Day 5: An encounter with the Australian medical system, and more wine

We did not complete the day we planned today but it was no less interesting. Getting out of bed in the morning, my dad was not feeling quite alright. He hadn’t pooped for quite a while and that made him feel really uncomfortable. So I went out and checked out the town. There is a clinic in the town but because of the long weekend, all the slots were booked and the nurse was not very helpful either. I also went to the pharmacy, and it was run by, probably a Vietnamese, pharmacist. I got a few medicine for my dad but it only added to his suffering.

I insisted that my dad went to a hospital, the closest is the one in Millicent (1 hour drive away), and Millicent was indeed what we were headed next.

So, here is today’s map:

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On our way out of Robe, we passed by what is known as the “Long Beach” – not the one in LA, though, of course. It was pretty impressive, but I have seen better (in part I am still a bit frustrated at the weather, and will continue to be until later!) in Norfolk, UK (Holkham Beach, in case anyone is interested) But nevertheless, this Long Beach is quite something. I love the breeze gently blowing towards us (unlike in England where you are almost guaranteed to be blown away with 30 mph wind!)

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You can drive on the beach – how cool is it?

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And compare it to Norfolk (taken in April, 2016):

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Last signs of summer in Robe:

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Soon enough, we arrived in Millicent. We did not go to the hospital straightaway, my dad insisting he is fine and my mom anxious about covering all the places in the plan. We first went to the Woakwine Range Windfarm Tourist Drive, where you could supposedly get brilliant pictures with the turbines and cows grazing below it.

This is an impressive place – the largest windfarm in the Southern Hemisphere, with more than 130 turbines all about 100 m tall. Unfortunately for us, the storm decided to hit when we were in the tourist drive, so we did not get any good pictures. Sorry for this rather depressing picture:

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We then drove back to Millicent and stopped at a pub for lunch. The lunch was quite good – well I asked for a fish and chips – you cannot do it wrong especially on a seaside town! I quite liked it to be honest, of course the beer that went with it helps!

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Away from Millicent – the next hospital is at least an hour drive away (either at Narracoote where we need to be for the evening; or in Mount Gambier) So, I insisted my dad go to emergency services here in Millicent.

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Fortunately for us, the A&E was empty and my dad was first in line. It took a while to wait for the senior nurse to attend to my father, though. Apparently there were having a meeting discussing his symptoms (well classic constipation?) and when they came through, they already had some drugs on hand and asked my dad to take those. They also performed a check for my father and told him the poop was too dry to be out.

Lesson to self: drink more than enough liquids when travelling long-distance on a car because your body would take away liquids from your intestines to supply other body parts when you are not drinking.

Thus, before we proceeded further, I asked my dad (kindly) to finish a whole bottle of water. They discharged my dad without further a due, but did not ask for a payment (!!). I asked about it and they just took a copy of my dad’s insurance policy – wow!

It was 3 pm by the time we were done with hospital, so we could not make it to Mount Gambier. We headed to Coonawarra Wine Region instead. It was another hour on the car so we could only visit one cellar door. It was a tough choice because last time we were here, my parents really enjoyed the wine here in Coonawarra.

We settled on Patrick of Coonawarra because I had the very affordable sparkling yesterday during lunch and that is always good sign.

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We sampled the sparkling again. It was retailed at $15 and we jumped at the chance for this bubbly!

The bubbly is a traditional blend of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes (same with most Champagnes). Very fruity, refreshing and stylish. We loved it, needless to say.

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But my favourite of the day (and so far) is this Sauvignon Blanc. Again, a lovely find in a region that specialises in red, like Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Grassy, refreshing and bursting with citrus aroma, this is a very rich Sauvignon Blanc. Excellent winemaking! (Too good that we finished the bottle on the penultimate day!)

We also bought a Cab Sauv and a Riesling – the Riesling is very good as well.

Some grapes were not harvested yet:

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For the evening, we booked a cottage with Carolynne’s Cottage in Naracoorte (http://www.carolynnescottages.com.au/) and it was perfect. And I don’t use the word perfect often – it was really, really, mind-blowingly good. For $200-ish a night for four, including a bottle of red wine and continental breakfast for all, it was excellent value for money.

Everything was done to meticulous details. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

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There were even chess in the cupboard in case we got bored! The attention to details was incredible.

For dinner, we chose to eat in the Chinese Golden Dragon restaurant in town. It was quite authentic but we were the only guests for most of the evening. In all fairness, if you stay in a cottage like mine, I would rather do takeaways!

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And my dad got the poop out in Patrick’s – so after all, it was a day nicely spent.

 

 

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