Travel diary: Christmas week at the beach

What an amazing week. The weather cleared up, we set off on adventures, and Christmas was relaxed and pleasant. What more can you ask for?

20/12 Monday The week started with a classic work day. Craig spent a lot of time on the phone, organising what we were going to do for the rest of the week, and we had pies for lunch.

21/12 Tuesday After a bit of a sleep in, we launched into another work day… except that Anna was going to Glenelg to do a bit of shopping so I went with her. In the afternoon Craig and I met Michelle for a coffee and a windy walk along the coast path, and later Anna cooked an amazing dinner.

In Adelaide Botanical Gardens with Haydyn from Bookkabee Tours

In Adelaide Botanical Gardens with Haydyn from Bookkabee Tours

22/12 Wednesday We were picked up in mid-morning by Haydyn from Bookabee Tours, and headed into the city for the Adelaide Aboriginal Cultural Tour. We started in the Botanical Gardens, stopped for lunch in Rundle Street, and also visited the museum and Tandanya cultural centre. Haydyn was an excellent guide and we learned an incredible amount about all aspects of aboriginal culture, especially about bush food. I found the tour really meaningful. Plus, since it was just us and Haydyn we had a bit of flexibility in the schedule, and stopped off to finally buy a new camera. Craig is stoked, he’s rediscovering a love for photography and has taken some amazing shots.

23/12 Thursday We had to start early to get out to Port Adelaide for our kayaking adventure with Adventure Kayaking SA, but it was worth it. We saw dolphins within five minutes of hitting the water, and they played around us for a good twenty minutes. We also paddled up a stream bordered by mangroves and saw the ships’ graveyard; kayaking back against the tide was a mission but made for a satisfying end to the tour.

Kayaking with Dolphins in Port Adelaide with Adventure Kayaking SA

Kayaking with Dolphins in Port Adelaide with Adventure Kayaking SA

In the afternoon I picked up a few things from the supermarket and we ate all our South American favourites for dinner. It was easily the best day weather-wise we’ve had since we arrived, perfect for kayaking and sitting out on the balcony to watch the sunset.

24/12 Friday Christmas Eve! It was another fantastic day, sunny and hot, and we headed up Mt Lofty with Ian from Escapegoat Tours to experience their Mt Lofty Descent tour. I really got the full experience, falling off my bike five minutes into the descent (how embarrassing!). Luckily after that the track smoothed out a lot and the rest of the trip was really fun. We stopped off halfway at Cleland Wildlife Park to see the koalas and feed the kangaroos and emus, who were very enthusiastic about the idea.

Cycling Mt Lofty, Adelaide, with Escapegoat

Cycling down Mt Lofty, Adelaide, with Escapegoat Tours

We arrived back in Adelaide at lunchtime, exhausted but satisfied. Escapegoat is the only operator allowed to take tours down Mt Lofty, so it was a unique experience.

In the evening some of Anna and Mat’s friends and their kids came over and we had fish and chips on the lawn, overlooking the beach. It was relaxed and pleasant, the kids provided free entertainment and the weather was perfect.

25/12 Saturday Christmas started slowly since Mat had to work in the morning. Anna, Craig, Henry and I went out on the jetty for breakfast (ham and cheese croissants) and spoke to our families on the phone. When Mat came back we piled into the car and drove to the Adelaide Hills to spend the afternoon at Phil and Gemma’s house. After ransacking their leftovers, Anna, Mat, Phil and Gemma hopped into the spa while Craig and I played handball with Phil’s kids Charlotte and Patrick. It was great, a classic outdoor-Christmas kind of afternoon.

We left in the late evening and drove to a nearby town to see the Christmas lights, arriving home at around 10:30 – when we finally got to open presents! Henry seemed pretty happy with his.

26/12 Sunday Five o’clock is not a time I like to see in the morning, but since we were being picked up at six to head to Kangaroo Island, it had to be done. Anna dropped us down the road, where we met Tony from Surf & Sun, our guide for the next two days. It took a little while to drive around central Adelaide to collect the other members of our tour, and the drive to the ferry took about 90 minutes.

The tour itself was awesome, we drove to a couple of main sights such as Prospect Hill and Pennington Bay, then went kayaking before lunch, which Tony cooked for us. We saw the Remarkable Rocks and visited Admirals Arch to see the New Zealand fur seals, and stopped off at a wildlife reserve to check out the kangaroos, koalas and wallabies before heading to our accommodation in a converted woodshed.

Craig and I got a little bit of work done before eating dinner around the campfire outside. We toasted marshmallows and had a go on the bongo drum and didgeridoo before turning in – we slept inside but about half of the tour slept outside in swags, they looked awesome scattered around the fire.

It was a full day, well planned and interesting. Plus it was nice to meet some of the people on the tour – I particularly enjoyed meeting Sarah from Spain because we spoke Spanish together.

I’ll put up photos of the tour next week, in the meantime, there are more photos from this week in the South Australia photo gallery.

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