Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Kangaroo Island, Adelaide and old friends!

'There is no way she can sail in this weather', said the bearded man looking nochanantly out to sea as though he was waiting the return of a long lost loved one. So thats settled then we are stuck on Kangaroo ialsn. But hey if we get hungry at leas we can catch roos and possums and cook them up!
More on that later...........So after my adventures with the Pitjantjatjara and the Yankunytjatjara people of the Anangu at Uluru, I made my way down via the dust hole of Coober Pedy to Adelaide. South Australia's capital.
My first dat in Adelaide was spent finding a hostel, the first one that was open at 6am was a shite hole where I woke up with bites on my arms and stomach. Fooking bed bugs, out of all the bleedin countries I havebeen to a modern wolrd power has the sodding bed bugs! But they have all gone now due to a bit of cream from the apologetic hostel owner who also was the most tattoed lady I have ever seen.
Adelaide. Well its a very European and multi racial city, aftre the outback its like being in a new world. But the weather is rether dull and it rained for 4 full days, the first time in fact that it had rained in 6 months. So sods law I rock up and it rains and soda law again you lot at home have a bleedin heatwave. Oh well I know that I am still beating you lot wiht ym tan, but aftre the cold and wet ness of New Zealand which is still to come I will have fallen behind!
I met up with an old mate who I met at camp America. Ashley Giles, no not the reject catch dropping England cricketer. The Ash Giles who lives in a shed at the back of a shared house and I get drunk with a lot. Yes he actually lives in an ant infested tin shed in the garden!!!!! cheap rent!
Well we met up and instantly it was like old times when he came to stay at mine at home, we laughed and joked and had a great bundle of fun getting drunk, going to rock pbs dressed in 1980's charity shop clobber and I also went to stay at his parents farm where they had me up early and feeding the sheep in the hills. That was great fun as the scenery at Willunga in the Mclaren vale wine area was fantastic, I even visited the Woodstock vineyard and had many, many free samples and over did it on the port!
Adelaide is mad for Aussie rules football (AFL). I have been watching quite a bit of it and also did as it was raining a familt guy marathon, woo hoo! I am slowly getting the rules of the game and now know the pouint scoring system and the passsing rule etc. I want to play it. When I get back from New Zealand and go to Melbourne I want to see a match at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground), this is quite likely as Melbourne has many teams, although my mate was trying to get me to support Adelaide Crows and shun Port Adelaide! A bit like the Newcastle Sunderland rivalry I suppose!
Ash and I soent a lot of time drunk or in the process of getting drunk, mostly on bottles of bourbon that he had collected from his recetn 25th birthday. Then I would cook and fry up or somthing and then we would go out to some cool bars like the Exeter Hotel and rock it up. We went out with Tom from the Uluru tripI did and one of his German mates and we ended up drinking in a rock bar with a drag queen caled Gloria, or Dave! That was a very drunken night and when we got back we seemed to have accumulated a few roadsigns! Yes its a fall back to student days gone, but hey I like being Peter Pan!!!
The rain was a constant pest in Adelaide and it heaved down making the streets mini rivers, but when the sun did come out it was cold and damp.
While I was staying on the couch at Ash's we went to some friend of Helens (Ash's sister) 21st birthday party. I was the only English person there, or rather I was the only non Aussie, so I was like a circus attraction with all the people all speaking to me and getting lots of attention from the ladies, for one night only I felt indestructable and put on a leslie Phillips accent all night to the amusement of Ah and Helen who to their vredit played along and called me the Major all night!!!!!!!!!
Oh the 21st had a free bar too, rock on my son!
At this stage teh cricket world cup final was on and Australia beat Sri Lanka in almost farcical circumstances, but the celebrations were very minimal! No one really cared. Basically because Adelaide is such an AFL area and also that athe Aussies were so adamanst that they would win I think they had pre celebrated it all anyway!
Then came the best thing I had done in South Australia, Kangaroo island.
I stayed a night at the YHA in the centre of town and then early the next morning we as a group drove down to Cape Jervis to alight the ferry to Kangaroo island. Kangaroo actually in Aboriginee means 'I dont know what you are saying'. As Captain or Lieutenant as he was then, James Cook stepped ashore and in his plummy English accent asked a young Aboriginee boy,' I say whats that animal over there'. The answer 'Kangaroo'. Therefore we have the name that we all know and love.
Kangaroo iasland was named by Captain Flinders after they went ashore and shot 30 kangaroos to replenish their ships meat store, simple really.
The amaizing fact about Kangaroo island is that it is home to an abundance of wild life. We saw (all wild) Kangaroos, wallabies, Koalas, Possums (which you can hand feed as they get cheeky and come up to you), seals, Australian sea lions, new zealand fur seals (they stink) and Echidnas. So all in all an abundance of wildlife.
The group I wqas in was a quality one yet again. I have been very lucky that all things I do in groups, I have agood bunch of people. Although we had two Czech ladise who spoke no English at all and didnt chance their clothes at all!
There is so much to do on the island but the first port of call was a place called Seal bay, and guess what you find there? Yep, you have guessed it, Australian sea Lions, not seals!!!!!
They are massive big lumps and some look like little puppies just waiting to be tickled, but alas you ahve to keep at least 30 feet away as not long ago a 13 year old girl was savagely attacked by a dominant male, and they cane move faster than we can on sand if they want too. These big lumps go to sea for 3 days and feast, then come back to land aftre a massive 200 odd kilometer trip and sleep noisily on the beach. To watch them sleep it funy as some toss and turn and flap their legs all over the place. Some wake up and then wake the others up baceuse they are naughty little chaps!
