Generations ago, there were song lyrics about visiting family, “Over the river and through the woods”. Mike Kerr experienced a much longer journey to visit his daughter and son-in-law. He traveled 20-plus hours in the air to arrive in Adelaide, South Australia.
He said the longest leg of flight was 15 hours from Dallas, Texas, to Sydney, Australia. Near 500 passengers rode with him on the Quantas plane. The flight from Sydney to Adelaide was another 2 1/2 hours.
Adelaide is capital city of the state of South Australia. He reports having had an awesome time. He made the same trip in 2017, and as back then, found the people to be very friendly. He and his family enjoyed innumerous activities, including area tours and walks in Belnair National Park. At the latter during several walks, a total of 14 koalas were seen.
A U.S. Air Force veteran, Mike again visited the Anzac Centenary Memorial Walk. The monument, made of Adelaide black granite, memorializes the servicemen and servicewoman who gave their lives during wars and recognizes the community.
He toured St. Peters Anglican Cathedral with its beautiful stained glass windows, which was constructed in 1869. He got to visit the University of Aelaide where his daughter, Dr. Monica Kerr, is director of Career and Research Skills Training. He and his family dined out often and Mike enjoyed much sea food and various Asian cuisine.
He said people always ask him about the kangaroos and koala bears. At the Deep Creek Conservation, 100 kangaroos were seen in the wild. He was able to get many photos, from a distance. The animals, though wild, seemed used to seeing people nearby.
Mike saw a variety of birds. The beautiful pink and gray Galah Cockatoos; the Lorikeet, with the colorful plummage, a species of parrots. Another white Cockatoo species was seen often on the grounds of such areas as golf courses.
He often heard the loud laughing sounds of the Kookaburra, a large robust Kingfish family bird in the national park. “It sounds hilarious!”, he said, though he never actually saw the bird.
And then there are the “Flying Foxes.” In recent years, a colony of 17,000 of them moved to the area near Adalaide Botanical Gardens and the zoo. He explained they are a fruit bat with wingspans as wide as 2 to 3 feet. They hang in trees upside down and are quite vocal. Though mostly active at night, Mike said he saw some moving about during the day.
He attended a couple of footy games, a version of our pro-football, but a combination of football and rugby. In the Adelaide Oval Stadium, he watched their version of women’s footy grand final, similar to our Super Bowl. He said there are eight women’s teams, and the Adelaide Crows (a name similar to Baltimore Ravens) won.
There was no charge for the tickets to watch the women’s grand final, and the stadium had over 53,000 spectators. The women do tackle their opponents, but don’t wear helmets or padding. He said one female player was carried off the field by medical personnel.
He said everything is more expensive there. This included a men’s haircut that he received for a $30 fee. He said there is no tipping; it’s included in the fee.
Mike hopes to go back and visit in two years, adding that it’s good to be home, too, when returns.