Flirt with a biplane pilot

Coffee milkshake at Adelaide Biplanes museum near Aldinga, South Australia.

I imagined that if I arrived at the Adelaide Biplanes aerodrome on a bicycle in a breezy summer dress, I could flirt with a pilot and sweet-talk my way into his cockpit.

That didn’t quite happen. I did cycle a few kilometres from McLaren Vale to the airfield and museum, and I did scan my radar for pilots, but the place was quiet and none were to be found.

Instead, I ordered a thick coffee milkshake and watched a small plane practice taking off and landing from the comfort of the airfield’s vintage-themed café.

Says the Adelaide Biplanes website,

“Based at the vintage and charming Aldinga Airfield, Adelaide Biplanes is all about delivering some of the most awesome flying experiences it’s possible to imagine. From the joy and sheer romance of a gentle Waco biplane flight at 1,000 feet, along the scenic Adelaide south coast, or a vintage Tiger Moth flight with a stunning sunset as your personal backdrop, to an extreme Great Lakes biplane open cockpit Aerobatic Flight that offers a totally unique, adrenalin-pumping experience, that literally puts all your senses on overload. To the ultimate buzz of actually learning to fly at the most motivating, challengingly-fun, inspiringly-easy going and singularly safe Flying School. At Adelaide Biplanes, we have a passion for pretty much everything there is to do with aeroplanes.”

I was grounded this time, but rumour has it Santa Claus has logged a flight plan with the tiny airport. Maybe I’ll bump into the big fella next time around.

Cafe and museum at the Adelaide Biplanes airport near Aldinga, South Australia.
Cafe and museum at the Adelaide Biplanes airport near Aldinga, South Australia.

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Resist a shark-repelling surfboard wax

Chillax organic share-repellant surfboard wax in Australia.

Chillax is a wax that you dot on the top side of your surfboard. It’s designed to offend sharks. It’s organic.

According to Chillax’s Common Sense Surf Company Facebook page, Chillax Wax is “…heavily dosed with four organic essential oils and four strong spices.” I spoke to the inventor of the wax at the weekly Green Light Eco Market. He hinted that one of those essential spices is chili pepper.

There’s been some speculation on what the other ingredients might be.  One wag offered, “Chili peppers and other strong spices? Isn’t that what you’d tenderize a piece of meat with…?”

Me, I’m just learning to surf so rest assured I’ll stay in shallower, less-shark-infested waters.

And I can’t help but think the wax looks like a creamy, custardy, and spicy crème brûlée.

Chillax organic share-repellant surfboard wax in Australia.
Chillax organic shark-repellent surfboard wax looks tempting as crème brûlée. Does that make me a shark…?

The Chillax people hint that Version 2 of the wax will be even more repugnant to sharks:

“Chillax is an ongoing project of investigation and innovation; but with the help of consumers and supporters it will be made redundant by our second envisioned product – a shark repelling surf wax.

“This will be Chillax with a treated and olfactorily-tolerable Necromone, the scent of necrotic or rotting shark. This appalling stench makes sharks flee.”

More on Chillax surfboard wax:

Eat kangaroo

Bag of "Gourmet Game" frozen kangaroo meat on an Australian food counter.

I’m staying with Jared and Ruth and their girls Tilly and Delilah. They’re a modern family who try to live consciously.

That includes food. One member of the family is gluten-free, another dairy-free, and another meat-free, depending on the day of the week.

Tonight’s meal is a fusion affair: Italian-style spaghetti bolognese with ground, organic, locally-sourced kangaroo substituting for beef.

According to local company macromeats.com, kangaroo meat is:

“…one of the most sustainable, lean and delicious meats that Australia produces. Kangaroo is a 100% natural lean meat that is sustainably and ethically sourced from the open ranges of Australia. Kangaroos are free-ranging animals, the range over extensive pastoral areas of Australia, graze on natural vegetation and are harvested in their own environment…”

Eat kangaroo.

Order a long black

Cup and saucer of coffee on a cafe table at The Farm in South Willunga, Australia.

I just want a plain cup of coffee. But I discover that I must decide between a flat white and a long black.

I use Google to look up the Australian version of an ‘Americano misto’ and see that a long black is an approximate equivalent, just add milk.

Since I already know how to speak English, I use this language expertise to order “A long black with milk, please.” It seems to work.

√ Order a long black.

This long black is in a garden setting at The Farm, in South Willunga. It’s a cafe, winery, cellar door, olive grove, vineyard, and bed-and-breakfast accommodation.

Refuse pie as refuse

Garbage can at railway station says "No pies" in Lindfield, Australia.

Pie is trash, according to a garbage can at North Sydney’s Lindfield railway station.

It is foul and in need of disposing along with plastic bags, yogurt containers. and—diapers.

I dispute that. Pie is a delectable, flaky pastry filled with fruits or savoury fillings. It is delightful warm and with a cup of good coffee.

Pie is not akin to dirty nappies, City of Sydney train system.

Pie is not trash.

Question the wisdom of a garbage can.

NEW BLOG: Cycling France’s Canal des Deux Mers

Ulrike's bicycle on a dirt path next to the Canal du Midi, France.

Go to Cycling France’s Canal des Deux Mers

Hey hi! Check out my newest stories—a bike adventure along a historic canal that runs 500 kilometres across the south of France. The canal connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. It’s called Le Canal des Deux Mers—the canal of two seas.

I solo cycle-camped the Canal de Garonne, the Canal du Midi, a section of Mediterranean coastline including the Carmargue, and a bit of the Rhône River.

I drank wine, ate cassoulet, mingled with riverrains, joined some pagans, and slept with four Frenchmen on their canal boat—it’s a story.

To join the ride go to the Cycling France’s Canal des Deux Mers photo-travelogue. And if you’re keen, listen to a conversation about my journey on the Adventure Bike Touring Why I Bike podcast (45 minutes).

See you there!

Ulrike