Ok, maybe Rod Stewart wasn't the sole reason I came to Australia. Maybe. The real reason I am here stems from a lesson taught in 3rd grade. In 3rd grade, at Tokeneke Elementary School, in Darien, Connecticut, I learned all about the 17 different varieties of penguins. I can still picture the book we made with the white plastic ring binding that you manually slipped through the paper's holes. There were the magestic King and Emperor penguins who ruled the penguin world. The Chinstrap has an obviously identified demarcation across it's face. The Rockhopper always seemed a bit aggressive. I swear there was one called the Jackass. And sure, there were penguins that were tropically living off the coasts South America and the Galapagos Islands, but it was the Little Penguins, or as I was taught, the Little Blue Fairy Penguins that stole my heart. They lived in Australia. And ever since then, I've wanted to go to Australia. I always thought my chance would come when I could study abroad during my Junior year of university, however, they don't speak enough Spanish in Australia to count towards any credit for my double major. So as time came and went, I got older, and although my obsession with all things penguins may have diminished a bit (remember the catalogue* of all-things penguins: the slippers, the pajamas, the stuffed animals, the key chains, the stickers, the figurines, calendar, umbrella....I wanted it all, I had it all) my dream to go to Australia never did.
*ohmygoodness I can't believe I just found this website....!!
spot the penguins. that's mean.
We did see a lot of different types of interesting birds though - the pelicans were enormous and beautiful creatures that gracefully glided across the air.
pelicans are gorgeous.
first animal we saw. it's called a stinker something.
As the trail came around the loop, we decided we should wade in the water around the edge of the island and see if we could see any penguins in the caves. As we rounded the corner, we saw this enormous sea lion stretched out upon the sand. A small crowd of us stopped in awe at its proximity and he got up on his front paws (?) and seemed to soak up the attention and show off....but no, he was just doing his business.
No bother. He slowly scurried himself off the hot sand and under the protection of one of the dark caves. What a life - hanging out on the beach, sleeping in the shade. As we wandered on, we spotted another sea lion nestled somewhat comfortably between the rocks. He had a couple gashes on his thick skin that looked rather raw. The boys snorkeled while I waded with my purse under my arm, balancing shoes and camera in hand while not getting knocked over by the tide or nibbled by little fish or slipping on seaweed, only later to slice my foot open on one of the protruding rocks that was camaflauged with the color of the sand.
We reached the end of the easy wading and realized we could get back in time to see the penguin feeding that we didn't pay for at 12:30 - but not before Mike saw a little octopus in the water, that apparently had blue rings on it, and apparently could kill you in three minutes if stung....Uhhhhh....to the penguin feeeding - immediately!
I'm not sure how as I was limping behind slowly, but we managed to squeeze into the penguin feeding for free. Finally penguins! And they were so cute. Shiny, silvery 10,000-feathered skins, swimming and jumping and bopping for fish in the little fake pool. The girl was very informative about their lives and habits but I don't think I heard one thing I was so enthralled in the little guys. Ok, so it was kinda like being at a zoo. Apparently we were a week too late to see the ones on the island during their mating season. These little ones were not wild, they were spoilt and overfed, they even knew the sound of their own names, but still, they were cute. And still native to the area. I guess it counts for seeing a penguin on Penguin Island.
they waded back to shore while I laughed at this incredible sign and then limped onto the boat. sympathy? yes please - got loads on the boat and in the bathroom, some French guy implied to JD "i can't believe you left her with all your stuff" hahah!!