Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Thursday June 7th: Phillip Island

     I'm so bad at this these days. I have to be doing something else to encourage myself to blog. At this point my laptop is propped up on my lap (oh, I guess that's why they call them that huh?) on the passenger seat (which is on the left side of the car in this country. O.o) of Josh's car as we head to his home town of Shepparton and more specifically Mooroopna. I mentioned these places beforehand at the end of the Grampains post and I'm excited to take more pictures and do some more Geocaching (one of my new favourite things in the world and worthy of another post).but in the mean time, let me tell you about Phillip Island.

      I yo-yoed about going to Phillip Island for weeks, i wasn't sure if there would be enough to see and do but I'm glad I went. It is an expensive little island outside of Melbourne that is famous for its Penguins. Phillip Island  has a large residency of Fairy Penguins which is the smallest species of penguin and the kind we saw at the beach in my first week here. There is some discussion as to why they  are now called "Little Penguins" I've been told that there was some uproar about the gay community and the world "fairy" having homosexual connotations. This implies either that penguin enthusiasts are upset at the prospect of little penguins being gay, or that homosexuals should be concerned about being thought of as too penguin like. Either way, which, if it is either, it's the homophobic pro penguin squad, it's stupid and I don't really think this is the case but it seems to be a widely accepted story among Aussie Uni students.

     Trouble with these penguins are they have be turned into a tourist attraction and you have to pay something like $22 to see them and you can take no pictures - it scares them, that makes sense but they were so cute and I want to share these moments with you! You go out to the dunes about an hour before sunset, sit on a set of bleachers for quite some time as it gets dark and you wait for "The Penguin Parade" when hundreds of penguins pop out of the sea and run across the beach to get back to their burrows for the night. There are lights on the beach to give tourists a better look but if you didn' t have your glasses on or have little luck with dim lighting you were likely going to want your money back. We saw something like 600 little blue birds and shivered our way through an hour of watching them scaper across the beach and rocks. Once the majrty passed by we walked back up through the dunes on a boardwalk that wove through the burrows. It was a confinous mess of penguins squawking and singing and calling. It was like being in a Canadian swamp in spring but instead of frogs and crickets you're surrounded by thousands of adorable little flightless birds with bellies so full of fish someone them can't hold their weight upright. It really is a little magical. I'll try to find some pictures online when I get some internet back (Betsy doesn't have wifi). 

      Otherwise we spent the day driving around the island finding cool places to take walks and climb things and have d&m's. Didn't take a crazy amount of pictures and didn't take a single one with me in it but I swear I was there. Some highlights:

I don't know why these cows are a thing, someone wants to breed cows and teddy bears I guess.

Aussie surfer gang signs.

We drove 40 min both ways to see this dock at high and low tide. I love water as much as the next person (maybe more), but geeze that was the longest trip for a 5 min bathroom break ever. 

There's no place like...

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