Got a bit more sleep, but not much, as neither of us could settle with the noise and movement of the train. Our cabin attendant woke us at 6.15 a.m. with a coffee, bless her. No, seriously.
Got togged up and stumbled sleepily out of Carriage G, Room 3, to be met instantly by a very chatty limo driver who took us and our myriad bags to the Playford Hotel in Adelaide. Neither of us were at our best, but mercifully we were very sympathetically treated by the reception staff and allowed straight into our room.
After a much-needed rest in what is another fabulous room in a very nice hotel, we sussed out the guest laundry facilities, because we know how to have a good time. We then sallied forth into the streets of Adelaide, where the temperature was around 26 degrees.
Adelaide does seem a nice place on first acquaintance. We took a walk over the River Torrens to find a road where Jean’s brother had stayed when he lived in Adelaide in 1980.
Back to the hotel to sort out the washing (these things are important, you know) and I popped out for a haircut. I only mention this because it was a rather odd experience. The barber’s was actually a bloody great lounge, full of barbers busy barbering. There were actually five people on the bench, so I wondered how long I would have to wait. In fact, I was seen within 10 minutes, as the other attendees were waiting for specific staff members.
The guy who attended to me, it turned out, was a new barber, and he asked me if I minded being filmed whilst he was “assessed”. Rather bemused by this, I agreed, and as I have a very simple requirement – a Number 2 all over – he set to work after being video’d by one of the seniors introducing me as his client and explaining what he was going to do.
He was palpably nervous, and obviously desperate to make a good impression. Therefore, something which would normally take 10 minutes took nearer 40 minutes, and at intervals he had to call over the seniors to vet and film his work! His attention to detail was impressive, but as I’m not that fussy about what little hair I have left, I was getting a little impatient towards the end. Anyway, he finally let me go. The cost? Ten dollars – around £5.50 at current exchange rates. Extraordinary – cheapest haircut I’ve probably ever had in relative terms, probably because he was a rookie. The seniors expressed satisfaction with his work, so I hope he gets to keep the job. I was certainly happy enough with it.
Later, we had our first poor meal since we arrived in Australia. We went to an Italian restaurant just up the road from the hotel which had been recommended by the concierge. Huge on quantity but not great on quality. Not cheap either (the wine was fine, though). Neither of us could finish either the starter or the main course. To be fair, we were only charged at the entrée rate for the main course, but we went to bed feeling very full and rather disappointed. Shame. Oh, well – can\’t win \’em all…..