After a few days of being back in Melbourne, I found myself back on the bus to the airport to catch my flight to Adelaide where I would be reunited with my parents for our two week vacation around Australia. I had just enough time to unpack, do laundry, sleep, shower, and pack my bag again in the 54 hours I was back in the city. The flight out to Adelaide was uneventful and I arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule although it didn’t matter because my parents weren’t scheduled to fly in for four hours. But the Adelaide airport had free internet so the time went by quickly and my parents arrived about an hour earlier because they were able to catch an earlier flight out of Sydney. It was really great to see them walk up the ramp into the terminal and I could tell that the only thing keeping them standing was how excited they were about being in Australia. After we got their checked bags we found the shuttle that would take us to our hotel in the city. We would be staying at the Oaks Horizon hotel and my mouth dropped when I walked through the door. For the past 4 weeks I had been staying in a dorm, camping in a tent, or rolling around on a bunk bed so the luxury of the hotel was definitely a bit shocking at first. But I’m not one to complain so I threw my bags down and we set off in search of some food. That first night we walked down a great pedestrian mall that had tons of nice shops, coffee cafes, and restaurants. The meal was good and it was great to talk to them about New Zealand and what we all had been doing the past month but it didn’t take long for both of them to start to doze off from a full belly and sitting down. We walked back to the hotel via the main road alongside the corner of the botanical gardens and some museums. Both of them dropped off pretty quickly after we got back, which is completely understandable. Mom said she felt bad for leaving me up alone which made me laugh a little because that is so typical of her but told her it was okay and that I had some work to do anyways.
The next day started out pretty bleak. There had been a few issues with the tours we wanted to do but we were picked up by a shuttle that would take us around downtown and into the hills around Adelaide which turned out to be really nice. The group was small and the guide was very good with lots of information and humor. The city of Adelaide is actually quite small so it didn’t take long for us to be on our way up into the hills surrounding the city for some good views and then find ourselves in a small German village known for its beer, sausage, and culture. We got a free beer tasting and walked around there for awhile (it was a very cool place) but it was soon time for us to get back on the bus. It was weird having someone other than Steely and Holly telling me to get back onto a bus. The shuttle dropped us off at the middle of the city next to a great street to eat on and we arrived just a few minutes before what was supposed to be one of the best seafood places in the city opened up. It was really good but I wouldn’t say that it lived up to the hype the driver had given it and unfortunately it is quite easy to become disillusioned with the prices in Australia. We walked back to the hotel so we could pack for Kangaroo Island and I attempted to show Mom and Dad my pictures from New Zealand but they were both too tired to enjoy them.
We had an early morning to catch the shuttle that would take us to the ferry that would take us to Kangaroo Island where our bus was waiting for us. The trip was good and aside from the small army of elementary school kids that were on the ferry with us it was actually quite relaxing. Even saw a dolphin playing alongside the ferry for a few seconds. When we got to Kangaroo Island we met our bus driver who seemed like a very laid back and funny guy. But he put all of us straight to sleep once he got onto that microphone. I don’t know whether he was trained to talk like that or just did it out of habit but he would spend so much time repeating himself and enunciated words for what seemed like forever that he would put all of us to sleep. The jolt of the bus would wake us up whenever we got to a destination and on the first day we were jolted at a eucalyptus oil factory, our lunch stop, an Australian birds of prey show, the sea lion beach park, a wildlife reserve, and then a sheep dairy. It was a jam packed day but was a ton of fun. Holding a kookaburra, feeding a kangaroo, and discovering that eucalyptus is one of the most pungent smells on earth were just a few things I did that day. Our driver dropped us off at the hotel and told us to wait up to try and see the little penguins as they came inland for the night but none of us were awake very long. After getting some fish and chips, food for breakfast, and reading a few chapters of The Lacuna I was out like a rock.
Our second day on Kangaroo Island was better because the stops were a bit more interesting and we were a bit more fresh than the day before. We started the day at a Honey Farm then worked our way to a cave system where our guide was a bit too enthusiastic about being down in the dark by herself before having lunch in the national park. After we ate we went further into the national park to the Remarkable Rocks formation followed closely by the first lighthouse and the fur seal rocks. The last thing on the agenda was a pelican feeding (actually really entertaining) before we were taken to the airport to catch our flight back to Adelaide. When we were back none of us were too keen on walking around more so we grabbed a pizza, some cider, and ate dinner in our hotel room before going to bed early once again (this was a recurring pattern the entire trip almost). Before we went to bed we did epic battle with the Australian washer/dryer combo that was in our room and were unfortunately defeated by the dryer that doesn’t dry clothes. The next morning we would be flying to Uluruu via Alice Springs.