Tanunda to Kapunda

The Barossa Valley Trail cycleway leads from Tanunda to Nooriootpa, saving me the stress of cycling the Barossa Valley Highway, which is surprisingly busy at 10am this morning. The cycle path has a fantastic surface and is flat, making for easy riding. Tall thick-trunked trees line it like a row of guards protecting me from the motorized traffic. Not just a physical protection but also a visual and audio protection. I wonder whether this is what it’s like to cycle in countries where the car isn’t God.

For the first half hour I ride past the Penfolds, Wolff Blass and Barossa Estates vineyards with their neat rows of vines. There are quite a few workers trimming vines. I think it looks like tough backbreaking work. And there are so many vines to be trimmed … It seems like an almost impossible job but I am sure it happens at this time every year. I turn down Greenock Road in Nooriootpa thinking about lunch at the Greenock Creek Tavern where I had that amazing meal a few weeks ago. The vines start to disappear as I find myself back in green pastures where most of the trees have been felled to make way for these crops. It’s a stunning visual experience and I wonder whether the person who said that in fashion blue and green should never be seen without a colour in between has ever seen these green fields under a blue sky. Unfortunately, today is Tuesday so the Greenock Creek Tavern weren’t serving lunch. But I can report that the Greenock takeaway and general store make a very good steak sandwich with the lot.

From here I will retrace my steps back to Kapunda. I rode this road in the opposite direction a few weeks ago but it is the only option for me to get back to the Murray River for the rest of my ride east. Winter has definitely turned a corner here in South Australia. Where a few weeks ago the trees here were mostly bare, they are now all bursting with white and pink blossoms. It’s amazing how Mother Nature adapts to the changing of the seasons.

I cross a small range and find myself in sheep grazing country. It still amuses me the way the sheep run away in a frenzied panic as I ride past even though cars and trucks don’t bother them. The flight instinct is so strong. While they have learned there is no danger from big chunks of metal zooming past them, the spectre of an actual human still frightens them. I probably look like a grazier on a motorbike (albeit a very slow motorbike). Fifteen minutes later I arrive at the caravan park and pitch my tent for the night. This afternoon I will do a few hours work and rest before tomorrow’s big push back across the salt bush plains to Morgan and the Murray River.

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