Mawlers’ Big Adventure ’09:

Lea Ann & Stuart Go Down Under

Alice Springs to Adelaide sign at the end of Ernest Giles Road on the Stuart Highway

We Made It!

sleep is for the weak
four flights down, five flights to go
traveling sardines

Our itinerary from DC to Adelaide was as follows:

  • DCA (Washington National) to Houston (IAH) on Continental.
  • IAH to Los Angeles (LAX) on Continental.
  • Several hour lay-over.
  • LAX to Melbourne (MEL) on Qantas.
  • Get through Australian customs without causing international incident.
  • MEL to Adelaide (ADL) on Qantas.

We were prepared for the worst flight of our lives from LAX to MEL. However, given that we stayed up all night almost every night the week before leaving, we found it surprisingly easy to sleep almost the entire way...

Once successfully in Adelaide, we had to negotiate the whole driving experience. A book had told us the way to recognize Americans driving in Australia: Look for cars with the windshield wipers working while the car is turning. As it happens, the turn signal (indicator light) is on the right side of the steering wheel, rather than the left.

Oh yeah, in case you did not realize, they drive on the left in Australia. Did you not read the signs?

In addition to the left/right problem, we rented a Mitsubishi Outlander. While not a huge vehicle, it is large and strangely shaped, making it hard to park, drive, look at, sit in, etc. We came to like it as our stay carried on, but perhaps that is similar to the Stockholm Syndrome.

So, continuing on our day, we had to:

  • Rent a car from National (a.k.a. Europcar).
  • Figure out how to drive it.
  • Figure out how to get to hotel.
  • Spend time on the beach.
  • Agree to go out for drinks with friends.
  • Pass out from jet lag and miss out on drinks.

Believe it or not, we thought we were going to manage drinks in downtown Adelaide. But we made one critical mistake:
We sat down for a rest on the bed...

We went out with friends the next day...

The pictures we ended up taking on the first day were pretty limited. After all, we essentially stumbled around like zombies, took pictures of the sunset, and ate brains. Tasty, tasty brains.

In fact, the first seven pictures here are sunset on our very first day. And that is culled down from a much larger herd.


This series captures the light on a small wave that flooded the beach in front of us.
Spreading out in front of us.
The beach is all covered except for the little hills of seaweed.

  The sunset itself was brilliant.
  These really capture the moody feel.

  What works for us here is the contrast of the silvery water and the subtly pink glow of sunset.
  And it is different in each aspect ratio. (Note, we actually shoot in the aspect ratio you see.)

When we could finally pull ourselves away from the beach, we found a brightly lighted Ferris Wheel across a cable-stayed bridge for pedestrians.
This one is actually cropped down to highlight the contrast of the bridge support and the lights on the wheel.
Now this is getting silly... This picture is an abstraction that has only been cropped. On the left is the Ferris Wheel. To the right of center is the bridge support. To the right is a strangely lighted balcony on a building. If you look closely, you can see the Ferris Wheel reflected in the glass of the balcony.

Shortly after this series, we went back to room 203 at the Glenelg Comfort Inn (on Adelphi Terrace) and passed out.

The previous installment:
Informative Signage

The next installment:
Wallabies, Wombats, & Koalas, Oh My!

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All materials © 2009 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler