We were up at 6.00 am yesterday to head off to Murray Bridge via Adelaide with my Probus Club on a five day trip along the Murray River on the riverboat ‘Proud Mary’. We checked in early for our 10.00 am flight that left on time and arrived in Adelaide at 11.30 am. We were off to a seemingly good start as we were collected by our driver, Ian, from the local Sealink travel company and we headed off on our half-day tour around Adelaide.
We began with a stop at Glenelg for lunch but we had forgotten that it was Father’s Day and all the restaurants in this popular area were chock full of people who had family bookings for lunch. Fortunately, the kind people at the Surf Club made room for a few of us at one of their bar tables to eat. It was a windy day with frequent rain squalls and we were glad that we didn’t have to trudge around the streets looking for other places to eat. We were quite hungry after our early start and the Surf Club food was hot and delicious.
I’m not sure why we had arrived in Adelaide so early but that was the way in which this trip was planned. Our driver, Ian, had a chat with me after lunch and we planned a rough itinerary for the afternoon. We did not have to be at the Central Bus Depot until 6.00 pm for our transfer to Murray Bridge and Ian promised that he would do his best to fill in the five hours until then. It was quite a challenge as there e is not a lot to do in Adelaide. Filling in five hours is quite a task. He took us to places that he had never been to himself as he tried to extend our tour long enough to fill in the hours. Ap[ert from the obvious city sites, we saw everything from football stadiums to the port and even a brewery.
We did spend a pleasant hour in the Botanical Gardens and a very nice walk through the rainforest enclosure which had a remarkable number of big plants and a well laid out walk-way.
On a hill overlooking the city of Adelaide is a statue of Colonel William Light. He was the military architect who laid out the initial plans for the city in the early 1800’s. His statue shows him pointing across the Torrens River to the city area. I think that he has lately become interested in cricket as there is now a brand new enormous grandstand in front of the view that his statue used to have and he now points straight to the grandstand. Ian, our bus driver, told us that tour buses no longer stop at this statue, which used to be at the top of the list of tourist sites, but he did so because it filled in another twenty minutes of time for us.
By 5.00pm Ian had run out of places for us to see, gave up and took us to wait at the bus terminal where we had a coffee.He had done a sterling job but Adelaide only offers so much. The bus from the Proud Mary company departed a little after 6.30 pm and we were in Murray Bridge and on the boat at 8.00 pm, BY this time we were cold, tired and hungry. After a quick meal, we were off to bed and ready for the first day of our cruise up the river.