In the Barossa

When we departed Kapunda on Sunday and drove into the Barossa and to one of Dearne’s ‘must visits’ – Maggie Beers Farm Shop at Nuriootpa.  Dearne became a fan of Maggie through Masterchef Australia and watching her cook on “The Cook and the Chef”. When Maggie first arrived in the Barossa three decades ago, there was little awareness of the importance of the region’s traditional food culture however she soon became a champion of Barossa food.

Dearne at Maggie Beer's

Dearne in her element at Maggie Beer’s farm shop and restaurant

Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop and Restaurant is located at the original Pheasant Farm Restaurant site in the Barossa. Her full product range of locally sourced gourmet foods, including Pheasant Farm Pate, quince paste, verjuice and ice creams are available along with a full café facility (including their Pheasant Farm Wines). We spent a great hour or so looking around the Farm Shop and the attached farm from where the shop sources much of its raw products.

After leaving Maggie Beers we continued our Borossa travels and at the same time, searching for somewhere to stop overnight.  As we passed through the little village of Eden Valley, we noticed a few caravans at the local sports ground so we drove on in and discovered for the princely sum of $12 per night we could have a parking spot, hot showers, power and toilets.  The closer you get to the main centres in Australia, there are very few free or low cost parkup opportunities. We were happy with the $12 so that was us for the night.

Vineyards in The Barossa

A little slice of the Barossa heaven. After a while all the tastings blend into one.

Monday morning we left Eden Valley and visited the villages of Springton, Mt. Pleasant, Mt Torrins and Birdwood ending up in the township of Mt Barker. We made Mt Barker our base for three days, unhitched the jeep and toured as much of the Barossa as we were able. At least driving the jeep we could participate in a couple of wine tastings whereas in the motorhome it is ‘zero tolerance’. We now have enough of the local product to last us for a couple of months.

On Thursday we made our way to Hahndorf, a small village classified as Australia’s oldest surviving German township and settled in 1838. The most striking feature that greets you as drive into the village are the 100-year-old elm and plane trees that line the main street.  The original fachwerk (half timbered) buildings, many restored to their original condition, reminded us of the village buildings we came across while on our visit to Germany a couple of years ago.

Main Street in Hahndorf

Main street Hahndorf – a stunning little village

While the town has retained its strong German heritage, there was plenty to take in and enjoy. Hahndorf has a unique village feel about it and with the two hotels offered authentic German fare and the numerous cafes, restaurants and wineries enticing us to enter, Hahndorf has been easy place to stay for a couple of days.

We leave here tomorrow morning (Saturday) and make our way into Adelaide for our 10-day ‘layover’ to prepare for our journey up the middle.  The freezer is empty, we need to get our Carnet documentation resigned to reflect the extension, the duvets need dry cleaning (being constantly on the road plays havoc with clothes and bedding you cannot normally wash in a washing machine) and there is a little bit of maintenance to do on the motorhome. ‘Getting it right first time’ is going to be the key to enjoying the next part of our journey.

We occasionally get emails from blog readers saying we never mention the ‘not so good’ things that happen to us on our journey. To tell the truth, we have either been very lucky or very cautious as we have yet to experience any really bad situations. The people we meet are generally very hospitable, friendly and helpful. We have come across most type of wild animal/reptile/insect on our many walks (with the exception of crocs and alligators) and Dearne’s bush tic encounter in the Bunya Mountains has been our only health scare. We both know we would lose any clash we had with a snake, alligator, crocodile, certain spiders, emu or kangaroo so we are very careful how we interact with the animals, we never park up alone (unless its in a public place), we are careful on the type of roads we drive the motorhome (except the once) and we always lock things away at night or when we are not around. We have been advised to be extra vigilant on our journey up the middle next month and during our time in the Northern Territory. There are apparently some devious and opportunist characters up that way so we intend to heed the advice.

It will be all part of the adventure.

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