But although I got 8 hrs of sleep, I was still knackered (thats right) when I got up at 5am. Com'on cold, go away already!!
Hopped on the bus to Loch Ard Gorge, the site of a famous shipwreck. our guide Jen told us the story of the only two survivors, Tom & Eva; its better than titanic! Saw Mutton Bird Island (pictured), where the boat crashed & sank, tragically just barely off the coast. Saw the two caves the two survivors took shelter in - they don't look very welcoming - the graves of the wreck's casualties, and some coastal rock formations including the island arch, salt & pepper shakers (fka "the tits" ha ha), and the razorback. Very pretty, very lonely place, especially with the sun shrouded by low grey clouds.
Then saw the rock formation London Bridge which has, ironically, fallen down. Its really sad how many of the natural formations here have crumbled. I know its mainly bc it's sandstone & the water erodes the base of the rocks, but I'm sure our environmental impact doesn't help.
Walked along the beach at the Bay of Martyrs, which was really nice - fun rocks to climb on & soft warm sand, even on this cold day. I was the only one who took her shoes off!! Crazy Europeans!
Then saw the Bay of Islands. All of this feels more authentically Australian to me; the beaches are void of people, all orange rocks & wild waves.
I've found I'm of a solitary nature when it comes to the ocean. While everyones chatting about random things, I just want to wander off alone & take it all in. Its impossible to describe the enormity of these rocks & the power of the waves around them. I think I'm starting to get a taste of Oz's outback.
Next we drove up into the Grampians Natn'l Park - one of the oldest mtn ranges in the world. Did you know Australia's native Aboriginies are the oldest surviving race in the world? Crazy.
The group went for a 2 & 1/2 hour hike up to the summit but I stayed behind. It was a very adult decision; I really wanted to see it but knew I shouldn't push myself. I'd rather miss out on one hike now than get sicker & lose a week of activities. Turned out to be a good choice - I fell right asleep & slept right up until 10 minutes of them arriving back at our cabin. Only woke up then bc I set an alarm, so I'm sure my body needed it & I'll probably still sleep well tonight.
They all said it was a beautiful view but a very exhausting climb, which makes me positive I did the right thing. Yay naps!
Halls Gap is the mountain town we're staying in tonight & apparently from dusk on, it is overrun with kangaroos! Time to go find some...
SO MANY kangaroos!!! Three times as many as the last sighting. Just mobs & mobs of them hanging out in peoples backyards. Amazing. We saw lots of does with joeys in their pouches & a couple joeys climbing in & out of the pouches & fussing about. It was like a kid digging around in moms handbag & mom says either settle down or stay out & quit looking for sweets, eat your dinner!
Also saw some wild emu. They're bigger than the kangaroos. We could get very close to the roos (females only, the males are more aggressive) so I got some great pics & videos on my camera. :)
Had a nice communal dinner & listened to the brits talk about reality TV (I thought Americans were bad - nowhere near!); chatted & got to know my bus mates a bit better.
I kind of love this little town; the cabins are cozy, rustic & framed by the mountains. The birds are going to sing me to sleep tonight. :)
Today I am so happy & grateful for:
~ being responsible for my health
~ eating a salad finally
~ quiet places to sleep