Category Archives: South Australia

Welcome to Indiana!!

Who’da thought many years ago when I moved from Indiana to South Australia, that I would actually ride all the way back on a motorcycle!!??  I sure didn’t!!!

Wasn’t even a blip on my radar..  Now that I have, it will probably be something I will remember in to my old age… ha!

The last few months have been go go go..  so much riding, so many great countries, so many people.. so many goals to meet. I have absolutely loved it!!

But I can tell you I’m darn tired.  Ready for a break.. a break from trying to find a place to sleep at night.. a chance to wear something different (and be able to wash it anytime I want), play with nieces and nephews, not have to ride a motorcycle for a few days, but drive on four wheels, replace gear, get gear I have been wishing for (so much easier to do these things when you know your way around to the shops and don’t have to ask and get lost all day in a foreign language!)

One of the first things that hits me when coming back into the United States, is a trip to the grocery store.  Where you have an ENTIRE AISLE dedicated to the “chip”.

And another ENTIRE AISLE dedicated to “cola”.

It’s just a clear definition of American culture.. While in Italy, they had an entire aisle dedicated to pasta!  (and not the sauce, very little pasta sauce can be bought in Italy, you make it yourself!)

While in some eastern countries, they have entire aisles dedicated to beer and vodka, something you won’t see in an American grocery store.. We’re all different, that’s for sure.

I quite liked the Italian “wine aisle”.. easy to buy wine at $2 per litre, which was cheaper than coke! And healthier if not too much intake.. πŸ˜‰

It’s summertime in Indiana and good to be home with family and friends.. my first trip home without my Dad being around…

Here’s a little run-down of the family..

My sister Kim and her dog George are very happy!

My niece Julia is also.. happy!

Nephew Jack and his puppy..

My brother Joe and daughter Molley

Nephew Sam..

Nephew Joey.. (who I think is channeling James Dean today.. another Indiana native!)

Daryn, my brother’s wife.

It’s…. Summer time!!!

And friends!

The arrival of Clare, my good friend from Adelaide!

It will be quite an American experience for her here in the Midwest!  Very cool to come so far out of her way to visit…

My wonderful sponsor Pasi from Innotesco and Rukka have sent me a brand new complete riding suit!!  After wearing the first one every single day for the last 15 months, I feel honored they wanted to get me updated and looking sprucey!  Thanks a million Rukka!!!  http://www.innotesco.com.au/ in Australia and New Zealand.  http://www.rukka.com for the rest of the world. πŸ˜‰

Clare was handy as photographer as we take some photos of the new gear in a pretend professional photo session.. love love love my Rukka gear ;-))

We all went to my favorite place on the planet.. the Exotic Feline Rescue Center!

This is Joey, one kitty cat I helped raise a few years ago.. she is such a good girl..

with lots of gossip and love to catch up on..

 Herman tells Joey to move over, he wants to visit.. much to her disapproval..

Herman wins.. she moves and he contently lays down for his baby boy attention.. which I’m happy to give..

This is a painting another friend from Adelaide, Marie did for me of these guys when they were babies..  not in the painting is Joey who was on my leg.. Herman is the baby boy who always wants to be close, even now!  And Sumara sucking on my finger..

 I spy… two little eyes!

And Stephen McCloud, signing his new book for me.  Amazing photographer and book with photos and stories about all our resident cats.. Have a look and order one at http://www.exoticfelinerescuecenter.org  I guarantee you will love it!  I hate it when I sound like such a saleswoman.. but honestly, every person I’ve ever shown his books to have oooed and ahhhhed, loving the cats..

Joe Taft, Founder and Director

That boy needs a talkin’ to!!

Jean Herrberg..Assistant Director  Huge job, lots to do when looking after more than 230 big cats!!  and still has time for me! πŸ˜‰

Even lions are tree huggers…

Lauren, Jasmine and King

Today a new enclosure is finished and we are here to witness the lucky release of Leopald into his new home!

