Breakfast ride…

Cycling is always a good start to the day – so we decided to cycle to breakfast.

Cycling from Wallaroo to Kadina is a mere 8km. The route is simple – as it is along the old rail trail. The benefit of this means the route is largely flat – and easy to find.

AS you can see but he photo the path is pretty wide and good enough for gophers. Just take a closer look at the symbols on the signed post.

There are a few times you have to cross roads – but the sight lines are really good, and there is not much traffic. Along the rail trail there are a number of historical signs, and shelters and seats. The scenery surrounding the ride was farms, run-down buildings, fields.

The weather for the ride was pretty good – as you can tell by the photos it was a perfect morning.

Getting to Kadina is easy.. and getting to the centre of town when you reach the end of the trail is even easier by the large sign which tells you “town centre”. Following the road takes you to the centre of town and the array of small shops and historical buildings.

Thankfully we easily found our breakfast spot – corner of Hallet Street and Taylor Street. Just perfect!

Our early morning ride was just over 18km.

While the purpose of our trip was to scout the “walk the Yorke” this was a simple little rail trail which was worth the diversion.

Bakery review…

Bakeries in Australia are fabulous. I may be a world traveller – but based on experience they certainly are at the top of my list.

So far we have visited two… the Ardrossan Bakery and the Maitland Bakery.

The Ardrossan Bakery is easy to locate – as it is I in the Main Street. There are a few seats outside, and over the road there are a couple of park benches under the Norfolk pines which are down the Main Street.

We had pasties, sausage rolls, chocolate doughnut and apricot turnover and sat outside given the weather was delightful. While I generally prefer tomatoe sauce put in the centre of the pastie with a squeezey bottle the usual presentation is the sauce in the takeaway packet you squeeze together and put over your food. Pastie was great, as was the apricot turnover. For me the doughnut was a little more cake-y than I prefer. I’m generally not a fan of large amounts of cream – but the apricot turnover was fabulous – and a real highlight. Not too sweet… just perfect. If you are in the neighbourhood – I recommend it!

The second bakery we visited was in Maitland.

It was late afternoon… and they were about to close for the day. We had just completed a cycle from Port Vincent to Point Pearce and back. The wind had taken a lot of energy out of us – what there was nothing better than a bakery product Again, I tried the apricot turn over and it was pretty good as it was eaten very quickly. You do have the option to eat inside as there are the usual few tables and you can also get a tea or a coffee

Both places are worth visiting if you are on the road and searching for a quick hunger fix.

On holiday… in sunny South Australia…

The last time we caught a plane was in January, as we returned from our eight day trip in NZ over Christmas & New Year. It seems so long ago now. As luck would have it we had no holidays planned for 2020.. except for weekend trips to MEL, CBR, and SYD. We had lots of discussion – “we could go to Japan for three weeks”… (although this seems the default plan). Unlike many people who had overseas holiday’s booked and now cancelled, we are counting ourselves as extremely lucky for not reserving a lump of leave for far off exciting destinations. For those of you who are in that position – I can only imagine how hard/difficult/challenging this year is fast becoming.

At work I keep reminding people of the importance of taking a holiday for their wellbeing – I finally I took my own advice and we have taken a week off.

Originally the plan was to cycle the Yorke Peninsula (walk the Yorke), in preparation for a 7-9 day bicycle ride with some friends from VIC and NSW. Due to a combination of limited planning, wet weather and the general malaise it changed by the end of last week to a couple of days. Given the weather we now think we will return to explore the Yorke further in October/November.

This morning, we packed the Brompton’s into the car along with some clothes and headed off to Tiddy-Widdy beach near Ardrossan. Before you start to complain… the name comes from the Aboriginal name of Titty Witty Titty – and here is the photo where you can read it yourself.

Apparently the area is also well known for death adders. Yes you read that correctly – snakes. Thankfully we didn’t see them – but the coastline along the trail is very picturesque.

The ride is fairly easy, and the yellow markers along the trail at key turning points are well signed. There are many well known marked rides around the world (England…) which are not well signed. The Walk the Yorke trail itself is a mix of dolomite (its mined around in the area) and gravel. Some areas are better compacted than others. Meaning the trail is good for mountain bikes, hybrids, or if you have knobby tyres. Bromptons are pretty good too 🙂

We continued on the trail through Ardrosson, past the silos, lock out point to the open mine and down to James Well. At the end of the road there are memorials to nine female sperm whales which beached themselves in the area in 2014.

