Ainslie's Travel Adventures

Ainslie Waldron

Veteran Home Exchanger | Travel Author | [hidden email]

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Jan 24th

The Tour Down Under

I have had the most enjoyable experience over the last few days.  Apart from a magnificent house swap (more about that in a few days time), I have had the opportunity to attend the “Tour Down Under” which is Australia’s premier bicycle race, held annually in Adelaide and recognized as part of the world UCI cycling tour.

Adelaide is situated in the state of South Australia, it is on the banks of the Torrens River and if you look at a map of Australia, it is around the middle of the south coast. It is just over 2 hours flying time from Brisbane. has been very hot in Adelaide this week, luckily reducing from around 40 degrees C (104F) to an easier 28 degrees C (83F) over the final two days. Adelaide, also known as the city of churches, boasts an unusual time zone.  It is half an hour behind Sydney and half an hour ahead of Brisbane.

 I have never attended a Tour before and I have loved every moment of it.  Cycling is one of the only international sports that spectators can watch free of charge.  Adelaide is a lovely city and is surrounded by vineyards and wineries. While the final today was in the city, during the week there were stages in various suburbs and yesterday I watched as they rode from McLaren Vale vineyards to Willunga Hill. There were an estimated 100,000 of us on Willunga Hill yesterday, yet there seemed to be plenty of space for everyone, and a great fun atmosphere with happy crowds. Similarly there was lots of family fun to be had in the city today, the final of the race.

The city felt very safe and very welcoming for all of the visitors and it was exciting at the end, cheering all the cyclists home, especially the winner, Simon Gerrans, a member of the only Australian international team Green Edge. Well done Aussies!

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