Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Kangaroo Island

Seal Bay - team pic with our epic tour leader Glenn.
Seal pups playing on the beach.
Amy greeting the sleepy Koala.
After three days of practice, today was a nice change of pace. We rose with the sun and departed early for Kangaroo Island. We took a bus to Jervis Bay where we then boarded a 45 minute ferry to Penneshaw, a town on Kangaroo Island. When we arrived at Kangaroo Island we were greeted by our native bus driver and tour guide Glenn. He proved to have quite the personality as he thought we were professional lacrosse players and cracking jokes throughout the day. For instance, he pulled over the bus telling us to ready our cameras for the best picture of the day. It turned out to be a sign for Wilson Road, his last name. On the way to our first stop, Glenn provided us with the history and background of Kangaroo Island. Some fun facts you might enjoy include: there are three policemen, three doctors and one dentist on the island and the population is equivalent to the size of the Dartmouth student body.

Sydney Ellis '15 holds a young joey.
The first stop on our journey was Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery. We watched a great movie that describes the process of making eucalyptus oil, which has remained the same for over 100 years. The gift shop proved to be quite popular as teammates indulged in the eucalyptus oil and cream. You can all be expecting some of these as holiday gifts! Glenn kept us on a tight schedule and we were off to our next stop, Seal Bay. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by yet another friendly tour guide who led us down to the beach. We were all struck by the vast number of seals relaxing on the beach. While some of the seals were playing and moving around, others were just enjoying the relaxation. We found out that seals spend three days at sea eating and then three days on the beach relaxing. The playful pups pleased the many avid photographers in our group but we had to keep our ten meter distance because the seals are a dying species. By this point, we were all thinking about our stomachs and made our way to Vivonne Bay Bistro for a satisfying lunch, we were even given chocolate cake for dessert.

Our next stop was the most exciting of all, Parndana Wildlife Park! First we passed many exotic birds on our way to visit the koalas. Each player was able to pet and pose with the koalas. Most of them were snuggled up in the trees catching some zzz’s but there was one more active creature. He was perched atop a tree munching on some eucalyptus leaves, he reminded us of the old wise grandfather, but what do we know. We then made our way to pet and feed the kangaroos. We were all surprised at how comfortable they were around humans and we discovered they would make great pets. Kyra’s favorite part of the day was filling up her hand with food and feeding the kangaroos, they even rested their paws on our hands for balance. The kangaroos provided much entertainment, hopping all around us. We were also able to see a wombat, a crocodile, a porcupine and even an albino kangaroo. Just when we thought we had seen it all, a mother kangaroo with a joey in her pouch came hopping over. This was Bailey’s favorite part of the day because the joey seemed so comfortable with only his head poking out. He must have gotten a little overwhelmed by all the beautiful girls because he retreated back into the warmth of his mother’s pouch. Kyra and a couple of other players we were lucky enough to hold Molly, an orphaned baby kangaroo, who showed her fragile nature when she was startled by all the flash photography. On the way out we made a visit to Stanley, the talking parrot. We were all pleased at our accomplishment to get him to say, “got ball!”

Sam Schiff '15 and her new friend.
Hannah Saris '16 chatting with the locals.
Pennington Bay

Our final stop on our whirlwind day was a cliff overlooking Pennington Bay. The views were breathtaking with rocky cliffs and blue Australian waters. Unfortunately our day had to come to an end, but it was a great way to finish our visit to Kangaroo Island.

We made our way back to Penneshaw, said G’day to Glenn, and boarded the ferry back to our bungalows. Some players got competitive in a game of President, a card game, while aboard the ferry. The sunset on the way home made for the perfect ending to a memorable day that we are both so thankful to have experienced.

For all you avid bloggers out there, following Frances and Danielle’s post yesterday, the DVD mystery has been solved but our outlets still don’t work. Despite the minor setback, we were still able to make wonderful pesto chicken pasta with tomato, avocado and walnut salad. We unfortunately did not have any leaves in the salad because our spinach was frozen, thanks again to our inability to understand Celsius.

Today was a great day off from lacrosse but we are so excited to play the national team tomorrow!

Kyra Hansson ’13 & Bailey Johnson ‘14