We stopped in Adelaide for a few days, couchsurfing with Tony C. He’s a good guy, but like many Australians, he’s quite the character. Adelaide is one of those cities that at first glance is pretty, well-ordered and gives every outward appearance of a comfortable prosperity. People still say, “thank you” to the bus drivers here when they reach their destination. And indeed, Adelaide is in a bit of a bad spot. There isn’t enough water for South Australia’s growing population, and the economy isn’t growing as fast as it could be. It has the lowest average wage of all of Australia’s major cities and the highest unemployment rate. Young people have been moving to Melbourne, Sydney and Perth in search of better opportunities. Part of the problem is the country’s location. While Perth is often called the most isolated big city in the world, it’s still got a thriving port, a vibrant mining industry and access to world markets via the Indian Ocean. Likewise, Sydney and Melbourne are both closer to Pacific ports than Adelaide is. South Australia and Adelaide is an inconvenient distance from both hubs and from Darwin on the northern coast. There’s little incentive for companies to locate near Adelaide. I guess that’s why they make such good Shiraz and Riesling wines in the region. I managed to pick up a bottle of excellent Wolf Blass Shiraz when Tony, Julia and I popped into the winery one boozy afternoon.