You know I love showing off these cats.. but I must mention that to have so many cats here is not a good thing.. They’ve all been rescued from wrong situations… illegal breeders, abusive owners, etc.  We have some horrendous stories of abuse to these animals before they were rescued.. you can read some of them at http://www.exoticfelinerescuecenter.org

They shouldn’t be living in peoples homes across America in the first place if you want my opinion.  There are more large cats living in America than in the wild.  There are countless cats still in peoples basements or far too small cages with concrete and gravel.. used as prop’s in a nightclub or being bred for parts to the Asian market..(why does a culture with such a massive overflowing population need aphrodisiacs in the first place!  I’m getting myself in trouble here, but had to say it..)  I always feel honored to volunteer my time and money to Joe and Jean and their huge undertaking of giving so many cats loving homes, large enclosures and plenty to eat.. they are truly the lucky cats to end up here..  EFRC has to turn away far more too many requests to take on more cats every day. I hope America wakes up and puts a stop to the madness of not only these exotic cats, but all exotic animals that don’t belong in your neighbors basement!!  ‘Nuf said…  sorry….

Clare prepares to go.. we all enjoyed so much having our true “Aussie” in the house!  What a treat!

Last but not least, Steve.. good friend and accountant, came by to see the bike.. keeping my American taxes and details in line! God knows I couldn’t!

And Brandon.. who’s fault it is that I started riding a Harley many years ago in America.. haven’t seen him in that long, so he was a bit shocked I was back in Indiana via my alternate motorcycle.. ha!

So this is my Indiana family and friends post.. ! And a great goal to meet that “sort of” marks my 1/2 way around the world… Not to mention the many milkshakes I managed during my time here.. I can certainly vouch that there is no other country that makes a better milkshake!

Lots of great home cooked meals by my family… a very very full three weeks.  I’m exhausted!! There was no rest about it as much as I was needing one.. This was more fun, I can do that later.. πŸ˜‰

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Vladivostok, Russia – More Tigers, Warships, and Love..

Was not joking when I said people here in Vladivostok love their tigers!  This man at the motorcycle club said he paid $2000 to have this one permanently printed on his skin!  Awesome work I must say.. I might consider that one for myself..  what do ya think.. ?  πŸ˜‰

So it’s another day in the life of Sherri Jo in Russia.. it’s a tough life too.. ha!  I am loving Russia so much..  After several weeks on Asian food, one thing I love the most here is the food.. But also the culture in general.. So many old buildings and history here..  Walter and I make our way around town organizing bits and pieces.

I didn’t notice this, but Walter did..  a sign for Australian food!

I know the word on top (Cafe) – that’s easy enough.. Under that is “Australian”.. which i would have worked out if I had stopped walking and stared at the sign, and sounded it out slowly..

And interesting they print “Country Fried Chicken” in English, and I quite honestly don’t associate such a meal with Australia.  Granted Australia has a big KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN culture (God knows why..?), which is technically American culture.

I am so happy with Russian food, that I will stick with that for now.. (Granted I did have a couple glasses of South Australian wine at dinner a couple nights ago…well you gotta do what you gotta do.. support SA!!)

Actually Walter has got me onto a Russian beer that I quite like.. I am not much of a beer drinker at all… the odd Coopers Sparkling Ale when in the mood.

But it’s been so hot and humid here, this one goes down really well.. it’s light with a bit of lime flavor, which I don’t think I would have ordered on my own..

That’s another good thing about having Walter around.. He’s been to Russia many times, and besides being able to organize things speaking their language (this is a massive plus!!), he knows the food and drink, and gets me to try things that I would have never known what they are..

One of my goals today was to try to organize a way to experience the tiger conservation efforts in this country (being one of the tiny few places on this planet that tigers still live in the wild..)

We head over to an office based here called THE PHEONIX FUND.  They agreed to meet with us, and I came along armed with some newsletters and photos from my favorite rescue center in Indiana, the EXOTIC FELINE RESCUE CENTER.  If you haven’t seen from my website, the address is http://www.exoticfelinerescuecenter.org

The directors at Pheonix didn’t speak English, however the girls do.. they showed us what they do and the challenges they have ahead.  Have a look at their site, they have done a lot for the tigers and include some amazing video..  http://www.phoenix.vl.ru/

They are connected with WWF, WCS, even Dreamworld in Queensland!  There really seems to be hope for the wild tigers after seeing what I did today… not like problem solved, but an amazing team who have already made progress.  If you have a love of wildlife and tigers like I do,  both websites mentioned above take donations and could really use your help!  I see these things online as well, but it was great to see conservation in action today..

