Australia is truly a huge country. The second part of our journal is continue, surely a long one. Our wheels still rolling and the story come along, we slowly see through our eyes. The first part is our big adventure crossing the long distance and facing difficulties. We are a about half way, we both have a warm feeling that will never forget on this land.
June 2002, we stop biking for one month and stay in Adelaide, South Australia. We have lots of activities and a great friendship with people, lots of memory in our heart. It is so difficult to say goodbye after we get to know each other.
June 1, 2002
We both say goodbye to Anong and family at Parafields Garden and then bike to city centre of Adelaide. It is quite an easy ride on the bike lane. We try to find a backpacker around the city with a map. One of them is closed, may be it is on Saturday. We met an old man, he gives us a brochure of Adelaide Backpackers Inn and said "welcome you two to Adelaide Backpackers Inn" with a smile and then he left on his van. We have a warm feeling and decided to striaght to Adelaide Backpackers Inn. We plan to stay in Adelaide for a week seeing the city and complete our "to do lists" then continue our route to Melboure and Sydney.
We both have a good rest and give a talk to 4 schools as we wish. We could share our story and discuss & exchange ideas between Australian students and Thai students how they study at schools. We talk about "dreams" and our journey on a bicycle. Why we dream…what about your dream…? A dream which is possible, a dream with a reason and make our world more beautiful. We get to know student's dreams. We give a talk to The Heights High School, Parafields Garden School, Mercedes College and Restrover College, the students are nice and high capabilities.
We explore Adelaide by walking on our 2 legs. The tourist information centre is everywhere. Staffs are helpful and give a good service, she work for no money as a volunteer. We did get a good advice and service. We meet Jane Rogers and Shirley who work at the Tourist Information booth. Jane invites us for a dinner at her place and wants us to meet her daughter namely "Skye". Skye picks us up at Adeliade Backpackers Inn. We enjoyed the dinner and had a good conversation with her family. We met Trish, Rob and family at the dinner. Trish was an exchange student in Thailand last 18 years. She speaks Thai fluently. Trish and family all have a Thai name. Trish & family have been keeping in touch with Thai family in Sataheep Province very close. Skye also was an exchange student in Trad province in Thailand for a year, she learns Thai and speak Thai fluently. Shirley also invites us for a dinner at her place. Her husband picks us up. We meet her friends, a couple namely Robin & Bobbie. They all are good friends. They retire from work and do a volunteer job. They explore the world all together every year. We get to know 4 good friends with different in our age. We did enjoy the dinner and learn good story that will be useful to our journey. Our relationship with these people is not ended. Jane and Skye drives us to Adelaide Hill and George Wildelife Park, we both have a chance to hold Coala. Jane shows us her old house where she used to live long time ago and tell us her story when she was a little child. She had to walk to the town and barter for food with meat and milk. Trish and family drive us to Goolwa, 100 km. We could feel the warm family and beautiful view both sides along the road. She takes us on the first history train of Australia to Victor Harbour. Then, we sit on a big horse ride, very strong horse pulling large number of passenger crossing to the island to see the view, penquin birds and whale watching. We learn the history and come back to backpackers late at night after having Thai meal for a dinner. Thank you for your kindness to everyone.
June 16, 2002
Sunday Mail Newspaper has printed our story. We saw the news with people on the train. We had free ice cream as he admire our courage and respect for what we both are doing. We get many email messages to congratulate and give us courage after the news is printed. We did across the Nullarbor with difficulties on the desert. We still do a lot of planning for the rest of the journey in Australia.
June 18, 2002 Anne Allen invites us for lunch at Regency Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Anne will be 83 years old, she live alone in the retirement village. She has a good health. She always have smile on her face. She really wants to meet us. She said that we inspire her very much. Not at all, we feel that we are so little boy and girl compare to her age. Anne learns how to use computer and internet when she was 80 years old. She drives, takes buses and walks in the city. We feel that we have got the energy for the trip. We visit her home and cook Thai food and dessert, she really like it. She ask to meet us again at the Regency Grand Hyatt Hotel. Anne tells us that she surely will have long life at 100 years old. She ask us as when she celebrate her 99th birthday, will we both come to visit her? we say "YES" with a promise.
This evening, there is a young man waiting for us in Adelaide Backpackers Inn, his name is James. He loves cycling and drives us to the top of Moutain Lofty seeing the whole city view of Adelaide. He drives on the narrow road in the middle of the beautiful forest and reach to his home on the peak of mountain. We met his parents. His family have a Spring Water business producing spring water to 5 brands in Adelaide. James comments that life is not only working very hard, he would love to learn about the world. His parents support his ideas and give him a support.
Robin & Bobbie call us and want to show us around Adelaide. They drive us to Barrossa Valley and visit wineries. They insist that we would have not arrived Adelaide if we have not visited the Barossa Valley. The famous winery and vineyard to the world are here. We see different wine brands and visit German town. We had a lovely dinner at Robin & Bobbie's home with family & cousins. We had a good walk and relax in Glenelg.
