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Shirley VK5YL, the Elephant Rider

On a recent cruise, Shirley went to see the elephants. Not only did she see them, she decided to be the daredevil she has always been and go for a ride.

In a recent email to me Shirely said: I've always been the one in the group to try the scary bits but I draw the line at bungey jumping. I joined a parachute club in my early 20s but gave it away when I wasn't allowed to fold my own parachute - "not allowed in case one wants to commit suicide" - I ask you. If you were that way inclined you would just forget to pull the ripcord I think. So, I resigned the next week. Then I wanted to go hang-gliding and approached a local club. "Sorry ma'am, no classes in South Australia" One has to go to Victoria, the next state east, as there have been too many "accidents" in this state.

Under the picture you will find Shirley's write up about her cruise and the ride.

I really enjoyed the elephant ride into the jungle. It was during our visit to Phuket, during our Princess Cruise to SE Asia. As it turned out we had two elephant visits but the other one was mainly to see the elephants performing for numerous visitors. They just loved the small, monkey we call them, and fed bananas freely from little baskets bought by unsuspecting tourists - yes we were one of them but it was such fun.

The jungle at Phuket was not as I imagined it, lush green and wet but lush green and very dry. The locals did say the monsoon was late this year thankfully for us. We did see one downpour, never seen rain like it, while we on the bus going back to the ship, which lasted one and a half hours.

Scooters are everywhere in Asia and no traffic lights to speak of in the parts we visited. The scooters were really zigzagging through the traffic and we were told that when, very infrequently, we had to walk across a road that once you stepped off the pavement into the line of traffic just keep walking as no one will hit you. Apparently the Asians have self preservation skills as if you have an accident, and report it to the police, you loose your drivers licence for a very long time. Scary, but jeepers it works.

I do hope your can manage the Echolink connection during the convention in Winnipeg. One of our YL Downunder Nets happened when we were on Norfolk Island last year and we managed to have a qso with Kirsti, the only YL on the island, and Bev, VK6DE in Geraldton 400 kms north of Perth - it was awesome. (we are working on this on the Committee side & it will more than likely happen-Val VE5ACJ)

33 Shirley - off to find yet another cool drink as the temp is rising to 40C today and 41C tomorrow - time for indoors relaxation.