A return to Adelaide after 29 years... and free bikes!

Robert showing his appreciation to all volunteer lifeguards, everywhere.

Our first trip to Adelaide was in 1988, when brother Paul was living and working in Woomera Village, Australia.  Caroline, Katelin, Tutu, and I had flown to Sydney to meet Paul, then he drove us along the south coast to Adelaide, up to opal-rich Cooper Pedy, and finally to "the land of flies," Woomera.

Did I mention that there were lots of bush flies?  This is where we learn the "Aussie salute."

But almost 30 years is enough to forget everything.  This trip to Adelaide was our opportunity to revisit this lovely city. And Caroline organized a memorable way to do it.

The Celebrity Solstice docked at 8 AM, and we were off the ship in 30 minutes.  We walked 5 minutes to the Adelaide Metro train station at Outer Harbor, bought a $10 AUD all-day pass, then took a 40 minute train ride to downtown Adelaide.  Caroline was a bit self-conscious, because the day before, on the UN's International Women's Day, I had poked her in the eye as we were swimming laps (she says I crossed over into her lane, and I say the opposite).  But the result was the same... Caroline got a shiner, and I get the glares!

One of the things that was unique (for me) was the bike situation in Adelaide.  We saw a few dockless bikes, and a few docked bikes.  What we also discovered was that Adelaide had a FREE bike system.  Yes, that's right.  You could go to a number of locations in the city, and with nothing more than a photo ID that you leave as a deposit, you can ride off with a serviceable 3-speed bike.  The 2 bikes we picked up at the Adelaide Convention Center needed cleaning and some TLC (and they needed the seat stem to go up another inch), but they were functional and free.  If you didn't turn them in that day, there was a $25 AUD charge, and the only real downside was that you HAD to return the bike to the same place you picked it up (to get your ID back).  Thus, no 1-way trips.

Picking up our bikes at the Adelaide Convention Center.

We started to go inland toward the foothills along the River Torrens, but only made it halfway as there was construction on the bike path.  So we turned around and headed for Henley Beach on the coast.  We pedaled about 50 km (32ish miles).  Then it was back on the train, and back to the Solstice

Overall, the shared bike and pedestrian paths were well-maintained, we saw lots of birds, I only laid my bike down once (sand on a curve), and we saw our first official billabong.  Oh, and Caroline forgot about her shiner for a few hours!

Our first official billabong!

"No discharge of offal, blood or offensive material into the sea."  What, I'm not allowed to swim?  Seriously, I think this is to discourage sharks and to maintain a beautiful Hendley Beach.

Of course, this recommendation applies to humans as well!

It's not just stingers, crocs, and sharks that will get you in Australia!

"Rising temperatures may see bat pups toppling from trees and the public is warned not to touch them due to the risk of diseases, including one which has killed three people interstate in the past."


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