Ruth, showing off the weird rock formations at Mexiquillo Natural Park, Durango, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Mexiquillo Natural Park, Durango, Mexico.

Where are they going next? Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

First day on the road in Australia

Well, our regular readers do know that we like to travel slowly! So when you see how far we went on our first day, some of you won't be surprised!

But we had a fantastic day anyhow.

We were saying goodbye to our fabulous Aussie hosts Pat and Louise at 9:30am.

We had a few stops to make before we actually left town.

There's us, ready to hit the road with Bundy and Joyce. 
Bundy is the truck, Joyce is the camper!

Lousie and Pat. 

Can't say enough good things about Patrick and Louise. At five days, we were there longer than we wanted to be, but they put up with us. Thanks so much for such a great welcome to Australia!

First stop was for groceries to fill Joyce's fridge. So we went to the local Aldi store and stocked up. They sell a really nice gluten free bread for $3.99 AUS ($3.75 CAD, $2.80 USD). We bought everything we needed except for fruits and veggies. For them, we needed to make a stop at Drake's Foodland.

Parked at the Aldi store.

We've learned that there is no perfect RV. It's always a give and take. Bundy and Joyce might be a little smaller than Sherman (our motorhome in North America), but one big benefit is that we can park in a regular parking space!

From there, we went to the Foodland Store. Louise was correct, most fruits and veggies are cheaper there. Ruth also picked up a few things for Joyce at the "Cheap as Chips" store.

Next up, we stopped at the gas station. Bundy had about 3/8 of a tank when we picked him up, and he was down to about 1/4. I had downloaded the "Fuel Map Australia" app, and using that I found a cheaper fuel stop along the way. We paid $1.40 AUD per liter for diesel, about ten cents cheaper than most other stations. Seems quite a few people thought it was a deal because we had to wait in line for between five and ten minutes to get to the pump.

Next, was the BCF (Boating, Camping, Fishing) store where I bought a 150 watt inverter for $60 AUD. This should keep our laptops and the phone charged up until we get the larger inverter next week.

Then the Dan Murphy liquor store. 

As I said in an earlier post, hard liquor and beer are quite expensive in Australia, but you can buy some drinkable wine for a very reasonable price! We bought four liters of white for $14 AUD ($13.20 CAD, $9.75 USD) per box, and the same price for the red. Good thing we aren't wine connoisseurs, because to us it tastes just fine! 

And, we bought a bottle of "cleanskin" Cabernet Merlot for $4.00 AUD. 

Cleanskin wine is a term for wine whose label does not indicate the winery or the winemaker's name. It is typically sold at a low price. Cleanskin labels usually only show the grape variety and the year of bottling, as well as other information required by Australian law - alcohol content, volume, additives and standard drink information. Cleanskin wines are typically sold cheaply in dozen lots for home consumption. They may be branded wines that were originally sold at a higher price and re-labelled as cleanskins, or they may be wines produced for the purpose of being sold as cleanskins. Consequently, the quality of various batches of cleanskin wine can vary significantly.

We like "cleanskin" wine!

By the time we were done with all this running around, it was lunchtime! Ruth had looked on the map and found a picnic area near the Onkaparinga River National Park... only a few kms from where we were.

Nice to get on the back roads.

This is only about 15 kms from the suburbs.

And, it's wine country!

This is where we stopped for lunch.

Right beside the vineyards.

Maybe we'll just stay right here for the night!

Australian magpie.

We were parked at the trail entrance to Onkaparinga National Park that includes the Onkaparinga Gorge and Samuel's Gorge. So, we decided we had better go for a walk. Samuel's Gorge is actually a winery... not a gorge at all!

The valley is beautiful.

And there is a lot of interesting bird life around.

I think we're going to love Australian birdlife.

Samuel's Gorge Winery.

The winery tasting room is in an 1850's shed.

We can't afford $25 to $40 bottles of wine though... so we didn't stay!

It is a beautiful area.

Ruth is enjoying the view.

What beady eyes you have!

Wow! Look at the colors on this fellow! 
I can't wait to find one of these birds with the sun shining on him!

We decided to go for a hike in the park...

The weather was perfect!

Sitting to enjoy the view.

We took the trail to the river... it was pretty steep!

Me, at the bottom.

Some kind of cockatiel? It was actually a big bird. Not sure it was a cockatiel.

Lots of olive trees.



Walking back out, Ruth said... "Oh, look!"

Sure enough, there was a mob of kangaroos. Yes, that's what a group of kangaroos is called... a mob.

I zoomed in on them... they were actually pretty close.

This fellow took off right away.

But this group were kind of curious.

I took a video for you...



"What are you lookin' at?"



There's no money in the wine business!

There was a big flock of these birds.



And then another one of these cockatiel looking things.


Next door to where we were was the Chapel Hill Winery. We went in to check things out in their tasting room. It turns out that it costs $5 AUD to taste a series of about 7 different types of wine. Not an unreasonable deal.



This is their "port". They aren't allowed to call it port here, so they call it tawney.

Ruth, with our hostess Michelle.

At the Chapel Hill Winery.

We decided to stay the night right where we were. Looked like a nice quiet spot and there were no signs saying we couldn't.

Apparently that's the rule here in Australia... if the signs say " no camping"... then you don't stay the night. If there are no signs... it's fair game. As always, don't leave anything behind and be on your way as if nobody would know you were there.

So... we didn't make it very far!

Today's drive... about 35 kms (22 miles)!

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Nice price drop on the popular Coffee Gator French Press

And in Canada...




49 comments:

  1. Holy kangaroos and birds! What an amazing first day! You are soooooooooo far from Canada. Looking forward to many continued great reads about your adventure filled travels. Scc&G Dorset Ontario.

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    1. It was an amazing day, I don't think we could have asked for better. :-)

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  2. Love love love. Birds are sulphur crested cockatoos and the pinky ones are galahs. The smaller one looked like a lorikeet. All found in our backyard along with kookaburras, Magpies and others. It's great to see Australia though your eyes. Thankyou for sharing. 😊 Mary

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    1. Thank you for helping to identify the birds. I do like to try to figure them out but with a lack of power with our bad battery I couldn't check them out on the internet. Now you have saved me the time. We look forward to seeing more of the amazing birds that Australia has to offer. :-) We did by the way see and hear a kookaburra but we weren't able to get a decent picture of it, hopefully we will have better luck next time.

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    2. Here is a great website where you can identify birds of Aus. http://www.birdway.com.au/psittacidae/index_aus.php

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    3. Thank you for the website I will save it and use it if I need to but I also use a facebook page which is an amazing help called "What's this bird?". However what my problem was with not identifying the birds on this post was that we lacked the power to keep our laptops running so that I could track the birds down with. Hopefully now, we shouldn't have that issue anymore. I love to figure out what all these new birds are to us. :-)

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  3. Fabulous birdlife and wildlife!

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    1. Definitely! We can't wait to see more of it. :-)

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  4. Wonderful pictures!! The big white "cockatiel" bird actually belongs to the cockatoo family it is possibly a citron crested cockatoo and the grey and pink ones are also from the same family known as the Rosetta Cockatoo (i believe) The scenery looks so calm and peaceful. Safe travels...

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    1. You are very close, the white one is a sulphur crested cockatoo not a citron and you are correct on the rosetta cockatoo or a galah. We ran out of power last night so I couldn't identify them for Kevin. Good thing that we have lots of readers to help me out on that though. :-)

      The scenery is fantastic!

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  5. the "unknown" person is me Jeannie Campbell I can't get it to let me put m y name in..

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    1. Thanks for identifying yourself Jeannie. :-)

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  6. You need to find a bookstore and get a book on Australian birds. LOL The cockatoos are favorite big bird pets in the US. They are very noisy, but all seem to love to have their heads scratched. I understand that in Australia, they are considered a pest by the farmers.

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    1. Nope, I don't need to spend money on a book. Usually I just find them on the internet after the fact but because we had problems with the battery last night and we didn't have enough power I couldn't check them out on the internet.

      The cockatoos, really are noisy but oh so pretty. :-)

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  7. Gotta love the scenery and all the interesting wildlife, you will have lotsa interesting things to see and places to explore.

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    1. We are loving it here and yes, we are sure to see a lot more interesting places and things.

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  8. I am so enjoying your visit. The kangaroos are so fun to see. I think 22 miles is a great first day.

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    1. We are so glad that you are enjoying our journey so far, we have no doubt that we will find so many more things to show you and to write about that you will love.

      Yep, 22 miles is a perfect start. :-)

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  9. Can’t wait to hear more as you travel. BTW, the white bird you called a cockatiel is actually a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and the pinker ones are Galah Cockatoos. Happy travels, Jane

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    1. Thank you for the bird identification. I really like to try to figure these out myself before Kevin posts the blog but because of our power problems, we didn't have enjoy juice to keep my laptop running in order to do the research so you and others here have saved me that time. :-)

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  10. Funnily enough the two birds you were curious about the names of are about the most common in Austrlia and as Jan says (above) those are the names. Glad you liked the Clearskin wine. A great ply at the wine tasting places is to ask if you can stay over so you aren't drinking and driving. $5 for tastings is about par and you generally get your moneys worth. Good start and it's good to travel slowly. We really got in to bird and wildlife spotting in Aus.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Now that we have good power, I will hopefully figure out the bird names before Kevin posts the blog. I will learn as I go, I know we will see a lot of interesting birds on this trip.

