Published: October 19th 2010March 5th 2010
Remember how yesterday I said that we didn’t normally join big tour groups as we liked to do things at our own pace and we could be as late as we liked? Well today was no exception to that rule. We had a full day tour of the Island planned for the day. Originally we were meant to start at 9:30. Any guesses to the time we actually started? 10am? Nope. 10:30? Nope. 11am? Yes. We kept our guide waiting for almost 2hrs. It meant we couldn’t do all the things that had been originally planned for us, but hey never mind, we still had a great day.
Our guide for the day was called Mary. She was nice, very blunt and very orange. Maybe it is because we beat them in the Ashes again (for those that aren’t aware what the Ashes are, it is a cricket game played between the English and Australian over an Urn that has some burnt Ashes from some cricket stumps. It is played every 18 months either in England or Australia).
The first part of the trip took us across the Island to the North side. For the most part I sat
in the very back by myself. A nice change that. Even though we hadn’t gone that far the vegetation was completely different. On the north side it was more like a savannah than the bush on the south side. Our first stop was Stokes Bay, to get to it we had a nice hike through some very narrow caves. All I can say is it was a good thing that none of us were fat otherwise we might have had a problem. Someone (not from our party) had lost their panties along way which some kind person had hung up from a rock. The person they belonged to obviously claimed them as they were gone by the time we went back through. The rock pool was beautiful and large, both HB and F would and could spend all day in the water if given half the chance so taking them to the beach without their swim stuff was not going to stop them from going in. F, well he went in his boxers, HB ran along the beach striping clothes off and went in her birthday suit, much to everyone’s amusement. And me, well I did the very British thing
and rolled my trousers up to my knees and wadded in after everyone.
While the place looked picture-perfect: the sun, the crystal clear water and the soft sand, what they forgot to mention was the temperature of the water. Oh dearie me it was cold. So very cold. I think instead of getting used to the cold, my legs actually went numb and therefore couldn’t feel anything. HB and I had a wonderful time looking for fish and interesting things, we both walked along together in the water to see how deep it went. I could only pull my trouser legs up to mid thigh so I was rather limited to how deep I could go, but it was fun never-the-less. We spent maybe 30 mins walking and swimming around then we had to get out and dried. So the question is: how did we dry ourselves if we didn’t bring any stuff with us? Easy, Mary had packed a towel for us; she obviously didn’t expect F and HB to go in all the way. Well, the towel did the trick, although by the time it reached me it was rather damp, so I had to make do
with slightly soggy and sandy feet.
By now it was lunch time, so back we went through the pirate/Famous Five (if anyone ever read those books then these tunnels would have been the perfect place for them to have an adventure) /panty tunnels. Our destination for lunch was in the middle of the island through a sheep field. Along the way we stopped to get a picture a very old kangaroo who was taking a nap under a tree by the edge of the road. Mary was very anxious that we didn’t get too near him and disturb him. Would we do such a thing? No! Well, maybe some of us might. Mr G wanted the perfect picture of the Kangaroo hopping towards him, so he sent F up to it to send it towards him. Hmmmmm, not really the thing you should be teaching your son. Mary wasn’t happy about this. Gladly I can report that F had more sense than that and said "no". So the perfect picture was not caught ... or so we thought. As we climbed back into the car Mr G spotted something walking down the middle of the road. Any guesses what
it could be? A huge Australian Crocodile on a course to eat us! That would have been pretty cool, but no. The next best thing; a Koala! That’s right. Now these creatures spend 22 hours of their day asleep so to see one that was firstly awake and secondly was moving was amazing. We moved a little closer to get a better look, but the Koala must have thought we looked dangerous and took off in a slow trot (although I am sure for him it was fast) and darted up the closest tree to get a better look at us. I wonder what he was thinking while he scrutinised us, probably, what a weird looking bunch, I wish I had my camera to get that perfect people shot.
Anyhoo, back to lunch. Lunch really was in the middle of the bush. Once we had driven through the sheep field and parked, we had a trek through the overgrown bush to the tent to have a BBQ! Yay, an Aussie BBQ! I was so tempted to say ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie’, but I managed to restrain myself. The food was delicious; we had jacket potatoes, goat cheese,
A site you dont see every day
Good thing no cars came round the corner!
salad and King George fish. Mmmmmm. The goat cheese was actually really really tasty. I was again the butt of all the jokes for being too English and not wanting to eat the skin of the fish - eugh gross. Apparently that is an English thing to do, well I am sorry if I am too English. Before we left we had the obligatory loo stop while everyone else cleared up (very convenient no?). Mary gave us clear instructions on where the loo was, but I must have gotten confused with the when you reach the big eucalyptus tree head left because we couldn’t find it. So instead we did the next best thing and got a little closer to nature. Of course HB found a stick to take back with us; I swear if she was allowed to keep them we would have had a whole suitcase full of them. I don’t think this stick managed to make it back to the car, but it may have.
The final stop of the day was to Seal Bay to see the Sea Lions. Normally you have to stay on the pathways above the beach so as not to disturb
them, but as you should know by now this is not a normal trip. We were allowed onto the beach to sit with the Sea Lions. They mostly slept, occasionally I pup would annoy its Mum too much and she would turn away from it. The alpha male made some noise, but nobody paid any attention to him either. Mary explained how they go off fishing for days on end and then when they get back all they want to do is sleep, don’t really blame them, I would sleep for days on end too. We didn’t get to stay too long, which was a shame as it was a very peaceful place to sit and watch, but they were closing up for the day and they needed to throw us out, not before another loo stop though. These ones were literally toilets over a hole in the ground - wouldn’t want to accidently drop anything down there.
The trip back to Southern Ocean Lodge was about an hour on a straight road (gives an idea of how big this Island is). HB was rather tired (as we all were) at this point so we suggested that she take
a nap. By this time she had moved into the back with me. Do you think she slept? No, not one wink. Everyone else slept, but HB chatted to me the whole time. I can honestly say I had no idea what she was saying to me, it was like she was talking to me but wasn’t. One of the best skills you can learn in (not just as a nanny) is to a) tune out people talking to you and b) nod in all the right places so it appears that you are listening.
Back at the Lodge we said goodbye to Mary, and got cleaned up for dinner. HB and I went ahead for dinner as time was pressing on, and tomorrow was going to be a big day, so bed time needed to be on time. Once HB was in bed I was given a list of things to do and wrap while they were all at dinner. Now why did I have things to wrap? Well you will just have to check in again soon to find out. To be continued...
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