On the Move Again

I was on my way to the West Coast. Far, far away from Melbourne, and I wasn’t in a rush. I opted to take the train once again. First stop would be Adelaide, where I’d wait a couple of days before hopping on the train to Perth, the Indian-Pacific. While I was in Adelaide a couple things happened:

1. I got a new camera! My trusty Panasonic TZ5 has been with me for over 4 years. It has taken over 35,000 pictures and has been an outstanding camera. Looking back, that is one of those purchases that you just think about and go…’I chose well’. The camera still has a lot of life in it left, with the battery still holding out and the range on the lens (10x optical zoom) still very useful. But for my purposes I was hitting a wall. The camera just didn’t have the manual controls or flexibility that I wanted. It was struggling a lot in difficult lighting conditions, such as gorges and heavily clouded days. I wanted something with a bit more oomph…but not at the expense of carrying around a massive DSLR.

Enter the Mirrorless Camera system (also called Compact System Cameras). These didn’t even EXIST when I bought my TZ5, but they have now made a major impact on the market. CSCs have interchangable lenses like that of their larger bodied DSLR brethren, but have smaller lenses and bodies. They often are aimed at getting people to move up from point and shoots to more advanced photography. Olympus and Panasonic pioneered this technology, and after 4 years nearly all of the major camera manufacturers have put out a competing product (Canon is just now getting around to it). They are wonderful platforms to take photos with. And I found a new camera in the Panasonic GF3.

Not the newest camera of the bunch, I got an excellent deal on the camera and more importantly, a very versatile lens that makes the camera still pocketable for me in anything other than jeans. Excellent! I was excited to get out and try my new camera.

2. However, the other thing that happened in Adelaide was I fell ill. Nothing more than a pesky cold, but sick nonetheless. What a pain. Still, I was determined to get out and explore, especially at night – a time when my old camera was exceptionally weak.

Naturally, when sick a giant bowl of soup sounds great. And there was an excellent Vietnamese shop just down the block from my hostel. In addition to enjoying the soothing warmth of Pho, I also was playing a lot with the new camera. With a plethora of controls and options, it will take me a while to get as comfortable with the new options as I was with my old camera.

I wandered down to the main area of Adelaide and was surprised to find a large gathering underway, supporting Leukemia research.

These were the kind of scenes where my camera really struggled – night exposures. The new camera did considerably better, though I know it is going to take some learning on my part to really get everything down to where I’m pleased with the results.

Down on the main pedestrian street of Adelaide (Rundle Mall), there are pigs. There are 4 bronze pigs in total.

The next day was the beginning of my train journey to Perth, but with departure not scheduled until 6pm I had all day in Adelaide. Despite my deteriorating health I decided to press on and really do some exploring amidst a wonderful day.

I decided to make an effort to get into some greenspaces. While the downtown of Adelaide is wonderfully ringed by parks, these are city parks. I wanted more wilderness so after a consultation at the visitor info centre and a 30 minute bus ride I found myself in Morialta Park.

This was a lovely spot for some hiking, not far from the city centre. You could completely forget you were right beside a city of over a million people with scenery like this:

The Morialta Falls were the main sight of the park and they didn’t disappoint, either from afar or upon closer inspection.

Other than those scenes, nothing really stood out though. The weather deteriorated and started to rain at the end of my 3 hours of hiking and my body was outright rebelling against the physical exertion that had been pressed upon it. My day was done. Bedraggled and light-headed, I rode the bus back into the centre of Adelaide, retrieved my luggage and wandered over to the train station to begin my 48 hour journey to Perth.

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