October 25, 2002 - Adelaide 0km, 0mi *

I spent my last cycling night in the Flinders Hotel in Port Augusta. Like many of the rural hotels in South Australia, it features “Pokies” – a video slot machine/poker game thing that I don’t understand, but it’s a big addiction and controversy around here.

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Then I wandered around Port Augusta a little bit while I waited for the 6AM bus. They have a nice walking tour of the town with historical markers containing photographs and text of the history of the city.

In my calls to the USA earlier, I found that Tom had taken a good turn for the better and I was torn between continuing the ride (only 1-1/2 days left) or sticking with my adjusted plans. Tom’s condition has been variable, and I had already changed all my travel arrangements, so the bike and I ignobly got on the bus and headed to Adelaide.

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When I got to Adelaide, I rented a car and drove to Bernie Jones Cycles to get the bike packed up and sent back home. I last saw Jeff, Gary, Lynne and Tracey on 9/11, and they were as helpful to me in just shipping the bike back to the USA as they were to sell it. Then it was to the Medina Grand Treasury Apartment Hotel to check in, to a couple of shops to by some clothes (the expected package from the USA didn’t arrive) and back to the base of the Adelaide Hills and take a picture of the first mileage sign, which I missed 7 weeks ago.

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Stuart Clement and Glenys Thompson from Adelaide have been most helpful on this trip (see pix from 9/9 entry). We went over to their house for a glass of wine, played with their bird Vinnie a bit and went out for Chinese.

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I still had some time open on Friday, so I drove up to the Barossa Valley, just north of Adelaide, and checked out what some consider to be Australia’s best wine growing area. On the way back to town I went to Australia’s National Wine Institute and tasted some (more) of the stuff.

Thanks for coming along on the ride. Here’s to you.

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(Sept 25, 6:15PM Adelaide)

– I arrived Saturday morning at LAX, rented a car and headed down to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach to visit Tom. He was liberated, after 9 days, just a few minutes before I made it to the hospital. He is back in his apartment with Theresa and his mother, and recovering nicely now.

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