Monday, May 12, 2014

South Australia

Cage diving with great whites isn't the only thing we did in South Australia.  We also visited the Flinders Ranges, which is a mountain range at the tip of the Outback, where habitable land eventually gives way to the "red center".

They look like no other mountain range on earth, I think!

That last one is a painting at the Wilpena Panorama, an art gallery/exhibit in the metropolis of Hawker.  It was so incredibly well done and lifelike.  The artist has got some serious talent, yo. 

We also saw some new and exciting wildlife!

Grey kangaroos (nothing too exciting about these, they're everywhere and we've seen lots of them):

Red kangaroos:

These are big 'uns and we've never seen them before.  They can get up to 5'9" tall - that's my height!  These guys prefer to live in arid dessert conditions so these aren't the kind that accidentally wander into metro area shopping malls.

Yellow-footed rock wallabies:

These cute little things almost went extinct but there's a big campaign to bring them back, and they're doing much better.  They live in a very small, specific habitat and we saw a bunch of them when we visited their rocky home.


Like many species in this country they were artificially introduced, are now impossible to get rid of, and a huge pain in the ass to everybody and everything.  It's crazy how good they are at rock climbing!  We watched this group jump up pretty much a 90 degree rock face like it was the easiest thing in the world.  And my personal favorite animal...


We had never seen them in the wild before, but we have seen them in captivity and, of course, eaten them.  We did some more emu eating on this day, along with something a wee bit more exotic:

Martin had the camel, but I tried it.  It was good!  Honestly, meat is meat.  Nothing I've ever tried tastes too wildly different from anything else.  Like the goats, camels are all over Australia despite nobody wanting them here.  There's an estimated million or more camels out in the Outback (where nobody is or goes, so it's hard to count)!

We did a lot of driving to get from Adelaide up to the Flinders Ranges, then down to Port Lincoln for shark diving, then back to Adelaide to return home.  We had heard of, but never before seen, "road trains":

These are massive semi trucks hauling 2 or more trailers.  I got a kick out of the yellow "ROAD" "TRAIN" signs they had posted on their front and rear bumpers, mainly because we had 3 big days of driving and I was scraping the bottom of the barrel for entertainment.

Because of all our time spent mountaineering and sharking, and transiting between them, we really didn't get to do Adelaide properly.  My personal belief is that a city is a city is a city, and you can find them all over the world.  Sure, they have their own charms but they're nowhere near as interesting as nature.  I even willingly gave up doing wine country to see these other places, and you know I love my wine!

We did catch sunset at Glenelg, which is a suburb (or separate town entirely, I really don't know) of Adelaide that's right on the ocean:

This is a nifty little area that's ripe for tourists.  It was freezing cold when we were there (like 60 degrees - seriously, that's cold to me now) so we didn't stay long.  We went into the city, had dinner, enjoyed not being in a car for once, and visited the local (awesomely awesome) pig sculptures:

I don't know why Adelaide has pig sculptures eating out of fake garbage bins on their main shopping street, but I love it!

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