In the last week I’ve run around a field drunkenly chasing kangaroos, yelled at the English during a cricket match, made a Tasmanian devil roar, and punched a wallaby in the face. It’s like school on Saturday – no class.
I do want to clarify the wallaby punching bit (actually I’m gonna clarify all of the above so I don’t come across as a complete buffoon). It was a special request from Patrick, but when I saw the little guy hopping around I knew that it would have to be the softest punch ever. Here’s the video:
This happened at Cleland Wildlife Reserve, a huge petting zoo filled with weird and wonderful creatures like kangaroos, dingos, koalas, bandicoots, potoroos, emus, bettongs, and echidnas (if you’re not from Australia, you won’t know half of those – I can assure you that they’re all actual animals, and they’re all weird). Instead of just seeing them from behind a fence, you get to walk into the enclosure and feed them. This is, of course, completely awesome, and I spent the better part of my day petting furry animals. They also had a Tasmanian devil who looked more cute than vicious, until Kelvin and I managed to elicit a roar. Suddenly he was looking extremely mean and very psychotic. Oh and you could hug a koala, who are really soft and generally very chill. Kelvin tried out his male koala mating call which was very accurate and put the sleepy koala on full alert as he was spying for this new competitor.
Tuesday I witnessed one of the true classic traditions: the Ashes, a cricket match between Australia and England that dates back to 1882. It’s played every two years and consists of five matches that last up to five days each. Five full days of cricket… Kelvin and I were only attending the last day, and I’d been practicing by watching endless amounts of cricket and asking him a variety of stupid questions. So much of the game doesn’t make any sense or is very complicated, but I think I got the hang of it, and it was enjoyable to watch live. We had seats right at the edge of the field, but near the end we joined the English fans on the grass lawn. They were winning (by a lot) and even though it was only 10am some of them looked pretty drunk already. They were chanting like well-behaved football supporters.
Another excursion was a vineyard tour through the Barossa wine region. Australia’s best wines are made here and you can stop at the cellar doors and taste a variety. Kelvin was designated driver and I was designated drunk. The wineries we visited were McGuigan, Chateau Barrosa, Jacob’s Creek, Grant Burge, Peter Lehmann, St Hallett, Rockford and Trever Jones. Seven in total, so you can probably imagine my state by the end of it. Obviously, when we drove past a group of kangaroos, my only option was to jump out of the car and run around these guys for a while. It all felt very authentically Australian.
Here’s your dose of photos, and as always you can see the full album on Facebook.
Sunday I’m off to Melbourne on the overnight Greyhound bus. After a couple of days, I catch a flight to Tasmania to go explore there. After that it’s back to Melbourne, and then Adelaide for Christmas.