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Somewhere over the Rainbow in a Place called Oz

"You've always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself." ~Glinda

semi-overcast 11 °C

In the past two days I have probably seen more rainbows then I have in my life! I think I saw maybe 5 or 6 rainbows. What's is even crazier is as an abbreviation for Australia that they often use is Oz. So it's really like I am Dorothy from the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Adelaide is my Emerald City. All I need now is a little dog named Toto! For the past two days I have been in a little place in Oz called Munchkinland a.k.a Kangaroo Island (kangaroos are surprisingly short).

Day 8 (May 29)
We started our journey down the yellow brick road at 6:30 AM in a little bus called Toastie with our own Wizard named Jay. We drove through the morning darkness through the poppy fields and the dark forest into the morning light. We arrived at the Jetty ready to board the mystical ferry that would transport us to Munchkinland/Kangaroo Island. The journey was smooth and I saw a couple of Australian dolphins along the way. Even though dolphins are the most common animal see in the water it was still pretty cool because these were Australian dolphins. Once we made it to Kangaroo Island we board Toastie again and headed for our first destination the Raptor Domain (real place not a reference to the Wizard of Oz).

The Raptor Domain was not what I expected, which originally was velociraptor you know dinosaurs. It was actually a center for the most deadly species in Australia (birds, snakes, etc.). A raptor by definition is an animal the catches it's prey with its feet. So for the show we saw several types of birds. The first bird that we met his name was Donald and he had the longest legs. He was so funny looking. I've noticed that a lot of animals in Oz have long legs and necks, must be some evolutionary thing. We also met a bird named Wally who disguise himself as a stump. A very nice young mate. My absolute favorite raptor was Casper who wasn't actually native to Australia he's just a barn owl but he was so beautiful and cute. I actually got a selfie with him while he sat on my leg. I really enjoyed seeing the birds of Australia and those who aren't. I was amazed at how well trained they all were, but I guess they have to be. After the show we had a lunch of cold chicken sandwiches and chips. Yum!

Off to the next destination, which was the Little Sahara. At the Little Sahara we attempted to go sand surfing and sledding. The hill had two sides and incredibly steep side and a bunny slope side. I was a master at surfing on the bunny slope side...and then I tried the super steep slope. Oh man did I wipe out some kind of hard. My neck is still sore from it. After that I stuck with sledding which was still kind of terrifying because the boards wouldn't stay straight. So much sand though and I hadn't brought a towel to shower that night so I was sandy all weekend. My dad's worst nightmare.

After rolling in the sand, we headed to Vivonne Bay where I played cricket for the first time. I was actually pretty good in a sense. I could bat pretty well, but pitching I had like a 1 in 3 average of getting anywhere near the mark. The thing with pitching and cricket that makes it so hard is you can't bend your arm, you have to keep it entirely straight which is the complete opposite from baseball (not that I've ever played baseball), but it's just more natural to bend you arm. It was really fun though I could have played for hours. It's the perfect game because it's relatively easy, you try until you get it, and then the running is not that intensive when you do hit it. We were probably not actually playing it the right way at all, but it seemed like the perfect beach game. Afterwards we had some watermelon and banana cake. Yum! (yes, my world is centered around food).

Our accommodation for the night was on a farm in a camp dorm style. All 8 girls in one room with outdoor shower and bathroom. It really wasn't that bad it was actually really nice. It could have been a lot worse. For dinner we had an Aussie BBQ with hamburgers, sausages, and salad. It was pretty cold on Kangaroo Island so we decided to make a bonfire. Only problem with a bonfire is that it had been raining on and off all day. So it was a bit of a struggle as I've said before like most things in Oz but with a uncowardly lion named Colin, a scarecrow with a brain who almost set the whole camp aflame named Lachlan, and a tin woman with a heart named Emma we were able to get the fire going. We then played Cheer to the Governor and shared cheesy jokes. Twas the perfect night despite the cold.

