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  • Writer's pictureLéonie Kelsall

Road Trip - and a top secret recipe!

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Thanks to the dedication and determination of the library staff, we finally managed to take The Farm at Peppertree Crossing on a COVID safe tour of South Australia's Riverland last week.

For once, I got to take the passenger seat as Taylor (aka The Kid on my social media posts) was chauffeur. She was also personal assistant, photographer, bookseller, and in charge of social media posts. Except if they were really entertaining. Then I'm claiming them :-)

First stop was Karoonda, a sheep and wheat town about 160km east of Adelaide. When I'm working on the description of a small rural town, Karoonda is one that often comes to mind. And the pies!! Make sure you stop in at the local bakery - though try to get there before mid-afternoon, or you'll have to share one!

The silo art is stunning - but I've yet to structure my trips so that we catch the night light show.

Although we did spot some quintessentially rural Australian Christmas decorations at Zoar Farms!

The weather was fabulous for the entire trip ... okay, by fabulous, I mean well over forty degrees - eek!! Although the wide-open spaces and proximity of the Mighty Murray helped temper that a little, to prove that I'm incredibly smart, I booked accommodation with a swimming pool at Berri Big River Golf and Country Club. Sounds posh, right?

Unfortunately, the local ducks and their five ducklings also thought so, and had taken up somewhat messy residence in the swimming pool!

Wednesday saw us up bright and early (well, me, anyway. Apparently, The Kid does NOT function well without coffee!) and off to Renmark Paringa Library for a booked-out chat there. Huge thanks to Maxine, Deb and Heidi for making this happen, and to the Renmark newspaper for featuring a story that had me recognised at the local Op Shop! (yep, we hit all the Op Shops on the way!)

And look, I unintentionally managed to match my outfit to the library's colour scheme!

Now comes the sad part of the tale. Berri Library was absolutely wonderful, with a very invested audience, lovely new readers (special hello to Amanda and Carol!) and SO much work done by Peter, Cynthia and Bree, who had even purchased a copy of Peppertree and three other books to hand out as door prizes. Yet, somehow, we don't have any photos.

If anyone has photos from the Berri event, pleeeeeeeese send them and I'll add them to this post.

Our final event was at Barmera, home of the most beautiful streetscaping, with huge jacaranda trees overhanging rose gardens in the centre of the street, framed by the vista of Lake Bonney in the background. I didn't take photos because it's completely postcard-worthy, so I thought I'd be able to pick up better ones online - yet there aren't any! I'm a little devastated, so if anyone there wants to run out and snap me a photo while that lovely carpet of purple is still covering the ground...

By the time we arrived, it had hit 42 degrees, and we were melting - but that didn't stop the keen readers from turning out for a fun event hosted by the lovely Peggy and supported by Sue, Joella, and Jodie. Even the table was rustically decorated with Peppertree fronds!

Then, with slightly heavy hearts - and very heavy stomachs, thanks to wonderful gift baskets of local Riverland produce so kindly provided by the libraries (despite the fact that it was US who should feel grateful for all THEIR hard work!), it was time to head home.

Of course, although you can take the baker out of the kitchen, you can't stop her creating food, so here was my final road trip triumph: Sour Patch Kid Sandwich! (I'll be devastated if the video doesn't play, as it was a culinary triumph!)

Till next time!

Léonie x

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