Friday, 30 November 2007
"Switch back" topography
There were a couple of nasty surprises for Mark today - the condition of his wheel was the first but having repaired that, he then had to face what he describes in the diary as the 'switch back' hills to the east of Adelaide. I have done a bit of investigation about the hills and here's what I have unearthed. You can see on the aerial view above that the southeastern suburbs of Adelaine end fairly abruptly along a line which coincides with some accentuated relief. It is so marked that I would go as far as to say that the city is hemmed in by the range of hills. These are the Mount Lofty Ranges which separate Adelaide and the Adelaide Plains from the lowlands of the River Murray to the east. And yes, it does look very 'uppy downy' as you can see when you zoom in a little.
The problem with aerial views like this when you want to look at relief is that they flatten the hills. You have to look for clues like the hairpin bends and tunnels to really understand what you are looking at. Clearly, from Mark's description of being two hours in low gear, the road across the Mount Lofty ranges is very steep!