Besides a badly stubbed toe & a crick in my neck, I'm feeling pretty good today. Yay for medicine & sleep!
Caught the bus to the ferry to Kangaroo Island this morning at 6am. I decided that all bus stations are weird, everywhere in the world, after a unkempt middle-aged man wrapped in a blanket paused in the doorway of the bathroom to flash me a toothless grin & an unintelligible comment.
Sat outside on the ferry & watched the swallows soar as we docked. Oh my how lovely. The KI bus was packed & the tour was more limited & sedentary than I'd prefer but I reminded myself I need to take it easy & I'm making the best of it.
On the bus, met a very nice retired couple from Greenville, SC who went to school at Auburn AND a guy whose partner goes to USC. Small world!
First stop was Seal Beach, where there were hundreds of Sea Lions sunning & feeding & riding the waves just feet from us. They're so cute; they wear such funny little smiles. Ladies, yet another animal we can be glad we're not - sea lions are preggers for 18 months & once they give birth, are knocked up again within 24 hours! Yikes.
After lunch at a cafe completely hidden from view by eucalyptus trees, we caught a birds of prey show, which was really quite interesting. Saw a bird camo'd as a tree (I wrote down the name in the post that got deleted! Argh!) with a wide beak like a frogs mouth. Saw the smallest falcon species and a white barn owl (pictured) that hopped from lap to lap & I got to pet it! So soft! Then the trainer brought out laughing kookaburras & I put on his glove & TWO of them perched on my arm. It was so cool. For the grand finale, he brought out an eagle (pictured) & we watched it stalk its prey & polish off a wallaby bone in a grand flourish of feathers.
Then into Flinders Ranges Natn'l Park to see the Remarkable Rocks, a granite formation that truly lives up to its name. They are unreal. They look like either some (sorry chick) alien rocks from mars or something Salvador Dali painted, come to life. Incredible. I took a bunch of pics & found a sad face in the rocks too. :)
Next was Admiral's Arch, which I would not have found (bc its a long windy path thru other beautiful stuff to get there) had it not been for our guide. Very pretty hidden rock arch with stalag...tites(?) hanging from the top & the brilliant sparkling water crashing through. All around it are brightly colored flowers & slabs of stone with New Zealand Fur Seals lounging about.
Everything here is so large, just an expanse of blue & green & brown; its impossible to capture. I'm just going to have to try & cradle it in my memory.
Final stop was a eucalyptus grove, where we saw a few koalas at a distance (that fuzzy blob to the left in the pic) and one kangaroo. I wasn't too worried at the limited sightings since I've gotten a few closer encounters with both already.
Unfortunately, since I could only take the day trip, I didn't get to see the penguins (Ron) but its ok bc I had that magical impromptu sighting in Melbs. :)
On the way back to the ferry, I had a fantastic conversation with a lovely woman from Adelaide. She told me all about her travels - fascinating - and I told her about the blog & my gratitude lists (hi Liz, if you're reading this!).
She brought to my attention yet another reason to identify with swallows & sparrows: they belong everywhere. They're ubiquitous birds; they make their homes all over the world. I love that.
After a dinner of the most delish salt & pepper prawns, its back to the hostel to pack & go to bed - I have to be up at 5:30 to begin my adventure into the outback!
Today I am so happy & grateful for:
~ getting to see KI even if just briefly
~ making connections with people
~ sharing the attitude of gratitude