Moving on in my day in the life in Russia, we head over to another office to see how we an get out to wild tiger country if possible..
In yet other office, it was time for ABC radio Adelaide Carole Whitelock’s show to call in for a progress report.
I pop outside to take the call..
Busy day!!  It’s amazing how stagnant we could be as we are not actually on the road yet.. However, every day is completely full!
Back out to organize wireless modems for our computers, banking etc.
Time to get out to the Iron Angels motorcycle club to check on the bike..
Hey!!  My new big fat Michelin Desert Tires are on!!  Lord have Mercy, they look mean.. should I be nervous!?  Umm.. I just won’t look at them too long..
Now, it’s an oil change too..
Those little dead fishes are still hanging ’round….
I like the mechanic here.. I can’t have a conversation with the man, but doesn’t seem to matter… beside that, he’s too cute in those overalls!
When he was finished, Walter asks him for the bill for me, and he wouldn’t take any money!!   I can’t believe it.. they did a lot of work for me.. and how do they survive if they don’t get paid??
Walter explains this is very typical in Russia.  It is so common for them to bend over backwards and not charge anything..
Love the Iron Angels Club – and they did earn a position on my pannier!!

 While hanging around the club I noticed another tiger!  This little guy was hanging around the other day as well.  Not sure who he belongs to, but he’s there all day entertaining himself.. I tried to say hello to him, he just puts his head down, and marches away like a soldier!!  Too cute.

Finally got him to stop so I could take a photo of his tiger.. have a look. He is just hating it…”take the photo lady and piss off!”
He likes Walter well enough, but Walter speaks Russian, so he is acceptable..  πŸ˜¦
Oops, there he goes again.. and he is NOT going to look at me!! 
So!  I have a plan, kids love to see themselves in a photo, so I decide to show him the photos I have taken of him and around the club.
It did the trick!!  He can smile!!  I am not the crazy foreign lady anymore!!

So much for the shy kid!!
Now he’s telling ME when to take photos of him!!
I must have “HAD” to take a couple hundred photos of him..  deleted most of them obviously.
All right little Motorcycle kid.. I give up.. let’s go back outside.
Still giving me the clicking noise so I will keep taking photos.. oh well I tried to escape!
Finally got him to give up with a little game of soccer in the yard with yet another tiger… a plastic bottle.. Shew!
How’s my bike doing anyway?
Lookin’ good!  Can’t quite say the same for the little fishes!!
All finished, pack up and head back into town and try to track down some dinner.
We try some local food on the beach, and when we  pulled up, the sight of all those warships off shore really struck me!!

And even a couple submarines!  Wowee, they look cool, not sure I’ve ever seen such a line up of border protection like this before.. is somebody coming for dinner?

There are more guns ready to fire here than I expected!!  Sorry that was really bad…. couldn’t help myself!  Looks like love and war are in harmony here in Russia..  πŸ˜‰
Photo credit to:  Walter Colebatch
(Somebody hijacked my camera at this stage.. there’s more, but you’ll have to check his site for those..  πŸ˜‰ 

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Day 5 – Eucla to Balledonia – 513 km!!

Big day, hey??  I felt a bit guilty for having the hotel treat, that I wanted an early start and accomplish some k’s.

The landscape changed so much during that ride.. however, it rained most of the day!  See, I knew I had it lucky Nullabor day!!

It was a new test of what Sherri Jo can do.  Haven’t ridden much in the rain before, and now that I am, I have a bike packed up with heaps of gear… and no windshield to soften the blow.

I was up for the challenge though, wasn’t bad at all really.  I do love my Rukka gear, and it literally kept me completely dry.  Really impressed with that.  And my handwarmers, did an excellent job keeping my hands warm.. not sure if I would cope riding in cold rain without those heated hand grips.  Also much credit to Innotesco and Rukka again for the gloves they sponsored me with.  Completely dry hands as well!

A really good little test.  My waterproof bag is actually waterproof – I was wondering!  Now I know!  (Can’t say the same for my waterproof tent however!, but that’s okay, the spray water protectant is on my list of little fix ups to do in Perth..)

