21-22 January: South Australia hots up

Author: Mrs A

Location: Wellington, South Australia

We have had it really easy since we arrived back in Australia – temperate days, cool nights, fine weather for whatever activity we choose – cycling, hiking, kayaking…but today all that has changed.

We left our free camp on the edge of Lake Alexandrina, seeing the upcoming weather forecast. Temperatures up to 38°C today, going up into the mid 40s over the weekend mean that none of our favourite activities would be possible without heatstroke, and we couldn’t leave Miss Tassie in a hot caravan without air conditioning. So we drove 1.5 hours up the lake and parked up with power in a tiny village called Wellington on the banks of the River Murray, plugged in and set the aircon for a comfortable 25 degrees.

Travelling full time means we have to accept there will be days like this. In the UK, it was two days confined to our motorhome on top of a cliff in Wales, while gale force winds and rain lashed us, here it is the extreme temperatures and high fire risk.

By 5pm the wind was strong enough to add a little cooling, so we did a short walk around the three or four streets that make up the town, finishing our exploration at The Wellington – the local pub, affectionately known as ‘The Welly’.

Away from the river the landscape is incredibly dry – the combined effect of the sun and wind whipping away any moisture
The trees around Wellington are full of Little Corellas – acrobatic and noisy birds
As we walked they were swooping around the streets, starting to find somewhere to roost
Apparently the local council did a cull of the birds last year. They can cause damage to trees and property as well as being quite disruptive with their loud calls and squarks en mass..

Overlooking the free car-ferry across the Murray River, the pub has an extensive outdoor area, lush and green. We found a bench with a water view and ordered two portions of garfish and chips, washed down with a bottle of Clare Valley Chardonnay.

The entrance to The Welly
Water access
Definitely a day for a cold drink

We had a lovely peaceful night before departing this morning, heading towards Tanunda in the Barossa Valley. We’re pitching up at a friend’s house on their driveway for the upcoming long weekend, where the temperatures are threatening to be even hotter. More cold drinks could be on the agenda!