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Published: March 21st 2011
A quest was due. A mission. A journey.
We set ourselves goals in life. Big goals: being generally happy 78%!o(MISSING)f the time, having children, traversing across all continents of the globe. And we set ourselves wee goals: making a bank shot off of the sink with a paper towel, eating a large pizza by yourself without throwing up, or seeing how long you can drive your car without pressing the brakes. These goals are good..necessary I would say. And today, I focus on both. Goal 1 Wombats
As stated on the www -
"They are not commonly seen, but leave ample evidence of their passage...leaving distinctive cubic faeces"
I had allowed cubic faeces to go unwarranted and unjustified for too long in my life, I would not take it this weekend. It was time to search for the source. I set out with my good friend Corinne who you might remember from past blogs about Thailand(if I had blogged about Thailand)(I had not). We were on the hunt. Our goal - "to see a wombat in the wild" Corinne has lived in Australia all her life and has been searching for the elusive animal ever since she jumped out of her pouch, so this just added to the adventure.
A pest to some, completely bizarre and new to me
26 years of searching...until today.
As with conquering any major or minor goal in your life, preparation is the key. We (Corinne) learned that wombats generally come out at dusk. They enjoy lush grassy pastures and frolic freely and constantly when no humans are around. Put humans into the picture, and the scene dramatically changes. Secretive, undetected, veils of mist and ninjas. These are just some of the words that came to my mind as we made our way to Kangaroo Valley
A two hour hop down south from Sydney passed quickly as we discussed our strategies for dusk. We pondered setting an alarm clock, but thought it unnecessary. Camouflage? No. Our instincts would guide us.
And then it rained. Buckets of torrential downpour which did not stop, and still haven't, two days later. We could have turned back, but never let these minor setbacks impact your ultimate goal.
We had heard that the food around the small towns was to be savored, and a particular pie shop stood out from all the rest. It was an anonymous tip given to us, but we did not have the location, nor the name of the shop. That
Skippy in the Fog
The fog allowed for a mysterious trip through rainy farm land
was up to us to find. Passing a sign which read "The Best Pie in the World", snared us into the trap. I am American, I must follow all words which I bother to read. Having stopped the car and avoided the puddles to get the shop, it was quickly evident that these were in fact, maybe NOT the best pies in the world. The opposite of what the foretold sign proclaimed. The person who would be serving our pies was not a kind-faced, old Australian lady with red cheeks from kneading pie dough all day, but a mere boy with lady-like, soft hands. We were not going to fall into this web of lies. Having promptly left, we drove a bit further and found a bakery.
Medals for pie-honors hung on the wall, rows of pies glistened in the fluorescent light. We had found the pie shop. Steak and kidney, braised lamb, curry, pepper steak and many, many more. One is not enough. Eat two, or three. A memory came back to me, it brought me back to my days in Scotland. Going up the road to the butcher at lunch from school. Ah, sweet
We drove to Berry
, a nearby town to kill some time and to prepare for dusk. When vampires(and wombats) are known to wake from their slumber. After booking our accommodation at a winery and drinking a beer for good luck, it was time to begin our search. At the end of Bendeela Rd is a campsite where numerous wombats are known to roam, but after a few laps, we decided that there was too much human activity. On the upside, here is where I saw my first wild kangaroo, with a joey in tow. Precious, those moments that will stick with you forever. But to more serious topics. Our search would entail a 2 mile radius which would allow us to cover a circumference of 2 Pi * r. Going at an average speed of 17 kilometers and hour, with 48 minutes of daylight, and the wombat being approximately 1.5 meters in length. This gave us a very, VERY high percentage of locating one. Having turned away from the camp, we veered left to the countryside, and stumbled upon green, wild and luscious Australia. The farms were modest, the grass was green, and the wildlife was everywhere.
The creature itself
Jumping kangaroos of all sizes, and yes, the wombat. Not 1, but five we saw. Stopping at each opportunity to sight a hopping, scurrying or twittering creature. This trip was so simple, yet so rewarding. Goal 1 - conquered
You might wonder about goal two. You might not, but on the latter, you probably stopped reading around the pie section. If you are still with me, goal two is a biggie. Having stayed on Pat and John's Jasper winery, in a fantastic B&B with delightful views and the feeling of fresh air and grapes. It is my goal to own a B&B. I say this fine and clear, I will own one. And it must be a winery, where wine is either created, or if not, then must be in a partnership with the nearby winery. The ability to meet this goal is still unclear and uncertain, but I will put everything I have towards it.
Goal 2 - give me a little while
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