Day 9 (May 30)
To start the day off right we header to Flinders Chase National Park. A picturesque piece of Oz. One of the biggest problems of Oz is that you can't capture its beauty in a photo or take it all in with just your eyes. The countryside is so beautiful and hard to describe. It makes you remember how beautiful our little world really is. At Flinders we were headed to the coast to see some New Zealand fur seals and Admirals Arch. The seals were so cute and fun to watch. I really just wanted to take one of those adorable blubber balls and take it home with me. Admirals Arch was incredibly windy, but a natural marvel in itself. My hood on my jacket is too big and the wind would fill up and make my head look all disfigured. Everyone kept telling me it looked like those floppy things outside of car sales place (if anyone can tell me what those things name actually is I will bring you back something from Australia). We also went to the Remarkable Rocks, which are natural rock formations disfigured from erosion from wind and water (I'm sure you've seen picture of them through my Facebook). I will be putting pictures up on Facebook eventually because putting photos on the blog has proven to be incredibly difficult.

Next stop Kangaroo Wildlife Park! KANGAROOOOOOOOOS are to me as Ruby Slipper are to Dorothy. This made my life pretty much. For those of you who don't know it's always been one of my life goals to see a kangaroo in its natural habitat (check). Added bonus feeding a kangaroo! I had a kangaroo hold my hand while it munched on multi grains from my hand. It was amazing. I also got multiple selfies with the kangaroo. We are best friends now. The kangaroos were awesome. I can't wait to see more...hopefully I do. We also saw many other animals native to Australia including a koala name Alfie! Alfie was literally the cutest he just clung on to the ranger and looked at us with his tiny eyes. Koalas are not too terribly soft but they are fluffy and fun to pet! Other animals that we saw were tammar wallabies, wombats (also a favorite of mine apparently they're nocturnal), and a baby kangaroo name Tiger! I also got to hold him :) Life complete again.

To end our journey through Munchkinland/Kangaroo Island we hit a few more spots briefly. First was Stokes Bay. Very picturesque kind of breezy like all of Kangaroo Island. Next was a honey farm, Cliffords Honey Farm, where they had honey ice cream! For those who cringe at the idea it was actually really good. I was going to buy some honey to bring back but apparently TSA in New Zealand has banned bee products and since I'm going there next I figured not risk it. Then we went to Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Farm. A family owned farmed built from the ground up that now produces 3% of Australia's Eucalyptus products, which is actually a lot given how little this place is. Our last stop was a sunset hike at Prospect Hill, which was probably 200 steps straight up a mouton side (I'm incredibly out of shape). It was stunning when we got up there you could see all of Kangaroo Island for miles and see all the different patches of rain and rainbows of course, since we are in Oz afterall! After the hike, we headed back on the ferry and drove back to the Emerald City.

Day 10 (May 31)
Rest day. Slept in to about 9:00 this morning and did some laundry. Once everybody was up we headed out to pound the pavement some more. We headed up to North Adelaide to find food, which was actually a bad idea because North Adelaide doesn't have much food to begin with and then it's a Sunday and everything is closed. We eventually found something, thought Jiaorui was going to die/kill me though. The place we ended up wasn't even that good. Sorry Jiaorui! After our lunch we walked for maybe an hour to the market. We got into the deep parts of Adelaide. We really do get around then again Adelaide is not that big. We then went shopping at Coles for food for the week. Boring stuff that ya'll probably don't want to hear about. Tomorrow we head out again on another field trip Kaurna Cultural Living Center, which I'm super excited about because aboriginal people are fascinating! More on that later.


P.S. Shout out to my parents, Merbeth and Padre! I really just wanted to thank them for sending me on this trip. It is really an experience that only happens once in a lifetime and I am incredibly grateful for them sending me. I've already learned and experienced so much in a little over a week just like Dorothy I'm learning to be myself and stand on my own. Thank you sooooo much!

Posted by kmnelsen 00:14 Archived in Australia Tagged landscapes animals boats food australia kangaroo ferry oz adelaide

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Inflatable Wacky Wave Man... As available on Amazon.com!

So glad you are loving your time in OZ! Over the rainbow is wonderful but remember, as Dorothy learned, there's no place like home ;) xoxo

by Merbeth

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