Gawler to Tanunda (Barossa Valley)

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I still don’t know how but I managed to fit my gear back into the panniers after two week off. I collected some extra books and maps during the break. I also changed my entire sleeping set up by buying a warmer sleeping bag, more comfortable sleeping pad and pillow. The new gear is also smaller and more technical than what I had so I have gained some space in my bedroom pannier. Though I did still have to donate some clothes I hadn’t worn over the past month to charity to keep the load under control. Once packed I caught the train back to Gawler where I left off my last cycle tour. The first thing I noticed was the beautiful station building.
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It was a steep climb out of Gawler to the start of the Jack Bobridge Track. There were no signs to say I was on the right path and the road was a narrow shortcut that locals seem to use as a race track. I almost gave up on finding the path after about 3-4km on this dull road but then just as I was about to head down towards the Barossa Highway I spotted the tell tale blue sign and made a beeline for the track.
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It was worth the effort of finding it. The new surface is flawless and the scenery suddenly opened out into pretty countryside. The track has only been open for a few months so I gave the council feedback about signage pointing to it because it’s probably an oversight.
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I rolled along happily. As I dropped over a small rise into Lyndoch the green pastures gave way to vineyards. These are not small hobby wineries but massive commercial vineyards with familiar names, even to me despite my not drinking wine. Stone buildings dotted the vineyards and workers pruned vines by hand. I spent a couple of hours crusing along gently stopping to take photos.
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I reached Tanunda Caravan Park early in the afternoon and decided to stop for the night. I have work to catch up on and know from my first tour of South Australia that it’s best to ease into the mileage. I pitched my tent in a lovely grassy sppot under some trees, cleaned my bike chain then walked to the township.
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I walk into town to check out what’s happening and buy some groceries. It’s quaint with old style houses that have flower baskets hanging from the verandahs. The big old churches capture my attention. They are imposing. The one with the tree-lined lane leading to it makes me think of movies that I’ve seen set in Italy or France. I spend a while in the bookshop chatting with the lady there. She is very knowledgeable about books and authors. I definitely recommend a visit to her shop. I decided against buying anything though because I realised I won’t fit it in my panniers easily.


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