5th to 8th month

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kangaroo Island 8th - 14th March

Vis Kangaroo Island på et større kort

Rapid Bay Campground
On March 8th we folded up our camp at Rapid Bay temporarily -leaving our caravan behind-while we headed off to Kangaroo Island.

 Only a short drive to the Sea Link terminal at Cape Jervis we arrived with plenty of time. We had our lunch in the waiting area while the kids wandered around looking at the art work and other nic naks. The canteen lady thought they were so lovely-yes, my kids- she gave them each a free postcard.

At 1pm we boarded and our 45 min ferry trip was under way. About 3 mins in Ben and I found a nice quiet seat to wait it out as I have never had great 'sea legs' and I am afraid ben has inherited my sensitive demeanour.

Sunset at Brown Beach

On arrival in Penneshaw we quickly bought some supplies, checked out the Information Centre and then headed off to our first camp for the night. 
Brown Beach is about 10 mins westish and is on a lovely beach. The tent was quickly put up-with no arguing at all of course!!!- Then we went and checked out the beach. Molly had her clothes off first, Ben found the rock pools and Kasper couldn't decide what to do first.
Everybody came back happy and were fed, washed and in bed all by 8-)

Frenchman Rock
Kangaroo Island has the only pure Italian bee spices
9th March
Splashing in Emu Bay
Did I tell you that I brought one pair of shoes with me to KI? Well I did, and then I broke them! Rasmus stuck them together with gaffa tape but we needed a trip to a shoe shop asap. The other drama was the shocking nights sleep I had had. For some reason we had the kids sleeping arrangements sorted but not ours and I slept with only my doona between me and the ground! My poor hips had never felt so sore and would never make it through another night.
With these two situations to rectify all thoughts of sight seeing were put on hold as we drove to KI's capital-Kingscote-in pursuit of 'the shops'.
We quickly found that the only shoe shop in town had nothing I liked so I settled on a pair of pink crocs and brown boots for some bush walking as for the life of me I couldn't not find mine anywhere in our caravan.
Pier at Kingscote
Next stop was the camping store. We had decided that Rasmus would take the kids to the marine centre while I was entrusted to buy the mattress. Huge mistake!! On meeting up again we took it all back to the shop and bought different stuff.
Driving down to Stokes Bay
After that was settled we hit the road again. We found the Island Beehive to visit and tasted tested all their honey. It was delicious. We found the Queen bee in her hive and the kids bought a souvenir so it was back into the car.
We watched the lovely country side as we wound our way to camp number 2- Stokes Bay.
After setting up our tent we went to the beach through some caves which was a lot of fun. The beach was gorgeous and was protected from a nasty rip by a natural rock pool which made an amazing swimming pool. Naturally all clothes came off- the kids not mine-and the frolicking began.
Stokes Bay Camping
Rockpool, tide out
This camp site had many wallabies wandering around the tents, especially in the evenings, which was very cool. It always seems much more amazing to see the animals away from the sanctuaries and wildlife parks, even the common ol' wallaby.
March 10th
This morning Ben and I headed to the front beach for a wander and discovered the crabs living under the rocks which we had to tell the others about. After breakfast Rasmus took the kids back while I stayed to do some of my studies. They returned with a big bucket of crabs which they were going to make for lunch!
Two hours later we finally sat down it. Time consuming job but also delicious.
Then it was back to the cave beach for the others while I did more study.
On my walk with Ben in the morning we had chatted to a man who said that the penguins come at night time so after dinner, with our jumpers on, we headed down to see the spectacle. We were so excited we also told the Swiss family holidayers to come too. Embarrassing. Not a one of those little fellas turned up.
Was just watching the ocean for 45 mins fulfilling enough?
Koala, Rasmus & Ben
Classic Koala Picture
This morning was spent packing up the tent. While we were doing this I turned around just in time to see a koala climb down from the tree which was right next to me!! I called for the children-which scared the fluffy thing he scampered back up again! Soon he ventured down again, looking around him all the time. He took some tentative steps away in search of another place to sleep the day away. It was very cool to watch him walk and run to each tree deciding which was the best for him. The kids have seen many koalas in their time but none wandering around right in their reach!
To end our time at Stokes Bay we went for another wander on the really lovely beach. We walked along the water's edge and guess what? Molly and Kasper took their clothes off!!! Ben just rolled his eyes and went off in search of a rock pool :o)

Native Plants Nursery in Stoke Bay

From here we drove to the centre of the Island and stopped for lunch at . