Australia 2: Koalas, Kangas and Lansie
If there’s something as close to my heart as the Ocean in all her shifting blue wonder, it’s my family and friends… a close group of girl friends keep the relative sanity I have intact and I love them dearly. One of these beautiful girls is Alana, my surfing adventure partner and a creative force.
To my great joy and utter heart break (yes both at once!) Alana met her ideal man Mitch when traveling, and he’s awesome… and Aussie. So one week before I headed down south Lansie moved to a small town between Brisbane and Byron called Burleigh. Home to a great surf break and much of the surf industry heavy weights, it’s a good spot for my friend. As Mitch and Lans’ first house guests we were got to share the ‘how do you put the stove on?’ moments as well as my favourite, the shopping for plants! Peter and I raided a creek along the coast for some of my favourite orchids, humbly known as Poor Man’s Orchids, that we planted on their veranda.
In between surfs and dives Lans was adamant that we HAD to go to the Currumbin zoo. Not being much of a zoo-lover I wasn’t too keen, but was convinced that I just COULD NOT leave Oz without having met a Kangaroo and a Koala. And I must admit, the cuddly Koalas have always been high on my animal dream list.
Nothing in my over enthusiastic imagination could prepare me for how utterly adorable Koalas are. Like small perfectly round balls of fur, they cling to their Eucalyptus trees like the furry round top of a Dandelion. Cuddled into themselves they sleep and sleep, their digestive systems working hard to break down their exclusive Eucalyptus leaf meals. When awake they absentmindedly stuff leaves into their mouths, the soft crunching and rich aroma of the crushed blue-gum leaves filling the air. The quintessential teddy bear!
Buying ‘roo-food’ we enter the Kangaroo enclosure and I can’t help but laugh out loud when I see the large Red Kangaroos jump over to us for snacks. Their snuffling lips soft in my palm I fondle the furry ears.
I can’t help but think of Winnie the Pooh’s friends Kanga and Roo and have to stop myself from speaking in a Piglet voice!
Also nocturnal, most of the Kangaroos are sleeping on a ridge out of the midday sun. and there I see it! The small feet hanging out of the mothers pouch. Of course I’ve KNOWN that Kangaroos are marsupials, but when the tiny Joey as the babies are called clumsily gets out of his mum’s pouch I can’t help but gasp! It looks both beautiful and freakish all at once! The perfectly small Kangaroo that has lived in his mum’s pouch since he was the size of a walnut watches us curiously. I have to sit on my hands to not reach out and cuddle him!