Friends, possums, and penguins

Trip Start Jan 15, 2006
Trip End Aug 06, 2006

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Flag of Australia  ,
Sunday, January 22, 2006

Yesterday, Tidha (friend and temporary landlord) was kind enough to drive Rachel and me to Phillip Island. It's about 2 hours from Melbourne, and is famous for the Penguin Parade. I don't have any pictures of the penguins, because you're not allowed to take pictures. Which is not a bad idea for someone like me, who takes an excessive amount of pictures. This way, I was able to enjoy the experience without worrying about how the shot was turning out.

It was such an incredible thing to see. The pengunis are only about a foot tall, and weigh about a pound. They're called Little or Fairy Penguins. After spending $17, you can sit on stands on the beach and wait for them to appear around sunset. Tidha and I got there early so we got good seats, and then you just wait. And suddenly they appear. They come out of the water, waddle around, go back, wait for their friends to regroup, stand up, form a little line, and then waddle up the beach to their breeding grounds where their chicks are waiting. Penguins are not designed to walk, so they are ridiculous, and since they're so little, it's even more ridiculous. I saw about 6 groups, and they're usually in packs of about 20 or 30. Some penguins are leaders, some are stragglers. Then you can leave the stands and walk along the boardwalk to watch the penguins walk further to their babies. At some points, even though there's a fence seperating the humans from the penguins, you can get so close, you could pick one up. I was tempted. But I didn't, because I figured that would get me in trouble. But the Penguin Parade is the cutest thing I've ever seen in real life. If you want to see pictures, you can go to this website:

Before going to see the penguins, Tidha, Rachel and I stopped off at our other Costa Rican friend's cottage. Kate was just as I remember her, and we had a great time reminiscing (sp?) about our 10 weeks together in our tiny blue house. We had lunch at an air-conditioned pub (a big deal, since it was 42 degrees yesterday), where we had crocodile wontons. Definitely a first for me. We decided crocodile was dry, like fish, but tasted a bit like chicken. We went to the beach so we could soak up some incredibly hot rays and cool off in the incredibly cold water. I spent a good part of the afternoon slathering sunscreen on, and being chided for wearing my hat and sunglasses all the time. My excuse is that I'm Canadian.
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