I again had trouble getting photos, so I hope I can paint a little mental picture of a beautiful mystical magical day on the land.  Rainbows, big bad clouds of all shades of colors.. watching them roll in from so far away and how that makes the barren land and sparce trees stand out amongst those colors.  So many little forests of dead trees.. what would come to mind when I passed them is that they must be the “ghosts of Christmas past”…  Or another way to put in comparison, it was like I was walking down an aisle in a Cathedral, and all the elders since time began where watching me pass by.

To unshamefully prove how the mind plays when riding along all day.. here is an even worse example of how I entertained myself.

I know this is a mental thing, but I noticed myself singing Christmas songs in my head several times along the trip.. why???  No idea!!! might be related to my other mental glitch of singing Zippity Do Da – a lot!  To entertain myself!??  This is a real worry!  Especially when I then started singing Zippity Do Da, but changed the first letter (except for vowels)  For instance, start with “B”  Bippity Boo Ba, Bippity Bay! My Oh My what a wonderful Day!!…. Dippity Do Da… Gippity Goo Ga… Tippity Too Ta…  Rippity Roo Ra.. etc

Okay, that’ enough.. I finally made it to Balledonia, just in time as it was starting to get dark, and the kanga’s were out.

Here is a little skippy I met at the Roadhouse, who has a Joey in her pouch.. Joey was cute as a button!  But when I went to it’s picture, Joey popped back inside, and it was Mum who is sucking the thumb!!!  Glad to find after a long day that I’m not the only crazy one out there!  πŸ˜‰

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Day 2 – Port Augusta to Wudinna

Started off from Tina’s house, and went to fill up with fuel.  Really had to park my bike at the roadhouse like a moron, just to get the kick stand down.  But I got the job done, and got the Air freight express guy to help me hold the bike to get the kick stand back up.. boy did he have a funny story to tell!  (As I find nearly every time I stop for fuel!  I actually don’t think I have filled up without somebody coming over to talk to me!!… I think my bike is a man magnet… πŸ˜‰

Now past Port Augusta, it’s off into the Outback.  I felt a bit queezy looking down that long stretch of road with red dirt.  Very scary at first to think, I’m going OUT THERE – ALONE!!!

I really was worried as all heck, but then that fear was overtaken with the fear of a Roadtrain trying to overtake me.  And the wind, wasn’t really bad, but enough for my 2nd day nerves…

I stopped at Iron Knob.  Iron Knob!!  I never stop there!  But glad I did..  Very quiet desperate mining town, so me and an old park bench had a gander..  Once I had my juice, I decided to tackle the next bit.

My goal was to get to Wudinna..  I knew there was nowhere I wanted to camp after that.. was a perfect place to stop.

As I was setting up my tent, a lovely couple pulled into the next site.  They remembered me, because on the road, I PASSED THEM!!  This is a big deal, because I am so slow.. for me to pass anybody is unheard of.  But they were going 75 mph, which is even slow for me.  (Now that I am currently in Margaret River, I can add that out of this whole trip I’ve passed a total of 2 vehicles… )

Just in case Mr. Sam is reading, he would be happy to know that I found myself speeding on the Nullabor, 113 KM/hr!!

Anyway, summary to Wudinna… a successful day complete..

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Day 1 – Adelaide to Port Augusta

Lots of update catching up to do!!  It’s been a lot to get used to, and of coarse no mobile reception across most of the barren country.  But now in WA, I can get to work!  Well, sort of… I’m still 2 days away from Perth…

So!  Day 1!!  Woke up at 2:45 AM, in my empty house, from sleeping on the floor in my sleeping bag.  With all that was happening the day before, still hadn’t managed to pack up the bike.  I was worried and decided at the hour to get to it…

Darn good thing I did!!  It took every bit of that time to get it all together..  I had asked my property manager how much time I had in the morning the previous day.. he said they won’t pick up the keys until 9 AM, so probably to 9:30.  Well at 8:00 AM, the moving van showed up… panic!!!

Really nice guy/tennant, and very understanding.. so I showed him around, and they left me to finish.  I threw a pile of things into the shed I intended to bring.. they just didn’t fit.

Then I was off!~

Scary, nervous – the works!!

Made it across the city and started up the big road to Port Augusta.  Very careful riding the bike with both fuel tanks full and my load… I kept it slow and easy, and luckily, there are double lanes long enough for me to get up to speed.  Couldn’t wait to get to Port Wakefield for lunch.

