To Mount Gambier

Many years ago, I did my nursing training at Mount Gambier Hospital.  It was in the early 1960's, and the hospital was only a few years old.  In fact the "old hospital" was an impressing looking building between the Nurses Home and the new hospital.  (Sadly the "old hospital" was demolished - it was such an interesting and historic place it is a shame that it was not kept!).  I finished my training in the mid 1960's and then after working in Melbourne for nearly a year, I married and let South Australia.  I have not lived in SA since.  However, my parents lived in Mt Gambier for many years, so we visited until 1974, when Dad was transferred back to Adelaide.  I had not been there since, and had a strong urge to visit.

Hence I rented a car, from Aussie Car Rentals and headed south! 

I have been going back to Adelaide on a regular basis to see family, but generally we visit the same places over and over again.  We had been taken to Victor Harbour, and the McLaren Vale area - but not beyond - and on this trip I learned how much I had been missing.

The freeway through the Adelaide hills has been in operation for many years, making the journey from the eastern suburbs of Adelaide, over the range and on towards Murray Bridge, a dream run.  Of course the freeway bypasses Murray Bridge - so I thought I'd try and have a closer look on my return journey.

Soon I was at Tailem Bend.  I have a cousin there, and though I had planned to phone her, I just arrived on her doorstep!  Surprise!  It is a long time since I have seen her and her husband, and he didn't recognise me when I knocked on the door.  I had a quick cup of coffee, and chat, went on my way. 

My next stop was a small siding really, not much there but a community hall, public loo, and a tavern, with a fast food place attached.  I called in at the loo and was most surprised to find fresh flowers in the ladies.  Roses, no less.  I was most impressed.  The food was limited at the shop, but I had a delicious pie in a little park, and set off on my way.

I would love to have had more time, to explore the places that I had been through many years ago (between Murray Bridge and Mt Gambier.) but I was going to run out of time.  I had a dinner date with a friend.  I did not go into Keith (there's a by-pass), and I would love to have stopped at Padthaway - acres and acres of vineyards stretched both sides of the rode.  A lot of the big winery names.  The country side had been quite dry with low gum trees, all the way to Keith.  After Keith the landscape started to change - and by Padthaway there was much more green - not just the vineyards, but the crops and grassy areas for the sheep and cattle.

Soon I had arrived at Coonawarra, and then Penola.  I had spent quite a bit of time at Penola but little of it was recognisable.  Again, I was tempted to stop, but did not, other than to take a few photos of old houses.  I love photos of old houses!!  Old buildings etc.


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