I even saw a little pup suckling and the squeaking noise made me giggle. We had to have a ranger accompany us onto the beach, just so we didnt try to bugger the seals or anything. This guy ron became the but of all jokes as we said he molests the sdeals at nigth! Well he did have that look in his eye! Also see lions can surf in the waves, its pretty impressive!
After that we all did one of the best things I have done in Australia. Sandboarding at the Little Sahara dunes. These dunes are wind created and are 15 k's from the sea. I managed to stand up going down the dunes and then I had a competition with two British girls, a British lad and a Belgian girl as to see you could go the furthest after a run and jump onto the bigger body sanboard that you normally sit on. We hurtled down the dunes and when you do fall its like hitting abirkc wall and you roll and roll all the way down to the bottom, then have to trudge back up, re-wax the board and try again. The sunset there was amaizing over the dunes, the moon and the sun and sky was out at one point the sky went purple and pink.
The sun was setting, light was fading, so time to drive to see the Penguins in Penneshaw. We pulled up and with a torch tried to find the little blue penguin. The only penguin to be found on Australian home soil. Low and behold there was the little fellow waddling accross the road in front of us, he was ven wearing his dinner jacket! We only saw about 7 or 8 little penguins. But I thought of Pingu a lot while we spotted the funny little things waddling along maerrily. Now it was dark and time to head back to the farm with the koalas up the gum trees where we would be staying tonight.
We had rather a piss up that night, drinking many beers, chatting, playing drinking games and the like. That evening in my drunken brilliance I managed to get a possum onto my lap, smelly thing!!!!
The next day we all woke early and went to Admirals arch, a massive once sea cave whic h has been washed and wron through. This is home to the smelly New Zealand fur seal. You can smell them a mile off. Some of them were fighting on the rocks, some were playing in the water and many juts lay there snoring and farting. This was at the Cape Du Cuedice which has a massive old lighthouse and the breeze can knock you over.
After that we went on the platypus walk. But aftre staring at bubbles and ripples in various waterholes for ages we didnt see a sodding thing. So I went to look at the koalas sleeping inthe tree instead.
After that we went to some caves called Kelly Hill caves. They were absolute toilet. Massive lovely stalagtite and stalagmiote infested caves ruined by a bloody concrete path through them and lights drilled into the walls. It didnt help that the guide who took us down there had no life and was more boring than a repetetive Granny. We therefore made her life hell. She asked the most stupid question 'use you imagination and tell me what shapes you see in the rocks'. Guess what my answer was? 'That one looks like a massive wang'. She blushed and the entire group laughed at her, she stormed off after we left the cave. She would put her torch up to a rock to illumnate it and when she did that we call shouted 'Jen-Michel Jarre' and did his theme music as if it was some crappy light show. The poor woman was fighting a losing battle and out driver thought it was the funniest thing. He couldnt be;lieve how sureal we were, especially when in the night we started to chase the farmers sheep and also made up tales of a Ware Ron, who turns into a seal and has his wicked way with you while you are asleep!
The best thing we did that day was visit 'Remarkable rocks'. These are fantastic rock formations fashioned by conatsnt high winds over many years. Some have holes in taht you can clamber through, some you can get up but then it takes bleedin ages to get down. That happened to me and I have a quality scar on my knee aftre falling into the scrub from one particular high one, there was one that even looked like a eagles break. They were fantastic to climb all over and the best bit was we were th eonly ones there, being battered by the wind from all directions!
We also went to a shitty honey farm and had some free samples.
We were supposed to get the five o'clock ferry back to the mnainland. But the waves crashed into the harbour wall sending water spraying into the air and soaking passing pensioners on their 'death tour' bus. I bloody hate all these old people death tours, some cant even walk, some dribble. Why takle them to kangaroo island when they have to walk or climb up to all the places of interest. Also why give them name badges, that just encourages me to say their names out loud. Susch as 'Hello Malcolm, Hi Betty, have you had fun today'. They all just smile and wave, not necessarilly at me but as if they are in a dementia dreamland!
So anyway. Wev were stranded. The company we went with had never vexperienced this problem before, so their contingency plan was. Get them drunk and they wont complllain. Wea ll phoned pur hostels to tell them we were staying out late and then we were all treated to two cases of beer (not each but all togheter) a few pitchers of lagers in the pub, two boxes of goon and soem pizza. Rock on, get us drunk and no one complains.
We went back to the farm that night and a new group had rocked up, so we instantly in our drunken energy made the farm ours, running wild and playing twister by the campfire. Some of the locals even turned up and bloody hell were they odd. Sort of Billy Bob charesters.
The trouble with having free beer is that you drink too much. Therefore getting up in the morning is an ardous affair, but woo hoo no hangovers!!!!!
Then finally aftre a long drive back through Kingscote to the port we got the excessively rough ferry where many oldies from mthe death tours fell over back to the mainland.
Back to Adelaide and that evening I boarded a bus to leave South Australia and head along to Melbourne. But bguess what, yep that bus broke down so we all had to squeeze into another one and it stunk of sweat! I arrived at 6am this morning, tired and stiff and booked into some shabby hostel.
Tomorrow my adventure takes a new turn, for I am off to New Zealand in the aftre noon. I am flying to Christchurch and have it all booked, another day, another adventure, another country.
So next time I write my dear readers, it will be from New Zealand. The home of the Haka, The all Blacks, Johan Lomu, Kiwi's and the bungee jump.
Rock on!!


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