First stop, and the bike nearly fell over when I got off.  The kickstand is way wrong… (more on that later, as it limits me every stop I make including fuel stops)

Got my now favorite and standard toasted cheese and tomato sandwich.

Then on to Port Augusta.  Went really well, got used to big trucks, even the road train that passed me, and how that wind was trying to pull me forward!  Learned then and there, even though I was warned, you gotta stay AHEAD of those trucks!

Finally about 3:30, I pulled in to P.A., to my friend Tina Haigh’s house.  It was so good to see a smiling face after that very long day.

She is has been my friend for many years, and hadn’t seen her or family for about 3 years I think?

Sophie and Willam home from school, off to feed the horses and watch sophie train hers with jumping.

I’m so exhausted ready to pass out, Tina offered to make Steak and veggies, but kids and I voted for macaroni and cheese with ketchup on top – ya!  It was super duper delicious!  I only lasted til about 8:30, and off I went to bed and passed out immediately.

More blogs updates coming.. but out of time, really need to hit the road again.. Should have more time in Perth to do a proper catch up.. see ya!

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Bike Augmentation Again!

Boy, this bike keeps getting bigger and bigger!  I think we have similar body shapes now!!

Yesterday my Touratech Panniers went on, and they are awesome..

Just remembered when we were taking photos down by the beach the other night, these 2 surfers pulled up in their station wagon to have a look, and one of them said, “Hey, you look like you’re on a trip around the world..!”  and I laughed and said, “yes I am!”, and he wondered where I started from, and I said, “Dude, haven’t left yet, I start from here!”  
And that was without panniers.. if only he could see me now!  
Thanks again to R & V Aqualine and Touratech for their roles and discounts in getting these panniers.  They will make organizing my gear so much easier!
And thanks again to Peter Stevens Motorcycles at Morphett Vale.  Again they sponsored the labor, and I can not thank them enough!   
And then there is Billy and Graham – much like the Reverand himself!  Thanks guys!
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Big Fat Flat

Ooooooh, big fat flat tire!

To continue on with our lovely country Sunday drive..

Once we decided to start heading back to Adelaide, only moments after making the turn the bike was out of control.  Back end was all over the place.  Even then I thought, wow this road doesn’t look much worse than the rest, I wonder why I am having trouble controlling the bike?  Then I slowed down.. still happening and even slower… seemed like the back end was doing a dance and didn’t invite me!!

So I stopped… Sam turned back to find out why I stopped.

Being a brand new bike and brand new tires…. I hadn’t got to my safety mode yet to say that I should be carrying spare tubes and fix-it stuff.

So, Sam the Savior rode 36 kms to the next town to track down the fix-a-flat spray.  He came back with 2 cans as he says ” just in case one of them didn’t work”.  Smart man!!  Because the first on didn’t work!!!!  Can you believe it?  Have a look at the thing we pulled out of my tire!

But the second one did. I was a bit apprehensive to drive on a tire pumped up by a spray can, but that’s what the directions say to do so that it spreads around inside the tire.

I got about 1k down the road and off that bike went into dancing mode again!

This time we pulled over and I called the RAA.  (from the top of a hill, as there was mobile reception there..)  The lady couldn’t work out where we were, she wasn’t getting the streets names in their system. So she determined I was a special needs case – Ha!!  Fair enough!  And she had me contact a towing company direct.  So gave him directions and he called back “Can’t find it!  Road is not on my map!”  Urgh!

No worries – Sam the Savior went into town and drove the truck and crew back to me.

Felt very very guilty to have Sam running around to take care of these things.. In the meantime,  and since there was nothing more I could do, I got to hang out and enjoyed a most wonderful summer breeze through the bush.  Many many kangaroos all around.  I laid on the dirt and got some much needed knee exercises done required from my surgery last Tuesday… watched the clouds pass by, played with the ants, emailed the tax accountant in America from my iphone.. you know the important things!!

Eventually I got towed back to town… and then back home to Hallett Cove around 8:30 Sunday night.  (Drama started around 11:30 AM)

Great great experience for me.. Haven’t had a flat tire of any sort for many years and never had one on a motorcycle.  I learned a lot, and can see how important it is to be prepared with water, tools and credit card…..  πŸ˜‰

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Onto The Dirt Roads

Nice day for Sunday country drive…

Training day with the help of a very experienced rider Sam.  And what a great teacher he is!!!  Intention was to learn how to handle the bike better on dirt roads, since I will be facing a fair few of them over the year or so..

