Counteradjustments

How shall I put this? Sometimes travel requires one make certain counteradjustments as things go…well, rather… askew. Let me explain.

While in Sydney, I did a number of things — all on my “list” — and accomplished a LOT. What I did not manage, however, was staying awake throughout the entire opera “Lucia di Lamermoor” at the Opera House my last night. Ok, so I am not traditionally a true opera fan… which no doubt accounts for my continuous tendency to nod off during operas and even during musicals. My father was the same way — invariably falling utterly and soundly asleep during such events. Unlike my father, however, I know when I am beat… and so after nodding off through about half the opera, I promptly removed myself from the situation and went back to my hostel for a decent night’s sleep — something I simply have not had in over 2 weeks, what with the rising at roughly 4:30 – 6 AM every morning (depending on tours and flights). I did not regret the decision. I suppose the performance was good — perhaps even great. However, you know what? I just didn’t care. I was too tired.

And why was I so tired? Not only have I not been getting much sleep, but during my days in Sydney I pretty much ran all over the place — there was so much to see. I went to Manly Beach, Tarongo Zoo, the Australian Museum, the harbours, and much more. So, it’s really no wonder I was so tired by the time I got to the opera. I even managed to do an Opera House Tour and sunset dinner cruise around the Harbour earlier that day.

I left Sydney proper for a day to go out to the Blue Mountains and it was well worth it. The scenery was spectacular and the rides across and down into the canyons were cool too. Afterward, I visited The Featherdale wildlife sanctuary where I saw a huge variety of Australian animals — from dingoes and wombats to koalas and Tasmanian devils — and everything in between!

After leaving Sydney, I flew on to Adelaide. Now, whoever it was who told me, “Why do you want to go to Adelaide? There’s nothing there!” was dead wrong. There is PLENTY there to see and do. I started my stay with a visit to the Barossa Wine Valley where I went to three wineries and an Australian Opal Company (my mother will be happy… tee hee!). On the way, we did a brief city tour and I was very impressed with Adelaide. The city is clean, relatively small, and well laid-out. I’d go back and spend more time there in the future.

Counteradjustment: The morning I was to depart for Kangaroo Island from Adelaide, I tripped down some stairs in my hostel and twisted my ankle (although, fortunately not very badly and I could still walk on it). Sadly, my bag I was carrying went straight through the hostel wall, putting a 5-inch hole in it. Happily, the hostel did NOT make me pay for it, and when I returned from Kangaroo Island I saw that their solution to the problem of the unsightly hole was simply to put a small poster over it, concealing it nicely. No worries, mate!

In spite of my twisted ankle, I spent two days on Kangaroo Island and while the weather was not good by any stretch of the imagination, our guide was so positive and upbeat, he literally made the bad weather disappear. We did everything on our itinerary in spite of a bit of rain, wind, and extreme cold (about 5-7 degrees Celsius). I even sand-boarded down a very steep and rather high sand dune at “Little Sahara” on the island. I also saw lots of koalas and the subspecies of grey kangaroo that lives only on Kangaroo Island — it is much darker brown overall. We saw loads of other animals as well including Australian sea lions and New Zealand fur seals. Overall, the trip was a little like eating spinach might be for most people — you do it because you know it’s good for you, but it doesn’t really feel good at the time. It was so unbelievably cold, and yet I just told myself I was there for one purpose — to see the island’s unique wildlife. That made it all worthwhile. In fact, I even saw the famous Little Penguins, the smallest penguin species in the world, there on my last night! That pretty much made the trip.

From Adelaide, I flew on to Melbourne, however my poor bag was treated rather roughly by Qantas I guess and they broke the handle that pops up out of it so I can’t use it to pull the bag along. Thankfully, however, there is another handle attached to the top of the bag that still allows me to pull it. I filed the proper paperwork and Qantas will pay to have the bag repaired when I get back to L.A. Great. We move beyond this counteradjustment….

So, now in Melbourne it’s only slightly warmer here than it was in Adelaide, but it’s OK. I’ve visited the Aquarium, Queen Victoria Market, Capt. Cook’s Cottage, and the Royal Botanic Gardens in my past two days here. Also had dinner with some Australian friends I met in Africa years ago. We had fun catching up on travel memories, etc. Tomorrow I head off on the Great Ocean Road for the day, and the next day I’ll go to Phillip Island to see Little Penguins and other wildlife there.

So, despite chilly weather and fast-paced travel, I manage to see and do what I had hoped. All is well and I will write more later on my reflections regarding this part of Southern Australia later when I have more time. Stay tuned. Laurel — OUT!

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3 Comments on “Counteradjustments”

  1. Richard Says:

    Hi Laurel,
    Thanks for all the detailed travel updates. It’s almost like being there but we’re having 90+F days, so not as cold as you are! Looks like you are seeing a zillion animals out in the wild that we never have here. Good for you to take advantage of all the things to see while you are in Australia. You can sleep on the plane flight home…I understand how the Opera could put you to sleep.
    Rich

  2. June Colton Says:

    Dear Laurel,
    Your positive experiences outweigh the poor ones, and if I could I’d be making plans to visit Australia. It’s so good reading about your trip and even tho I talk with you often long distance, I look forward to your postings here. Thanks for taking the time! Continued good luck with the rest of your trip, and your driving there! Looking forward to seeing you on the 31st.
    Love, MUM, AFRICA, & TASHI

  3. Portia Says:

    Laurel,

    I love the play by play accounts of your travels. You are one intrepid traveler and I can’t wait to read the book that you must eventually write as result of all of these great adventures. From one globe trotter to another, it’s fun experiencing your trip virtually. Can’t wait to see the pictures! Safe travels and take care of that ankle.

    Hugs,
    Portia


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