Land of Kangaroos, Koalas and Kolorful Birds

Trip Start Sep 30, 2006
Trip End Jan 16, 2010

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Flag of Australia  ,
Sunday, February 18, 2007

After being on buses for the last several months, I decided to hit the open road and test my driving skills on the left side of the street here in Australia. Considering I haven't driven at all since September, I've been doing quite well. Despite alarming road signs warning of 6ft tall kangaroos, fuzzy koalas, and cuter than cute wallabees, I've so far managed to avoid hitting any furry wildlife, pedestrians or fellow motorists. Here in Oz there seems to be more wildlife than vehicles, so aside from the poor roos that have been struck by the magnum "road trains" - an eighteen-wheeler x 3 - it's quite relaxing driving, except at dusk when the roos come out to the roadside and taunt you as you drive by. Last evening just minutes after I turned off the radio and begged "Mr. Koala, come out and play," as I figured I was in their habitat of lovely eucalyptus groves, what do I see above me in the trees but a super-cute fuzzy marsupial, hiding in the dwindling sunlight. I stopped the car and said hello to my new friend, only to spot another in a neighboring tree. I wandered across the road up into a dirt track and found another, and then another and another, wondering as I walked if I shouldn't be on the lookout for dangerous killer snakes. As I was looking up at one furry fellow lounging with three legs up, I heard a noise in front of me and there was a large koala bounding on the ground into the tree in front of me. He paused, looked me over, then proceeded to lumber his way up the tree, pausing a few times to rest. I now feel my Oz experience is penultimate, as I've seen countless kangaroos - very much alive in the outback and on my drive yesterday - sea turtles, amazing fish and corals at Ningaloo Reef on the west coast, wild cockatoos and parrots flying free. A good country to revive the environmental spirit within.
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