KI Koalas

Published: July 14th 2014
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Desert Ship Territory Log Day 11.

The weary family is up early this morning for the hour's journey to the ferry terminal at Cape Jervis. The drive reminded me of New Zealand where there were rolling dales and plenty of dairy cows, sheep and roos on the road. I reckon if we were one minute earlier we could have made it on the 9am ferry but the car in front of us got the last spot. Nevermind, time for a coffee at the shop and watch the disembarkation process until the 10am ferry. I was surprised to see sheep carriers coming off full of sheep. I knew they farmed on KI but I guess I never thought too much beyond how they get their stuff to market. It must cost the farmers a fortune. I also didn't think there would be enough room for big trucks either. Anyway, Desert Ship Territory was first in line so she was first on. I was getting VERY excited about what is going to be a highlight of the trip for me. It was a totally overcast day, bitterly cold and windy. The seas looked choppy but the trip wasn't that bad. I bought Brendan some sea sick tablets as I didn't want a repeat of our Kaikoura experience (refer to previous Palmists and Puke blog entry for NZ trip). He took a seat in the 'safest' part of the boat while me and the kids sat up the front. It was too cold to be outside. When I caught up with Brendan he seemed to be travelling okay. No other passengers puked and my nervousness of being on boats (stemming from a near death experience whilst caught in a tropical storm on a dhow boat off the coast of Kenya) subsided after a while.

It took about 45 minutes and by 11am we were at Cape Willoughby which is South Australia's first light house. I love lighthouses but the $36 guided tour fee as well as howling, gale force winds totally put me off. We explored the Dudley Peninsular a little further including me pissing Brendan off by me wanting to stop to take pictures of the lovely gums arching over a lonely track. The picture I took is bound to be an award winner. How do I know this? Because everytime Brendan whines about having to stop so I can take a picture, I take a great picture - must be the fact that I work well under pressure. We then climbed Prospect Hill where got sweeping views of the island. Famous Australian explorer, Matthew Flinders, did the same thing in April 1802. We were pretty tired by this stage and just wanted to get to our lodgings which was another 100 km away. We stopped at Vivonne Bay General Store because I forgot to buy a few things and we were also running low on bread. There was nothing much there so I thought there would be some groceries at the caravan park kiosk. I was getting very excited as I booked a whole 3 days here because there was the promise of seeing koalas in the wild right here in the park and seals just down the road in Flinders Chase National Park. Western Australia is sadly devoid of this great Australian icon as well as the wombat and this why I'm excited. There were lots of road kill, mostly tamar wallabies and sadly, I'm sure I saw a dead koala.

My heart sinks as we turn into the park which looks abandoned as absolutely no one is staying here and there is a big "For Sale" sign on the gate. Thankfully some one is at reception so I book in and quickly scan the kiosk during the process. On the spartan shelves there are two lonely packs of Sui Min noodles, no tampons or nappies to be seen and not even a tin of baked beans. There was glimmer of hope as I read a promising sign at the desk saying "Bread $5", so I asked for some bread. "We've run out. Usually we have some frozen but we don't have any of that left either". "Well when are you planning on getting some" I pleaded. "Dunno, but you can get some from Vivonne Bay", she replied. Vivonne Bay is 50 km away. "We've just come from there", I replied dispondantly. Thank god I had the foresight to get supplies for the next two evening meals yesterday otherwise we'd be totally screwed. It would have been helpful that in the island's glossy tourist brochures, you know the ones showing heaps of happy families frolicking in backlit gums pointing at cute cuddly koalas from their porch, actually mentioned in the 'useful information' section that there is absolutely no shops within 50 km of the ferry terminal. We are 150 km from the terminal.

Brendan barks at me, "How long did you say we were staying here?"

"Three days", I responded proudly.

"Why didn't you book somewhere a bit more central to everything?"

"There is nothing more central", I yelled. We are all so very tired with burning the candle at both ends and tensions rise when things don't quite go our way. I couldn't be bothered with looking for damn koalas and crawled into bed at 4 pm because I was so cold and exhausted. I fell asleep for two hours and woke up in time to catch the weather where the forecast is for torrential rain and gale force winds tommorrow. Excellent weather for photographing seals! To be honest I think we need a day of doing nothing and planning our escape route back home. I think I will be begging to be dropped off at the Adelaide Airport. The thought of four straight day's of more driving is not filling me with the firstborn adventure I was relishing a week and a half a go!


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