Trip Start Jun 20, 2011
17Trip End Jul 09, 2011
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Monday July 4th began as most days, with a long bus ride north. When I look back over the last dozen years, there aren't too many in which I was actually in the U.S. for our country's independence. Most of the morning was spent with a long drive and stops at Townsville and Cardwell.
So we drove and drove until we reached a wildlife sanctuary full of crocodiles, koalas, kangaroos, wombats, and native fauna. The park was an amazing opportunity to get up close and personal with the animals. When I first entered I found a kangaroo and its baby having a drink from the lake. I was able to get right next to them and even pet them. I walked along the walkway and encountered other kangaroos as well as many birds and ducks.
There were many caged enclosures with a variety of crocodiles. I also saw my first dingo in another enclosure.
The park provided our delegates opportunities to get close with animals. Before lunchtime I held a crocodile and an Australian snake. After lunch we had a koala experience. We each got to hold a koala. Their fur wasn't as soft as I had expected. There was also an enclosure to get up close with a koala and see it climb a tree.
Finally we went for a crocodile show. I was in awe how in one moment I was staring at a calm, peaceful pond and then a crocodile came rocketing out with its powerful mouth.
We left the wildlife are at 3PM and made a 2 1/2 hour drive to arrive at a farm 80 mm SW of Charters Towers. The farm was literally in the middle of nowhere! There was a huge barn split in two sections, each filled with bunk beds, for the boys and girls. I was with four of the other five adults in a great little rustic house. We had to share one bathroom, but was nice and cozy. We all had dinner outdoors followed up with songs and dancing. After that I played some basketball and volleyball with the students until their curfew time. At that time the leaders went back to our small abode. We played some cards in our little kitchen.