Leaving the island was an incredible feeling for Matthew, Maggie and I. We had enjoyed our time there but we were beyond ready for something else. In the three months I spent there I saw an average of probably 15 people a day. I spent less than $20 a week, and I spent 98% of my time on the property. That being said, I think we were all in for sensory overload when we entered Adelaide. Adelaide is a city of about 1.3 million people. It is one of the oldest cities in Australia and it is full of busy people, fascinating scenery and lots of shopping.
We arrived Tuesday evening just in time for dinner. If you've been following my blog at all, you may have gathered that we ate out only a handful of times on the island, so dining out in Adelaide was high priority on our to-do list.
After checking in to our hostel we walked around the corner (a nice change) and found a hip Italian restaurant near downtown. I opted for the seafood pizza which included toppings of shrimp, scallops and artichokes. It was the freshest thing I had ate in a very long time—very satisfying. Maggie had a delicious-looking calzone the size of a football, and Matthew had a fresh chicken sandwich. We all felt pretty classy with our restaurant meals.
After eating we made our way back to the hostel where we found out it was both happy hour and pool tournament night. We made friends with Tom, the bartender/receptionist and quickly found ourselves entertained. Tom's sister owned the hostel, he only helped out on Tuesday nights to host the cheap beer and pool tournament. At first I opted-out of the pool tournament but eventually Tom's fun and confident personality decided the opposite. Matthew and Maggie were better at pool than I, but this was “Killer Pool”, a game where everyone in the room played together. Each person had four lives and each time it was your turn you either made a ball in the hole or you lost a life. Everyone, including myself, was pretty surprised when the game came down to me and another guest named Gordon. Before the last shot Gordon promised to share the prize with me if he won and I agreed to do the same. Unfortunately, he won, but he was true to his word and gave me 1/6 of the prize, which equalled one bottle of Corona. I was pretty pleased with his generosity and Matthew and Maggie were pleased with my pool skills.
As if that weren't enough, Tom also hosted a raffle drawing for everyone in the lounge room. The winning ticket was Maggie's. When the number was called she screamed a high-pitch scream and ran around the pool table in celebration. We all laughed and watched as she animated the entire room. Her prize was four free beers, something Matthew and I helped her enjoy.
The next day we covered a lot of ground in Adelaide. We purchased groceries, bedding and books for our outback adventure. All the little things we hand't done in the past three months took priority on that particular day. Matthew got a haircut. I made a deposit at the bank. Maggie bought a new camera lens and we all soaked up a lot of free wi-fi. Although we had plenty of practical stuff to do, we also made time to do some fun things like walk through the Adelaide Central Market---an awesome experience—and we ate and drank at some really hip food joints.
We finished up our time in Adelaide by ridding our suitcases of extra items and purchasing water and petrol for our trip into the unknown. For two days I had listened as Matthew and Maggie searched for something called a “transmitter.” They hadn't had any luck when I finally asked what it was. It turns out it was some sort of electronic device to make the car radio play the music on our cell phones. When this didn't work out, I told the group about the $2.99 CDs I had found at a discount bookstore. Maggie and Matthew thought it was a good idea so we returned to the bookstore and each of us picked out a CD for the trip. In total we had five CD's: one from each of us and two that had originally come with the car. It wasn't much considering the length of our trip, but it was all we could find and afford. After two nights in Adelaide, our next move was to head north towards the Outback.