About the old man who gave us the brochure of Adelaide Backpackers Inn, his name is Peter. Everyone in town knows him. His name is written to the diary of all backpackers came from different parts the world. We couldn't miss his story, it is so special at Adelaide Backpackers Inn. Every guest who stay here would have free apple pie and ice cream as much as you'd like every night, everyday at 9.15 p.m. Peter would walk to every corner and say "Pie time…Pie time" We recommend that this is a lovely place, great service and very pleasant stay. We enjoyed Pie time for one month!!!. We had stayed here for a week. Debra, the owner tell us that we don't have to pay from now on, we could stay as long as we would like. Debra & Malcome give us a great support. Debra had a pleasant trip in Thailand and got a great help from many Thai people so she would love to help us do something to thank Thailand. Not only free apple pie & ice cream , all guest have free rice, free coffee, free tea, free milk, free sugar, free spice. We thank you very much to Debra, Malcome, Peter and Pie time for a great support.
June 30, 2002
We stay in Adelaide so long 1 month and remember every corner so well, lots of story, good memory and friends. We already record in our memory that will stay with us long long time. Today, we are leaving Adelaide and continue our route which our heart has a passion. We are heading to Melbourne with the distance of 1,000 km along the coast instead of biking on highway A8.
8 o'clock in the morning, everyone is waiting for saying goodbye to us. Debra, Trish family, Korean friend, Dutch Friend are there. We talk to one another long time, it is a difficult feeling to say goodbye. We are like cousins. Trish's son & daughter come to us and give us hugs and kisses. We are on our bike and turn right at the junction to Mt. Lofty. It is not easy to leave Adelaide because of the relationship with the people and the crossing big steep moutain. The road getting out of Adelaide are on many big mountains, many kilometres and difficult to estimate the time taken to cross the big hills. We try very hard to across the steep hills. James is waiting for us to bike with us for some distance. We are very slow to cross the mountains. James decided to give us the direction, otherwise he would not be home on time. We stop at Stiling and have hot soup to keep us warm. We bike to Strathalbyn, 60 km uphill and downhill, quite difficult. The beautiful scenery gives us a happy ride. We pass cattles and sheep farms and different beautiful hills.
Our destination is at Summer Hill (Jendo Park). We have a long climb and downhill all the way to Strathalbyn. We arrive Doug & Jenny's home late evening. (We had met them in Fowlers Bay while they went fishing.) We had a promise to meet again and asked for homestay for few days. We had called them and let them know that we are on the way. They worry about us as we arrive very late evening and it is getting dark on the road. Doug was driving to find us. Doug & Jenny welcome us to their home among with friends. We had a lovely dinner and feel so warm. They introduce us to friends and neighbours. We had a good sleep and happy at that night. We also meet one man who gave us fish at Fowlers Bay, he drives so far to meet us and have dinner with us here.
We plan to stay for 2 days in Strathalbyn. The rain seems no end. We get up in the morning the heavy rainfall is still long time. We need to stay longer for 5 days at Jendo Park. We did get a great experience while staying here. We went to see a horse riding to chase the cattles, it is a big farm called "station". Doug ride a horse so well, he is also good at chasing cattle with a horse. We help Doug & Jenny feed sheeps and cattles in the evening everyday. Jenny shows us around Strathalbyn while Doug is going to work. We had a good meal for dinner and sometimes we cook Thai food for them. Five days is so short, we again have to say goodbye. Doug & Jenny give us an opportunity to grow trees at "Wan and Mou's corner". We are so proud. Doug tell us "you have a quick ride back home, on the day that you two arriving Thailand, we will welcome you home". It is very difficult for us to leave.
We leave a lovely town of Strathalbyn and ride on our bike to the east. We pass vineyard and farms. It is still rainning. We pass a big Lake Alexan Drive that lead to the Murray River which is a major rive of Australia where is the boundary of Victoria State and other states. We arrive Wellington and stop for food beside the Murray River. We cross the river by taking a small ferry (available 24 hours). We wonder why not building a bridge, all cars have to cross the river with the ferry. We feel good when across the river. The road bring us to M1 Princess Highway after crossing the river. The wind is so strong and changing directions at times. This is one major factor to a cyclist.
July 5, 2002
We have an address of one host at Tatiara Station where is 80 km to Doug & Jenny's place. Tatiara Station is belong to Tricia and Barry McClure who we will visit them and have never met before. We had made a phone call and let them know that we will be arriving today. Chompue had contacted them for us. Tricia and Barry is the parents of Chompue's student. We see the sign "Tatiara Station" but couldn't see the house. Luckily, Barry was driving and about to be home. He welcome us to an old house about 1 km from the front gate. Tricia and Barry own 8,500 acres (about 20,000 rai). Tricia & Barry told us that some farm is 50 km long and the area about equal to England. Wow, it is so big.
Tricia & Barry work very hard in the farm, their age is 60 years old. All the children is grown up and live in foreign country. They still enjoy working in the big farm. They have another farm at 90 km far from this farm at 6,500 acres and feeding thousands of cattles.
Tricia shows us around the big farm, seeing Sand Dune, crossing the lake and grass field far far away. Barry get up very early and spray the grass, sometimes growing vegetables. They carefully plan on the farm work, taking care of cattles very deep detail. We asked when Barry is going to retire of work or let other people take care of his farm? Barry answer "it is up to the children if they like it or not, if not we will sell the farm."
The house we stay is 102 years old, Tricia told us. Every corner is like the old time, the equipment and decoration is antique including the oven. There is good infrastructure like internet access and phone, and water pipeline. Even the distance between the houses is 10 km, it is so convenient and good facilities.
We again have to say goodbye, we plan to meet again in the next 2 days
at another farm. Tricia & Barry will go to take care of another farm for
one day. We get to know each other and have a good friendship like cousins
who we respect so much.
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