Yup, just as I expected, I have a roommate!! The place I'm staying in is a bit bigger then it looks from the outside, which is a good thing! The bedrooms are downstairs...which are very steep and it worries me if I come home drunk one night :) and there is a fairly big living/dining area with a nice size kitchen. However, they could have splurged and got a bigger fridge, but they do have a dishwasher....yeah!! I have a beautiful view of south launceston, which I will post later, with a teeny patio to sit on and take in some rays! I have my first shift today...a little nervous, little excited and a wee but scared!!! The evening shift runs from 1345 to 2215, which means I get to walk home in the dark, but I'm not concerned. Everyone that I have met so far has been super nice!
Alright now for Kangaroo Island, Day one, Feb 9th:
Another early day, this time our pick up was 6:45 and they picked us up from our hotel. I thought getting up at 6:15 would be enough time, and it was, but barely! I walked out of the hostel just as the bus pulled up! Phew!! Our tour guide was completely different then Brian. Her name was Emily, or as she liked to be called Em, she was young - around 28 I'd say, and very outgoing! This tour was also substantially smaller then the great ocean road, with only 6 people and Em. Two german girls who where on the GOR tour with us where also on the Kangaroo Island tour with us which was pretty cool. We had about an hour and half drive to Cape Jervis where the SeaLink ferry departed for a 45 minute ride to Kangaroo Island - which I will call KI from now on! There is only one ferry that runs to KI and they take advantage of this. A round trip ride with a car is $190 plus $60 each way per person!! It is the most expensive ferry in the world for the distance it goes, a meager 11 kilometers! It was a beautiful day so we spent the entire time on the top deck, hoping to see some dolphins, but no luck. Once we arrived to KI, we loaded up the bus - we left the original bus behind and the company keeps buses on the other side, and went to Penneshaw to pick up some food. This is where I found out that I was pretty sure I was going to have a blast - our tour guide asked us all what our plans where for liquor and drinking! She was a drinker - although she was trying to quit smoking, as well there was a french guy, Marc, that was all for drinking! SWEET, what a time we are going to have!! haha. Marc and I decided to split a 24 pack of beer, and the others got wine. We stopped for lunch in Penneshaw where we started our drinking!! Once we filled our empty bellies, we headed to the beach, what a great day it is going to be! We stopped at a place called Prospect Hill before beaching ourselves where we climbed 511 stairs to get to the top of this 'hill'. In actuality, the stairs hardly had an incline and they probably could have gotten away with half, but now I can say I climbed 511 stairs!! Haha So at the top of Prospect Hill we got a nice view of the island and also learnt that this is where a brit and a french dude met, and despite their countries being at war, they became friends and mapped the majority of Southern Australia. After climbing back down the stairs, we headed to an amazing beach, Stokes beach, which I was stoked to see!! haha....I crack myself up :) Our tour guide told us, although I couldn't find any proof of it online, that people used dynamite to get to the beach as you climb through these rocks that are almost cave like in order to get to the beach. I couldn't see any proof of dynamite and they looked pretty natural...either way, it was a cool way to get to an amazing beach. The water was crystal clear and white sand beach. This beach is up there with the beaches I saw in Zanzibar Tanzania, definitely in the top three. We only got to spend an hour and bit at Stokes beach as we had to make our way to a wine tasting and marron tasting. The winery also raised commercial marron, and to be honest, I enjoyed the marron more then the wine - not to say I didn't try the wines!! It was probably one of the worst wine tastings I've been on - the guy hardly talked about the wine and he was kinda boring. BUT, no complaining from me as I got to try some amazing marron and drink free wine :) After the wine/marron tasting we had a chance to go on a quad ride. This was 'extra', so we had to fork out $60, but it was quading, so I HAD to do it!! All of us where up for it, some needed some persuasion, but we had a blast. The guy that took us around, Jayson, AKA, Paddy, was a friend of Em's and he was a blast....he ended up partying with us the second night we where there which I will get into later. The quads where different sizes, Yahmaha's I believe, there where 2 250's, 1 125 and 3 90's. Marc and I where the only people that had quaded before so we got the 250's - YEAH!!! Collette took the 125, and the other three girls took the 90's. We had this practice track to go on...blah blah blah, then we where off. We stopped a few times, to learn about some of the plant life on KI, see some inch ants, which are literally an inch long and if they sting you can send someone into anaphylactic shock and some european bees of the island which are the most lazy and tame bees ever. When we where checking out the inch ants we where lucky enough to see the queen inch ant come out, she had wings and can obviously fly, Paddy had never even seen one before! We 'quaded' for an hour, if you can really call it quading!! haha, nothing like quading in the north and getting stuck in mud up to your waist. Although we did get nice and dirty...lol. After quading, we went to our cabin where we were going to spending the night. While preparing for super, a bunch of the girls saw a baby koala run across the open field!! Of course I was in the shower and missed it, but I did see him eating away in the eucalupyptus tree and almost fall out! Later after dinner I did see the mom run across the field and go into the tree beside the baby. The most action I think I'll see a koala do! We had burritoes for supper, as well as some beer (of course!) and headed out at dusk to see if we could see some fairy penguins...now called little penguins. (FYI-the name was changed as gay activists made a fuss about the penguins being called fairy, and so the name was changed to little.....anyways.......) Unfortunately we saw none but I was not too upset as I'm pretty sure I will be seeing some on Tasmania. We almost hit a kangaroo going back to the cottage....they like to run at the headlights of the vehicle, but Em was prepared and half expecting it, so we where able to stop in time. At the cabin, which was owned by groovy grape, we slept in 'swags' outside. A swag is kinda like a heavy duty sleeping bag, that you put your sleeping bag in. It's made of military type material, it zips up on the sides, and has a small mattress inside that you sleep on. I was so excited to sleep outside, and stared at the sky for about 20 minutes before falling asleep. It was a bit cloudy so I couldn't see much, but just laying in the outdoors was my favorite part! Don't worry, I asked about snakes, I believe there is only one, the tiger snake, and they sleep during the night so there was NO chance of me waking up next to one :) Thank goodness! There was a chance though of wallabies or kangaroos coming up to us, but not that I was aware of. I woke up and saw a possum about 10 feet away, but I could care less about a possum! They are a pain in the ass and get into everything! When we came back from the non-existent penguins, there was a possum family scavanging around the patio of the cabin. They are just like raccoons and will try and get into everything!! I had a great night sleep and was up at 7:30 for a busy day planned on KI!