The trail from here gets a little bumpy.. and with the very steep hills walking always comes in as a good second option. At the point below we decided to turn around and go back to Ardrossan so we could pick up a late lunch.

Whenever you see a jetty on holiday – you know we are going to have to walk on it. As a bonus this one had concrete and we could cycle

After getting back to the car we drove further along the coast to check-out the trail. There are some parts of the walk they they recommend cyclists to go on the road – this section looked okay to cycle on. The other option would be to walk on the beach where the trail is….

After this we stopped briefly in briefly in Port Vincent, and headed over to Wallaroo where we are staying for a couple of nights.

The weather has been perfect….

… for cycling in Japan and catching up with friends. We spent three days cycling the Tobishima Kaido and the Shimanami Kadio, which is in the inland Sea of Japan near Hiroshima with our friend Takero. The views like the picture above were stunning… and the roads were great (sorry England, but here they are maintained). We had a great time and value the time spent. Namma bieru mitsu onegaishimasu (hiragana does not work in the blog so you get bad Japanese)!

We were also fortunate to catch up with some of our Brompton friends at the hi-monthly Brompton in Palace meeting. It was great to see all the bikes, enjoy fast food udon, and visit a park which you can cycle around and see many things – including bonsai, traditional garden and open spaces. It was a great day and we value being able to attend! Thank you Mayumi! For more information search for Brompton in Palace on Facebook.

We also spent time with our non cycling friends Gaku, Ryoko and Shota seeing their Tokyo and getting to visit our favourite shops in new locations. Gaku planned a great day involving seeing an exhibition at Tenozu Island of Channel called Mademoiselle Privé – about fashion and her inspiration, and a great lunch – It’s always interesting seeing Tokyo from the perspective of people who live here.

Kym and I really appreciate the time spent with us – we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Great stop in Oxford – Hamblin bread

Cycling on holiday enables you to find interesting places which are not necessarily in the guide books. Our approach to bromptoneering is exactly that find a route and cycle it… if there is a major tourist attraction, we might stop to take a photo, if I’m lucky. But this approach also enables us to stop the moment we see something interesting. In Oxford it was the below sign which stopped us in our tracks.

It had all the right elements to attract Kym – “bakes here daily”, and good font. Kym managed to snaffle the last apple and custard buns (yeah us!) and they had filtered coffee (rare to find).

We later learnt the bread was made from stone ground flour milled locally. They make their own jams, as well as sourcing items they use from local producers. The taste was fabulous. We enjoyed the buns and had a great chat with the owner Hugo who was passionate about using local sources and their products. He suggested we return the next day for breakfast.. to try their bread as we would not regret it.

The next day… yes we returned..! Ah the smell of a bakery is fabulous in a morning.

We enjoyed a shared breakfast and a cardamon bun, and a cinnamon bun – delightful! We even bought a jar of their jam (let’s hope it makes it home). If we lived here we would be regulars.

If you find yourself in Oxford (thurs-sun) do your stomach a favour hop on bus (if you don’t have a bike) and go there… you will be happy!

Washing machine incident…

When in Birmingham we stayed in a place with a great view. While it was small it also had a washing machine! Woohoo – always an added bonus on holiday. On our last night we decided to use it. They are simple machines after all. Once it had completed the cycle and drained etc… we opened it and water came spilling onto the floor in front. Okay maybe it hadn’t drained… despite indicating it had. Sigh. At this point tee put it on the drain setting twice more – eventually it drained.

The machine was one of those fancy washer-dryers. Set it to dry the clothes… and guess what – yep it didn’t do a great job as they were still damp so hung these up in the room. While this was going we had put the towels on the wet carpet to remove water. You can imagine how wet the towels were after this exercise. We decided to attempt to dry these in the dryer- which also didn’t work well. We resulted to putting these on the towel rail – which was pretty hot, but didn’t really dry them either.

One we had attempted to remove as much water as possible from the carpet, Kym used his work knowledge to the problem and we put the fan in the room focused on the carpet to attempt to dry it out (hair drier was not going to cut it.).

The next morning the clothes were put through the dryers again, as were the towels. The carpet was still damp in places, so the fan was put on again – until we checked out. Did it help – yes, it was still a bit damp but not as bad.

All I want to know …who puts carpet under and in front of a washing machine?