So happy to see blue skies again. The farmland is starting to look a bit more Australian to me, not as American-ish. There are some crazy trees with long long skinny skinny pale trunks with branches only growing at the top, reaching up, and bushy leaves on the very top of the branches, like a tree toupee. The houses all have either clay tile or tin roofs; the tin roof ones look older, a bit rusty, vaguely victorian & very Australian.
I'm talking with so many different nationalities that I find myself thinking in an accent or using words & phrases I wouldn't normally use. So if you notice it in my writing, I'm not trying to be pretentious, I'm just easily influenced. ;)
We went to Wilsons Promontory Natn'l park for a bushwalk & wildlife watching. Ventured out to a grassy meadow where we frightened some pink & grey galah birds & came across a mob of kangaroos! (yes it is actually called a mob) there were SO many! Saw a joey climb into the mom's pouch with just his little feet sticking out. Watched them graze & hop & argue; there were a few does teaching their joeys what to eat & one buck laying in the shade. The pics here are awful but I got some really good ones on my camera. It was so so neat.
Our guide showed us the deadly red back spider; I took a picture & then I felt all creepy-crawly. Ick.
Saw cockatoos, emus, wombat holes (but no wombat - they're shy) and brilliant red & blue birds. Saw grass trees, which grow something ridiculous like 3cm every 50 years. Saw streams stained the color of an English cuppa (as in, "would you like a cuppa n a biscuit, luv?") from the tea trees along their edges. Saw eucalyptus trees that had been burned black & looked like they were wearing leafy coats bc of all the new shoots sprouting.
The Australian bush actually needs fire to survive. Some of the plants seeds won't burst unless under extreme temperatures. In California, we rage against wildfires, but here they're an essential part of life. I think the human experience can be likened to the eucalyptus tree; we're often put through very painful challenges but without them we wouldn't grow. The blossoms are worth the fire.
Ok that's my deep thought for the day. :)
We hiked up to the top of the promontory, overlooking Bass Strait which is the body of water between Australia & Tazmania. Amy, Sarah, Rosie & I accidentally walked past the lookout & up to these huge rocks at the very top of the cliff - oh my - the view was spectacular. All around us were green mountains, white beach, the robin-blue sky & turquoise water. And not another human in sight. Unreal.
Hiked down to Squeaky Beach, named as such because it's silica sand & it actually does squeak as you walk in it! On the way down we took some fun pictures in the rocks & shoo'd seagulls & watched the crashing waves draw closer.
The beach itself is probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Sand as white and reflective as snow, water in three different shades of bright, gem-like blue, mountains & boulders rising out of the frothy waves. The forest giving way to dunes & hugging this cove of blue & white - water meets sand & sky. Deserted save us and the seagulls. I can't do it justice & really my photos don't either. I hope to never forget it. I just stared as if in a dream, ear to ear silly grin, thinking "I'm actually here." amazing.
What a fantastic day. And we'll be in Melbourne this evening. I'm ready to get off this little rumbly bus & have some more city adventures. Stay tuned...
Today I'm so happy & grateful for:
~ seeing wildlife in the wild
~ this Oz tour - I would never have seen these things on my own
~ squeaky beach
~ really cool new friends
~ the chewing, staring, peeing cows that streak past the bus window & keep me entertained