Words and photos by Che Chorley
I’ve made a few road trips in my time, usually in a van with a couple of mates, but rarely do you get to interact with those who call the coast home.
We drive in under the cover of darkness, roll out the swags and wake to the surf. We’re short on time, usually only on the road for a swell. Interactions with any towns we pass through are limited to the bakery during in the morning and the pub at night.
Perhaps once a year, we manage a longer trip, a week or ten days; that’s when you really manage to slide into the groove of the South Australian landscape. By day three you’re feeling good. You realise you’re walking taller; there’s a weight lifted off your shoulders. You’ve spent some time in the brine, got a few waves and you’re tired, but it’s a good tired, a tired you feel you’ve earned. It’s these moments which make a trip special, but after ten days you feel you’ve only just started to unearth the culture and pace of the coast.
This was one of the motivations behind my journey, Land Sea You Me. I wanted to stop in these communities, to slow right down, to meet and to hear the stories of the land and sea. I couldn’t do this in a car, and I couldn’t do it with mates. This was going to have to be me and the road. I wanted to meet the artists, the salty dogs, the rabble-rousers, the locals that are not meant to welcome you (they do).
For five and a half months I pedaled my way along the entire South Australian coastline, starting in WA and finishing in Vicco. My life was with me on the bike. It would be my kitchen, my studio, my home, and my shelter. Camping every night, waking to the light. I wanted to be immersed in the landscapes and seascapes of the coastline. To feel the weather, to sip the light and feel the earth beneath my feet, to hear the tree fall in the woods.