When last we left, Jon and our friend James and I were living the high life on our wine tour of the McLaren and Barossa regions.
It was now time for the highlight of our tour – the wildlife! Give me some kangaroos, and a home among the gum trees, people! (I now actually know what a gum tree is, which answers a longstanding question from an Australian song we used to sing in my music class in 6th grade).
It seemed that there were only four people under the age of 70 on this trip – Jon and I, and a young couple honeymooning from France, Jacques and Maxette. This had both pros and cons. On the one hand, it meant that we were taken directly to each destination, and then given time to wander on our own. On the other, getting on and off the bus was excruciatingly slow. And we know how much I love slow!
The sights were well worth it though. I had envisioned a zoo or wildlife preserve-type of environment, where we’d be separated by water or cages or ravines or something. What I hadn’t expected was this:
The kangaroos and wallabies are just hopping around, minding their own business, focused on acquiring food from enchanted tourists (see exhibit A above) and napping. It’s a good life.
We went to a pelican feeding on a dock, where they actually sat down beside you. This was a bit nerve wracking – they are POWERFUL birds. You don’t want to get in the way of a pelican’s lunch, let me tell you!
The one that has had the most impact on our day to day life is the echidna. It’s kind of like a porcupine and we brought a little plastic figurine of one for Kate. It now goes in her pocket wherever she goes, and there is no pain like stepping on a plastic echidna in the middle of the night!
We saw myriads of sea lions, at the aptly named Sea Lion Bay, and it felt almost like spying, it was so completely natural.
We went to a koala forest, where they just snoozed along in the trees…it must be a good life!
And to finish off our wilderness tally, random peacocks, in full colour!
So that, ladies and gents, was our trek to the wilderness of Kangaroo Island. I saw creatures I’d only read about, lived someone else’s life for a week, and generally loved Australia. Aside from crazily high food prices, and the enormous variety of poisonous snakes and spiders, it would be a wonderful place to live.
Back to the world and real life, and hello Christmas time!