A road trip involves spending a lot of time ‘on the road’ and whilst I don’t mind it at all, at times it can get a little bit bland. Our trip today started with us travelling through an area called the ‘Mallee’, which is primarily large expanses of low bushes, interspersed with the occasional small cluster of trees.
I am not a farmer, an agronomist or even involved with agribusiness banking…but I do love the huge fields of wheat that stretch to the horizon. We passed mile after mile of the honey coloured fields; the occasional harvester; several trucks filled with wheat and every now and again a small town that had a depot where the huge piles of grain are dumped and covered with blue tarps that rise up so high that they blend into the brilliant blue of the sky behind them. Our conversation moved from the sights in front of us to the life cycle of a wheat grain, how they grow, are harvested and threshed (or is it thrashed…we couldn’t be sure), to the stores and silos and then onto the mill where they could become a variety of different products: grains in our multigrain bread and weetbix; ground into flour and baked into cakes; feed to cattle and turned to methane (thanks Amanda, always thinking of the environment…).
As our day’s journey brought us closer to our destination, the towns became closer together and the fields more labour intensive. Grapevines (or vineyards) and wineries started popping up everywhere. I noticed that the wine makers here don’t plant rose bushes at the ends of their vines….South Australia is proud of their claim of being without the pests that can infest the vines….and they are strict about it as we had found out earlier today when we crossed the border from Victoria and had to hand over our recently purchased grapes (next time we will eat them straight away, or not buy them until we arrive).
The other industry that seems popular here is grass….lawn…turf, whatever you like to call it. As we passed the beautiful, neat green fields, Dave commented that that would be his ideal farm….sitting back and watching the grass grow. Now, whether she was listening intently or just vaguely we will never really know, however once he had said that, Courtney asked “how do you grow grass?”. It may not sound as funny in text, but the way she said it seemed quite funny at the time.
By mid afternoon we had arrived in Goolwa. Our room was ready for us even though we were early (thank you to the kind hosts of Marine Cove Resort for letting us in then). The first item on the agenda (after unpacking the car) was the pool. I don’t know how cold it gets here in winter, but the pool at the resort is solar heated, undercover and enclosed with glass on 3 sides and a plastic roll up blind on the fourth, so I am certain it will be extremely well used this week, even though the weather forecast is for rain starting tomorrow and lasting most of the week.
After getting the groceries and eating dinner, Dave and Amanda went to pick up Dave’s boys, Daniel and Mitchell, who will be staying with us for the week. By the time they got back I was already nodding off on the couch. So after a quick hello it was time for bed….there will be plenty of time for getting to know each other, starting first thing in the morning.