With perhaps a tinge of regret, the Olympic Torch Relay entourage left the world-renowned Barossa Valley vineyards behind on Friday, heading south to the outer suburbs of Adelaide.
After departing Tanunda just before 8am, the relay passed through Rowland Flat, where one of Australia’s largest wineries, Jacob’s Creek, is situated. Beginning with a few vines planted by winemaker Johann Gramp in 1847, the huge property has become a mecca for tourists in the area.
As if to highlight just how deep-seated the passion for fine wine is among locals in the Valley, one Torchbearer, the Reverend Max Stollznow, admitted he had trained for his relay leg by running with a magnum of Barossa red held aloft.
By 9am, the relay had reached Lyndoch at the sourthernmost extremity of the sprawling wine region. Home to many beautifully restored squatters cottages, Lyndoch is one of the Valley’s most prolific grape-producing towns. Also situated in the area are the long-idle Barossa Valley goldfields.
Having covered a long stretch of open road, the relay reached the regional centre of Gawler. Despite drizzling rain, crowds of people wearing torch-shaped hats gathered five deep along the highway to watch the flame’s progress.
A local woman, Iris Stevenson, ignited the community cauldron to begin lunch celebrations, which featured performances by high-school students and the Gawler Town Band. There was also a parade of vintage cars and kids’ running races to keep onlookers entertained.
Following the rest stop in Gawler, the flame headed for the city, visiting a handful of Adelaide’s satellite suburbs. Among the Torchbearers in the town of Elizabeth Downs was Paralympian Elisabeth Kosmala.
Continuing through suburbs including Salisbury, Golden Grove and Wynvale, the flame reached Modbury, the final destination for the evening.
An Olympic shooter, Christopher Blake, was among the last Torchbearers on Day 37 of the relay’s trek across Australia. The evening celebration featured fireworks, a didgeridoo player and local violinists.
Source: SOCOG Olympics.com