Learning how to correct the bike as it swings around on the slippery gravel.. and how best to balance and distribute my weight.

I enjoyed it more than I expected and have to say that after yesterday I think I like riding on gravel roads better than bitumen!

Probably shouldn’t say that too quickly.  But more training to come with Sam, and more intense next time..  so – stay tuned!!

p.s.  Sam rides a BMW 650 Dakar.


White Knuckle Day!!


It is White Knuckle Day!!

Very very windy day… a real treat when you are riding a motorcycle!

Well.. maybe not a treat, but I had to take it that way, otherwise I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself.  The wind was knocking me around on the road, it is really strong.. The horizon was completely brown from Outback dust being blown around, and total white caps on the water.  Watching the sand swiftly shift on the beach was exactly like watching snow drifts form in a blizzard in Indiana!!

It’s hard to tell by the photos, but I’m surprised the bike stood up on it’s own without being blown over.  It actually did come up while I was taking a photo and thank goodness it didn’t go bad.  When I heard the kickstand land back on the ground, it was a massive relief!!

Stopped for a little break here at Maslin’s Beach.  South Australia’s first Nude Beach!  The beach itself was a bit nude today – too windy for nakedness I suppose!  Because it wasn’t that cold…

Such a beautiful place.  My little bike is getting a great tour of South Australia before we hit the road for the big one!!

Ticks me off!! Those pictures look so calm and beautiful, not a hint of the wild weather!!  It was hard to even stand up alone in that wind!!

I need a name for my bike.. any suggestions??

It will look a lot different next week.  We go in Wednesday to have a mass of accessories put on – not all, but a few.

One of the biggest cosmetic changes will be seen later after we install the Safari petrol tank.  This add-on tank which will be supplied by R & V Aqualine of Australia will give me an extra 14 litres of fuel.  With the existing 12 litres, a total of 26 will allow me to travel much longer distances between drinks!!  Show you that one later.

This week.. Peter Stevens KTM is putting together too many accessories to mention, but all very necessary!!  More on those later as well, because it will make much more sense once you see the photos..

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Magic Boots!

It’s been more than 10 years since I have ridden a motorcycle.  I had a Harley Davidson Sportster 883 in America.   Completely different style of riding, low riding and lots of chrome..

This new KTM sits up really high.  My first few little rides were nervewracking… went very slowwww. I don’t have all the proper gear yet, which may have contributed to my nerves…  But then!  I remembered I had my old Harley boots in my closet.  I dug them out and put them on yesterday.  Took the bike out and completely forgot what I was worried about!  I went through round-abouts much more smoothly, up and down steep hills and made it to Peter Stevens KTM.  I couldn’t tell you the difference between riding last week and then this week – SO IT MUST BE THE BOOTS!  Confidence returned!! They must be magic…

Ordered a lowering link from America to bring the height down a bit.  I am 5’9″ and I can only hold this bike on my tippiest of tippy toes!  With the Koubalink lowering link, which Jamie installed for me yesterday at KTM, I can balance the bike with the balls of my feet now.  A big, much needed, welcome difference.

So with MAGIC BOOTS and LOWERED BIKE,  it was full steam ahead today (Sunday).  Honestly I thought I would just run out the door for an hour or so as I have a bizillion projects to get done today.  BUT, it is such a gorgeuos day in South Australia, and I felt so good on the bike, I just went for it.

Straight down the fleurieu peninsula,  first stop Sellick’s Beach.. Then through
Yankalilla and on to Carrickalinga for a
a little break.  Thought I would turn back here, but I just 
wanted to keep going!  Ended up at
Cape Jervis, with a little stop to watch the ferry pull in from
 Kangaroo Island.  The ocean is so deep 
and blue there..  I love South Australia as much today as I 
did on my first trip here.  Actually Kangaroo
Island was the first place I was ever taken in this country, 
and I nearly boarded the ferry right then!



6 hours later…. I made it home.  Only complaint?  Butt got a bit sore…
even with the amount of padding I have been graced with all my life.