Le Grand Détour

Adélaïde, les aborigènes, le vin et l’art – Adelaide, aborigines, art and wine

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france_french_flag [8 et 9 février 2016]

Voici quelques extraits de nos carnets de voyage, à la découverte de la capitale du sud, Adélaïde, où le climat est beaucoup plus sec qu’à Cairns, avec un soleil éclatant mais bien rafraîchi par le vent en provenance de l’Antartique. Des journées consacrées notamment à la culture aborigène (musées, galerie d’art, musique, etc.), à la dégustation de vins australiens, aux déambulations urbaines et à la nage avec les dauphins (prochain article) … Sans oublier le nouvel an chinois, célébré le soir de notre arrivée.

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[8 et 9 février]

Nous partons dîner et c’est le nouvel an chinois ce soir donc direction Chinatown où il y a déjà un peu d’ambiance avec de la foule devant les restaurants où se déroulent des danses du dragon.
Pour notre part nous choisissons un restaurant qui s’appelle Chili China, un authentique restaurant de cuisine Sichuanaise où nous nous régalons d’un plat de boeuf au poivre ainsi que des aubergines marinées. Et comme en Chine les portions sont énormes de telle sorte que nous ressortons du resto la panse distendue mais avec un tupperware pour rempiler le lendemain. Cela n’aurait-il pas dû m’empêcher de m’acheter une glace ? Hé bien non car il y a une super chocolaterie à côté du restaurant chinois et je ne peux résister à l’appel du cacao, quelle que soit sa forme. Je ressors avec un cornet énorme de glace au chocolat 😉

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Musée : bien que le musée comporte plusieurs sections très intéressantes sur les animaux du monde, nous nous concentrons sur les galeries aborigènes extrêmement documentées et illustrées de sculptures, d’objets, de vidéos grâce auxquelles nous commençons à entrevoir l’étendue de la culture de ces hommes parmi les plus vieilles cultures du monde. Armes, textiles, plantes médicinales, moyens de transports, art et décorations… il y a tant à apprendre ! D’autant plus que ce qu’on appelle les aborigènes constituent en fait une mosaique de plus de 300 cultures différentes, chacune avec leur langage, la plupart ayant été perdus… Nous découvrons plusieurs vidéos de témoignages aborigènes dont certaines extrêmement émouvantes qui racontent cette période sombre de l’histoire où les colons leur ont retiré de force leurs enfants pour les « éduquer à l’européenne », bouleversant ainsi la vie de milliers de familles…

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Direction le centre national du vin australien, en passant par une petite partie du gigantesque jardin botanique d’Adélaide. Forcément nous en apprenons encore beaucoup sur le vin australien, et son histoire qui a commencé dès les premières années de la colonisation avec des vignes européennes puis sud africaines. Le centre lui-même est un lieu assez incroyable avec une cave d’une capacité de 38 000 bouteilles dont 12 000 en permanence. Il dispose notamment d’un Enomatic, un distributeur automatique de vins de toute l’Australie qui permet de servir du vin issu de la même bouteille pendant 30 jours, y compris des grands crus. Ca fonctionne avec une carte : on insère la carte, on choisit son cru puis la quantité et hop on a un verre de vin d’une sélection de 140 vins ! Certains sont assez chers tout de même à 39 dollars les 2 gorgées…

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Retour via le jardin botanique à profiter du soleil à travers les serres, les promenades vertes et un nénuphar très rare qui ne s’ouvre qu’une fois par nuit. Sans oublier un exemple de cette fleur parmi les plus grandes du monde qui ne fleurit qu’une fois par an avec une odeur horrible.

Sur le chemin du retour nous croisons un tas de skateurs qui profitent du mobilier urbain sous le soleil. La vie est cool par ici 🙂

 

english_flag [8th February 2016]

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Our plane was pretty empty, but one old lady was in the wrong row and confused the flight crew as their numbers didn’t add up. The plane was split into two sections and stopped between rows 20 and 21. She’d sat in 20F instead of 21F…delayed us that little bit more. The woman behind me said that “60kg of mature woman wasn’t going to upset” the balance of the plane, but rules are rules and she was moved!!

It was amazing to see the progression southwards through the cabin windows and the changing countryside. Going from green rainforests to dry, arid landscapes with dried-up rivers and lakes. Stéphane pointed out one lake that would have been huge once, maybe one of the largest in the World!

As soon as we landed we grabbed our bags and headed for the bus stop where we bought our tickets and jumped onto the J1 bus to take us into the town centre. It’s hot here too, but much less humid than in Cairns. A nice hot.

The bus driver told us where to get off and directed us towards our hostel for the night, the Adelaide Central YHA. Our room, number 13, is a little smelly…clearly a previous tenant had a little bit of a smelly foot problem…or maybe all 5 of them did (as you can sleep up to five people in here if you so desire). We’ll have to do something about the smell tomorrow, but for now I’m too tired!

