Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sat 20 Oct - Burra SA

Today is a non car day. We stay put and move our sorry... legs instead.

We decided to walk the 11km Burra Heritage Trail, which takes in 50 attractions around Burra.

You start by picking up a key and a map at the Visitor Centre, which opens up a number of doors to these attractions. You also get access to several museums along the way for the $25 per person that it costs. This self guided tour was recommended by some people we met in Mutatjinti National Park.

So, after breakfast, we begin...

On the Main Street, there are a number of historical buildings before we see this guy at the top of a chimney, called Peacocks Chimney. Apparently this guy was a bit of a mascot in the olden "golden" day called "johnny green".

Beyond the chimney is the main Burra mine site, today a number of stone buildings in various condition next to a water filled copper mine.
The engine house museum (below) is reconstucted after some kids burnt down the old building after trying to smoke out rabbits... as you do.
The museum was manned by a very chatty guy from Penrith who claimed to be a cousin of Ray Hadley on one side and Kate Fisher on the other side. He called himself KFC for Kate Fisher's cousin... Big sigh.
This is the view of the now waterfilled Burra copper mine from the Engine House Museum's balcony.
We were wondering about this modern looking construction on the dam.
Apparently, it is used to train deep water diving as the dam now contains salt water and is 220ft deep.
Adelaide Water Police comes here to train at a cost of $10,000 for 6 weeks per person.
An interesting early mining story about Nobs and Snobs that we read on a board.
We continued through the mine site and up to North Burra. Burra and North Burra are divided in the middle by this mine site and its surrounding.
Trying to find an open coffee shop failed, so we stopped at the Exchange Hotel for a long black coffee (Hans) and a lemon, lime and soda (Di), before exploring the attractions in North Burra.
The key took us into the former lockup and stables in North Burra:
And to the former Redruth Gaol in North Burra

After completing North Burra, the idea is that you take yourself to Burra in the south to complete the loop at the Visitor Centre. The Heritage Trail actually takes us just outside our camping ground, so it seemed like a good idea to stop there for a simple sandwich lunch (as tonight we have booked at the local Italian Osteria (yep, that's what they call themselves, needs to be roadtested) for Hans to get a Calzone pizza as they do have in on the menu.
Di is now feeling a bit heat-affected and wants a rest so after lunch she goes back to the campervan, while Hans continues with the rest of the Heritage Trail on his own.
It is very interesting with dug out holes on the river banks where some of the miners used to live, an old brewery with underground tunnels and an old cottage refurbished inside as per its time.

We had booked dinner at El Pecora Nero, which apparently is translated to The Black Sheep, THE place to eat in Burra. It was advertised as an Osteria and it has Calzone on the menu, so it must be good.

We arrived at 7am as per our booking and found the place pretty much full (the rest of town, including the pub where we had a drink beforehand, was empty). There is a huge pizza oven right in the middle of the room, and next to it is Paulo making pizzas at full speed as there is a continuous stream of orders.

The pizzas were ENORMOUS. We missed that at $16, the pizzas are for 2 people (not 1 person). Calzone also same size. Reasonably tasty, but missing key ingredients like chili, garlic and oregano so a bit bland for our taste.
The music was provided via an old record player in the corner, with lots and lots of vinyls around it. Very retro. When we arrived, they were playing Italian opera which seemed totally appropriate, but then came Santana's greatest hits and then Fleetwood Mac. As much as we like to listen to those groups, they were not entirely right for the place.

Di ordered a side salad (also huge) and Limoncello cheese cake (normal slice and fantastic), but neither of us could finish off our pizzas, they were just too big. Salad was also left over. Later, we noticed that groups of 4 shared 1 antipasto, 1 pizza and 1 pasta and that seemed to be just right.

"Rolling" back to the campground, we went to bed really full. Uuuuuhhhh, we ate too much...

On a side note, we started chatting to our nice neighbors at the campground, Peter and Toni. They run a horse farm in the Hunter Valley. Before introducing ourselves they had dubbed us "Heinz and Heidi" after mishearing Di call Hans and thinking that Di looked German. Funny. Heidi, in particular, has stuck a bit as a nickname for Di...

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