Friday, March 19, 2010
Ok, it's been awhile, but have been busy with school, the Fringe festival, etc, etc.....poor excuses I know, but there you go. I have been doing lots over the last few weeks and now must try to remember everything.
I went to Kangaroo Island 2 weekends ago with a group of exchange teachers from SA. It is a very unique, self-sufficient, and beautiful island just a few hours from Adelaide! It takes about 1.5 hours to get to the ferry (you can fly there as well) and another hour for the crossing. It can be quite rough at time, as seen by the number of sea-sickness bags readily available...luckily, our crossing was fairly smooth and I did not witness anyone getting sick!
There were 30 of us in total, including the organizers who are retired past exchange teachers. The people who came were lots of fun and very outgoing....I really enjoyed getting to know them (I met them briefly at a BBQ at the start of my time here). We did a ton of things on the island, which is about 100 km by 40 km, but many of the roads are gravel, so the driving can be slow going at times. We were also driving around in a yellow school bus, so you get the idea....roughing it but not hiking!! We stayed at an educational centre with dorm style bunk-bed rooms. I forgot to bring ear plugs, so needless to say, I had two very poor nights of sleep! It was the Adelaide Cup weekend (horse race, hence the fashion weekend, so good thing I was out of town!) so we had 3 days on the island!
Aaahhhhhhh bliss! It definitely has the "island time" feel to it and is quite relaxed. Most of the inhabitants of the island are very self-sufficient and I'm sure that they would not be in too much trouble if they never came to the mainland again! Some of the things we did included going to a eucalyptus oil/emu oil factory (solar and wind run), a honey producer who used to be a sheep farmer and now produces honey (and many body creams, etc.) from many different hives (and therefore different little ecosystems) that all taste very distinctively different from each other, "Kelly's caves" where went underground, a sea lion santuary, a sheep milking and cheese making farm, along with many beautiful and wild beaches and parklands! We saw kangaroos (surprise, surprise), koalas, echidnas, seals, seals lions, black cockatoos, emus, etc etc......
My favourite animal was a young orphaned joey that the eucalyptus farm had taken in and were feeding (it still gets 2 bottles/day at 18 months old) and taking care of. It was the softest, cutest and most adorable animal....I could easily have taken it home (see photos). The had set up this quilted cotton bag which it viewed as its "mom' s pouch" and it would crawl into it when it was tired!
We socialized over great meals each evening and made connections with people from all over the world (Canada, Germany, France, England, etc.). We are already planning our next trip to Uluru this summer (winter here).
This past weekend I went to a few plays in the "city" (downtown Adelaide) and still managed to have enough energy to celebrate St. Patrick's Day on Wednesday the Irish Club of Adelaide! did a bit of Irish dancing, eating and drinking , and of course had a great time! Even ran into a teacher that I work with who informed me that I could take dancing lessons there and that there is a "bush party" at the Irish club this weekend which incorporates Irish and other dances together.....may just have to check that out after gliding Saturday.
That leads me into the last bit of my blog before I put you all to sleep. I am going gliding tomorrow (Saturday weekend) with a friend that I met who goes to Adelaide University and is a new member of the gliding club. We are heading out tomorrow morning to an area near the Barossa wine valley region where the "thermals" are good for gliding. I think I have 2 flights tomorrow, perhaps more if there is time. I am really excited about this and hope to be posting some photos "from the air" for you on the next blog! Hopefully this will be the first of many days spent checking out the area from the air!!
I am certainly not lacking for opportunity of things going on at the moment, or people to do them with. I hear that it slows down in the winter here, but that is a good thing, as I am actually quite exhausted most of the time....I do have to fit some work into this equation after all, and that can be challenging! Marks are going out next week, so it will be a busy one, followed by our first school break, which will be a 12 day stint hiking and site-seeing in Tasmania with a few days tacked on at the end in Melbourne for me. I am really looking forward to it all and to sharing it with you.
Stay in touch and take care everyone! Cheers, Kelly the Koala.