      Good to know that $5 is about the going rate for the wine tasting, that is pretty reasonable. And yes, we already thought of asking at the wineries about staying over, because there is no way we will be tasting and driving. ;-)

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  11. Definitely a bird lover's paradise. You are sure getting good use of this camera, nice it takes great pictures. It seems kangaroos there are a bit like deer back in Canada!

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    1. It sure is, and we can't wait to see what other interesting birds we will find on our travels. Kevin really loves the telephoto on this camera, he can't believe the distance he is able to cover and still get a decent photo of a bird or animal.

      Yes, we thought the same thing about kangaroos versus our deer and I think the people here think that the kangaroos are as much as a pest and a hazard as our deer are at home.

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  12. Amazing first day out. The many birds you saw is super awesome..

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    1. Excellent first day on the road! Love the birdlife here and we can't wait to see more. :-)

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  13. The birds on the wires are Crested Pigeons.

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  14. I love how you only made it as far as the wineries, lol! Good on ya!

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    1. In that particular area, that is just about all you see, so it wasn't hard to end up squeezed in by two of them. :-)

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  15. Fascinating watching you guys experience Australia, loving it.... (I particularly like the name of your camper ha ha!)

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    1. So glad you are enjoying seeing Australia through our eyes, I hope that we won't disappoint you.

      At least you will never forget what our camper is called. ;-)

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  16. We haven't gone anywhere yet in our RV we just bought. You are so inspiring! Love your take on Australia.

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    1. I am sure you will have some amazing adventures of your own in your new RV. We are glad that you find us inspiring, that is what we hope to be to many people.

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  17. I've never been to Australia. The kangaroos are just wild?

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    1. We had never been to Australia before either so we are both seeing it for the first time, except that you are seeing it through our eyes. :-)

      Yes, the kangaroos are wild!

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  18. Cleanskin sounds great to me! Better to take it slow anyway the first week just to get the hang of the rv and roads. I'd be concerned about the language barrier, hahaha :)

    For those that hvae never seen the movie, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, is a real hoot and shows some beautiful scenery of Australia. I know that Kevin and Ruth will show us, but it's a funny movie.

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    1. If I remember right, Priscilla won an Oscar for best costumes.

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    2. The Cleanskins are a great way to get wine cheaper. Even some of the more expensive wines will come in a Cleanskin, you just have to pay more for them but still a lot less than if they had a proper label on them.

      Yes, it is nice to take it slow and get in the swing of it, although Kevin is doing a great job of driving. You might just be surprised with the language barrier! They do have some funny words and saying here, like instead of asking "How are you?" they say "How you going, mate" :-P

      We will have try to find a copy of that movie, we have not seen it before. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  19. Great photos. How lucky to see kangaroos on your first travel days. If you need odd things find the op shops. They are in every town. Resale shops. Trish

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    1. Thank you! Yes, we were lucky to see them and as we were hiking I said to Kevin, it would be great to see some kangaroos and then all of a sudden there they were. :-)

      We have already been to several Op shops and I know we will be stopping to check out more as we travel along, there are definitely things that we still need.

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  20. WOW lots of new wildlife to explore! Can't wait to see what else comes up.
    Hey you named your video Kanagroo, was that so people can't search it? :) Are there lots of bugs there?

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    1. Yep, lots of it and I know that we will still see so much more. Kevin, never even noticed the incorrect spelling and neither did I. He isn't sure if you can go back and correct it but we will check to see.

      Haven't had any bugs yet but it is winter here after all. As we start getting further north we may notice more.

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  21. YES!!..I'm certainly going to enjoy following you on this adventure....You have nice big smiles.....Must be fun.

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    1. Thank you! I hope we can do australia justice. :-)

      Yep, big smiles on our faces, it is really hard to believe that we are actually here in Australia. Looking forward to lots of great adventures.

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  22. Welcome. Please beware of strict quarantine regulations across some state border crossings, especially between WA, SA, NSW and VIC, and the Fruit Fly Exclusion zone covering a big swath of the area bordering SA, VIC and NSW.

    Get rid of your veg, fruits, cheese and honey before you cross borders or entering into these zones. There are generally signs on the road warning you ahead of time.

    Once we stocked up in VIC and crossed over to Tasmania with a fridge full of veg and fruits, they took them ALL away. No prisoners.

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    1. Thank you very much for the warning about the quarantine regulations at some of the state border crossings. We were aware of it, especially between South Australia and Victoria but only for fruit and vegetables, not for anything else. We are being very careful with our fruits and veggies and hoping to finish the majority of them off and not buy more until we have crossed over to Victoria. The only thing I am worried about is the honey that we just bought a few days ago, we weren't aware that it will most likely get taken away from us. :-( We will be more vigilant for the next border crossing.

      It would suck to have a fridge load of food taken away! :-(

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  23. Wow, amazing birds! I can't imagine seeing such exotic creatures on a single hike -- other than through a zoo/apiary. Lucky you!

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    1. Yep, that is what we thought too! It was a fantastic first day on the road. :-)

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