Thursday, March 06, 2008

You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine....

I'm in Adelaide now. It's a bit like Nottingham if it was located on the surface of Mercury.

Yesterday it was 36c and today it's 37. By the weekend it will be in the 40s. Swap for centigrade for $ and that's the amount I'm spending on water to stop myself shrivelling like a sultana.

Adelaide is pleasant enough but isn't really a tourist city compared to, say, Sydney or Melbourne or Canberra for that matter. It's a grid of churches and shopping arcades dropped in the desert and tarted up with trams and trees. There's also a nice Henley-on-Thames-type river thing going on the Northern edge.

There's nothing wrong with it and it must be jolly nice to live here, but with three days to kill (unless the sun kills me first), I can't help feeling two would have been plenty.

And did I mention it's hot? Oh lordy, lordy. I've found myself dodging left and right into patches of shade cast by lampposts, traffic lights and sparrows. The sun is beating down so hard is knocking people off their bikes and punching holes in parasols.

On top of this, my first hostel had no aircon. After wandering around all day in what felt like a giant 850 Watt microwave on "high", I was about to go "ding". Thus when I got back to my room expecting the cool, meatlocker freeziness of the aircon, I found my room to be exactly the same temperature as outside.

Now when it comes to the cold, I'm well hard. I could stand in the freezer section of Somerfield in just my Optimus Prime boxers and feel nothing. But heat I'm not so good at. So after a good 30 minutes of sweating into my duvet set, I set out in search of alternative accommodation.

Not a good idea at 9.30 at night. Especially when the city was fully booked for the Adelaide literary festival, but I had to try. First I tried the Medina but they were full and sent me to the Rendezvous. All they had left was the Penthouse Suite at $750. I was sorely tempted but I am not Simon Cowell.

Finally I found a motel which looked like the kind of place a human resources manager takes his secretary for an hour at lunchtime, but nevertheless it satisfied my criteria in that the receptionist assured me the room did not feel like an iron foundry and did have aircon.

I trudged back to my old hostel picked up all my bags and trudged back to the motel. By the time I arrived for the second time I was hallucinating arctic tundra, igloos and the planet Pluto, but whilst my room did have aircon, it was only in its mini-hallway and not in the bedroom which meant I spent my evening in a chair in the hallway drying off and craning to see the TV.

This morning I switched again to the YHA Hostel which seems fine. I even received one night's rebate from my first hostel. I was straight up with them and explained the problem and they were understanding. "Where are you off to next?" asked the receptionist as I was leaving.

"Coober Pedy - the Outback mining town" I replied.

"Oh" he said "It was 46C there yesterday"


The sun beats down in Adelaide. Your Cornetto doesn't last long in this weather.

Bridge over the River Torrens

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