I woke up feeling on top of the world, after all, what more could I want? We were on an island paradise with wonderful company, wonderful weather and absolutely nothing left to worry about. With no hurry to get up and about, I was free to go for a run to stretch the legs and get a little bit off the beaten track and go further down the track past where our airbnb was. I quickly regretted the route that I had chosen as, once the path had turned around the corner that I could see from the end of our drive, it suddenly seemed to rise up like a very angry snake. The last things that I needed was any more thoughts of dangerous snakes and the group of tourists that were out walking and would laugh their socks off at the pasty ginger lad giving up. Fortunately I had the perfect excuses to stop for a moment just near the top of the hill, the first one was that I was about to pass out in the humidity but the other was the perfect view of rain clouds that had formed out at sea and were dropping their anger into the ocean below. It took the breath away
I quickly took the above snap and continued on my way refreshed and renewed. I followed the trail in a loop and passed some stunning modern houses that looked like the sort of places that film stars or rocks stars would hang our once a year on their own private grounds with private beaches below. It was quite the contrast to the barrel fields that we home to the Kangaroos that, I assumed, were the same guys that would request our lawns once it was dark.
I got back home with 4 or 5 KM in the legs and a enough sweat to drown a kitten. One of our party, unbeknown to me, had been out for a run at the same time and we stopped and chatted. I felt terming that the guy who I must have had 20 years over had run further, faster and then been for a swim in the sea to boot!
Once showered and cooled down, we headed back into Kingscote to pick up some shopping and potter about for the morning. It was a lovely place. It felt like a market town in the North of England where people didn’t just pop top the shops but also caught up with everyone and gossiped about the latest goings on in the outlying villages. We settled for lunch in a cafe where we had various pies, pasties and toasted sarnies all of which felt a bit weird in 28 degrees lunchtime heat but was quite lovely so it didnt matter that it was putting sweat on the top lip. I got chatting with a table all of older ladies that seemed to be some sort of organised club or group, but may well have been just friends that meet up to chat. We got on famously and they were as keen to hear all about what we thought of their island and what had brought us here.
Fed and watered, we jumped into the car headed back west to a place called Seal Bay. You dont need to be the smartest of people to guess what was there but, just like Rain Creek, you got exactly what you would have expected. *** The visitors centre was clean and full of the same stuff we had seen in every other visitors centre on the island. Anything to do with Kangaroos, Koalas, cork hats, beeswax or gin was order of the day. It felt very similar to Admirals Arch, the wooden walkway snaked down towards the beach below us with open views of nothing but nature as far as the eyes could see. There ware the remains of a whale that has washed up on the beach many moons ago and the scale was incredible.
****It has since come to my attention that the seals at Seal Bay were not in fact seals but were in fact sea lions. This proves beyond all doubt that I am not the smartest person in the world*******
But all of this paled away into insignificance when we got down to the Seals that were lounging on the sands. The walkway was raised about the seaside and you couldn’t get down onto the beach unless you were part of the guided tours, which we hadn’t gone for. In all honesty, I would have like the information that would have been passed on, the similar experience at the Koala park was fascinating, but it would have felt like an intrusion to be on their beach. They were their relaxing and the last thing they needed was us skipping between then kicking sand on their faces and taking close ups. If you tried that when I was on the beach, I would be fuming.
It seems that the longer that you spent on the lower part of the walkway, the more seals that you could spot as if it were a living ‘Where’s Wally’ book. I found that the best spot was to lie down flat on the walkway and peak between the spaces on the wooden slats. You were no wore than 2 meters above a huge sleeping seal that was being cuddle into by her pup. It really did feel like you were a part of their afternoon nap, I wanted to pull a blanket over us all and drift away for a half hour.
We were pretty much forced, in a very nice and friendly Australian way, to leave the place as they were closing up, but you could have spent all day there and still felt like you needed just five four minutes to decide which your favourite big lump of seal was. I don’t think that we were the only ones as we spotted this big old unit lying on the park outside.
We headed back to Kingscote and had dinner at the Ozone hotel. Avid readers will remember that this was the spot that we had lunch at when we first came to the island and I enjoyed the best chips I had ever had. I didn’t feel remotely embarrassed to to order ‘just chips’ for my main meal. They were still bloody lovely and I enjoyed every last one of them.
We headed home and I suggested to my Daughter, who is a real lover of animals, that we go for a walk in the dark and see if we can spot anything exciting. We followed the same route as my run that I had taken that morning but it was now pitch black. I don’t mean dark by the way, I mean it was impossible to see your hand in front of your face as there was no man made light at all other than our phone torches. If I am being honest, it was bloody terrifying as the sounds that were being made its he darkness left your imagination to work out what sort of animals were about to jump out and eat you at best, fill you with horrific life changing poison at worse.
We found that standing under the canopy of the boney trees that lined the road and lighting it with the torch made the most incredible setting when you looked up and could see a million stars and the milky-way above you. We had a lovely evening walking around in the dark, we didnt see much but we connected under the perfect skies and I never felt closer to my little girl that was quickly growing up.