. The centre of the town is divided into 2 by the river Angas but this has lent to good landscaping and attractiveness. The buildings are pretty original for the most part - it is a very pleasing place. Some locals may have thought that the corellas were desecrating the place, but I like there raucousness and vigour. The man at the TIC said they come south to this green and (rare) well-watered place from drier climes in the north. I also got some very good info about what there is to see down the line between here and Melbourne, including 2 RAMSAR listed birdie sites at the Coorong and Bool Lagoon, so better keep the binoculars handy (and maybe get a proper birdie book). Lots to look forward to then!
First house in Strathalbyn (1842) (above)

The bookshop wasn’t open today but opens at 9 tomorrow so I’ll see what they’ve got, and see if they’ll take my Ned Kelly book in p/e.
I spent an hour in the library on free internet, but couldn’t upload pics, and as I’d forgot my card reader couldn’t upload my notes to the blog either. There’s always loads to do every time I log on though - I get quite a few e-mails. It was nearly lunchtime so had a massive beef salad on crusty roll to fortify me again.
I kind of lazed around most of the afternoon reading the paper, watching the birds etc. (feathered) and riding around exploring; very pleasant. It wasn’t sunny, but not cold either.
I bought myself a 2l box of wine again - heavy and bulky to carry but I do enjoy a glass of an evening, and a box is the only way really - can’t drink a full bottle (usually!).
I bought some meths to see how the MSR stove performed with it, but it didn’t, and when i looked at the instructions meths indeed was not listed among the suitable fuels, so I reverted to unleaded and all was well again. Had some of Peter’s delicious Hungarian salami with spaghetti / tomatoes / zuchini (courgette) - very nice.
I have enjoyed Strathalbyn but look forward to getting going again and seeing what unfolds 'down the road'.

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