Kangaroos and Cockatoos

People in Latvia make pretty stereotypical assumptions about Australia. Most people assume the capital of Australia is Sydney, and pretty much everyone thinks that we have kangaroos jumping around in our back yards as a standard feature. When people ask me stupid questions about Oz, I usually go along with it. The girls in my singing group delight in my answers whenever there is a new girl joining our group who brings out the typical line of questioning: „Oh! You’re from Australia!! Wow! Did you have your own kangaroo??” Me: „Sure I did! It had a collar like a dog and we had to tie it up by the back fence so that it didn’t jump away! And koala bears sleeping in gum trees out the back...”

A few weekends ago we stayed for the weekend at the Grampians National Park (about 350 kms out of Melbourne), where this actually WAS the norm! For those of you who haven't been there, the landscape in the Grampians is pure exotic Aussie fare - I was just as amazed as the dopey European tourists. We would wake in the morning to cockatoos on the deck, and kangaroos grazing in the front yard. I wonder why we never made the trip out here while Jeremy and I were living in Melbourne. Although everything was parched and brown, the grass trees, huge mountainous rock formations and spectacular views over valleys and hillsides made for an amazing Aussie tourist experience. Bushfires are a constant threat here (a big one ripped through the area around two years ago) and the terrain seems so wild that there are times when you wonder how wise those ‘whiteys’ are, making homes in the area and imaging that they can tame a bit of that rugged wilderness.

While there – with Jeremy’s parents and brother Jamin, wife Julie and their son Luka – we celebrated my birthday, a classic meal at the Grampians hotel (love those pub meals that spill over the sides of the plate) and an ice cream cake for afters. Just perfect – especially the three eager young guys who helped me blow out the candles.

One Response so far.

  1. Alex says:

    I can't believe I've never been to the Grampians - and I've lived in Melbourne for 10 years! I've also never seen snow in Victoria, never been to Shepparton, Ararat, Gippsland, Portland and a dozen other regions in this state!!

    So perhaps I should move somewhere else for a while and return as a tourist - I might make more of the the time here.

    Your photos are as usual fun, interesting and creative - so now it really makes me want to go there.

    Hope you are back safe and sound now,

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