We spent a long time trying to work out the best plan for visiting Kangaroo Island. It’s really expensive, but Stéphane was dead-set on the “swimming with the wild dolphins” thing there. It turns out that it’s cheaper to get the bus there and the ferry over, rent a car over there and then do the same thing to get back to Adelaide. Then we’ll rent a car here to head down the Great Ocean Road. Only problem is that we wanted to go diving before getting the ferry across and it’s not compatible.

After a good couple of hours of pulling our hair out and not getting anywhere we decided to head out for dinner. As tonight is the Chinese New Year we headed into China Town. There was a lot of music and dragons dancing around inside and just outside of restaurants. We went a little further and chose a restaurant that was full of Chinese people. It was a great choice. A Sichuan restaurant and we shared a beef in pepper sauce, a garlicky aubergine dish and some rice (my tummy wasn’t great so we avoided the spicier dishes). All of this was ordered by ourselves on an iPad (though we had trouble finalising the order as the Confirm and Cancel buttons were written only in Chinese and were both grey…bad application design!!).

The meal was fabulous and there was tonnes of it. We’ve bought some back to the hostel in a plastic box for our dinner tomorrow. The shared kitchens here are impressive. There are six work stations and sinks, a whole wall of cubby holes for dry food and about six huge glass-doored fridges for the cold food. There are labels on the way in and anything that isn’t correctly labelled is either thrown out or put in the “Free Food” boxes.

Chatting with the receptionist on our return to the hostel we’ve pretty much decided not to go to Kangaroo Island as it’s too expensive and we will see other beautiful places on our road trip and, hopefully, the same type of wildlife too. There is also a “swimming with wild dolphins” thing running from Adelaide (well nearby) and it’s half the price and on a beautiful sailing boat, so it’s even better.

Stéphane’s not feeling too great, not sure whether it’s because he’s eaten too much or something dodgy. Let’s hope he’s better tomorrow as we’ve got lots to see around Adelaide and I fancy finishing up at the wine tasting in the evening!

Another day, another adventure!

[9th February 2016]

I’ll be honest, 18 days have passed since Adelaide…so this is a recap of what I remember from then…

We discovered, after leaving the YHA and taking some photos of some of the street art around and about, a lovely café called Nico Café. It was run by a Japanese couple (or family) and we had a couple of portions of toast and a lovely cup of coffee for breakfast. Their menus were stuck inside childrens story books and the choices for lunch looked and sounded really good. I’m a little sad that we didn’t make it back there to try them…if any of you go to Adelaide then, please, try them for me.

After Nico’s, we headed to the old market which is a lovely, red brick market, the stalls all seem classy and it feels a lot different from the Asian markets that we’ve been to…the prices are far more “upmarket” too!!

We then headed across town to the Aborigine gallery, where I was slightly disappointed as there were very few explanations and not very much on display either. Stéphane bought a CD of Aborigine music…we still haven’t listened to it, a month later!!

We headed to another art gallery, the Art Gallery of Southern Australia, afterwards which was similar to the gallery in Sydney with regards to its contents (foreign painters arriving in Australia, Australian born painters, classic, Aborigine, etc). Although the two dead horses sewn together at the end was a little stomach-churning…

Talking of stomachs…we headed across the road and had some sandwiches in the sunshine for lunch before crossing back over and visiting the South Australian Museum. This place was great…we didn’t have time to explore it totally (you can spend all day in there if you try), but we particularly enjoyed the Aborigine section and the stories told by descendants. A lot of things happened when the British arrived in Australia and not all of them were very nice, but it is a fascinating tale if you think about it. Sending thousands of people across the oceans by boat to create a new world. A new country. From scratch (if you forget about the people already living there…which is kind of what we did at the time!).

After this museum we headed to a different kind of museum. My kind of museum. A WINE museum!! Let’s forget the museum part of the visit, the interesting bit was the tasting at the end of the visit! They have a machine called a Enomatic (or several of them). These machines keep wine for longer and offer the possibility of serving three different sized doses of wine…a taster, a half glass and a glass. The prices are displayed on little LED panels above each bottle. You put your card into the card reader and pop your glass under the spout above your chosen wine. Press the appropriate “dose” button and, hey presto, the wine is poured into your glass. Admittedly the taster-size is very small…a few sips at most…but with 140 different wines available, it’s probably a safe amount!! The prices vary from $2.50 to $35 for a taster. The bottles can be kept like this for a month if necessary.

We tasted about 10 wines in all…shared between both of us…and were pretty happy with our choices. There was no logic behind our tastings though         …just whatever tickled our fancy ^_^.

On the walk back to the hostel we passed through the Botanical Gardens and saw one of the World’s largest flowers (though it was past its best!) and a water lily that only flowers at midnight! We didn’t hang around to see the latter in flower though and headed back to the hostel where we reheated last night’s leftovers. Tomorrow we’ve got an early morning…as we’re going to do something very, very cool!

Nouvel an chinois – Chinese new year

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