Walking a Kilometer in Our Shoes
Last weekend I had some coworkers in town and so we took them to our favorite place around, Phillip Island. It's one of those places where they'd probably never go on their own when visiting for work, so it's a joy to see how much everyone ends up loving the area. We did the usual - stop at Koo Wee Rup for hot jam donuts, see the koalas, grab a meat pie, check out the beautiful beaches, watch the amazing penguins. As many times as we've been down there you'd think we'd get tired of it, but it is great sharing our litle part of the world with others. It's fun when they experience some of the things that make our every day life different down here, like when they order a meal expecting one thing and get something completely different, or when they realize just how different their version of English is from the English they speak here. I think it's also a bit validating - perhaps we aren't the crazy ones after all!
Though we may have been there a dozen times or more, there is still something new to see on Phillip Island every time we go. This time we got to see the Grand Prix Circuit. That was an interesting site in itself, but the paddock full of kangaroos nearby was also a treat. I think our guests enjoyed eating them for dinner with some skippy cooked over a hot stone.
This time of year the baby koalas aren't yet out of their pouches, and the penguins are showing early signs of the mating season to come. The wind is cold and jackets, scarves, mittens, and hats are essential (though I haven't yet been there when I haven't needed those!). The penguins gather in rafts out at sea and start to come in about 5:45, right after the sun sets when it's just dark enough to be safe for them. A wave will come in and spit out several dozen of these little guys. They might run back into the water and come back in again a few times before they decide it's safe to head back home to their burroughs. It is remarkable to watch how quickly these little guys move, and the sounds they make are truly unique. Having a wild penguin walk so close that you could touch it is a very humbling experience.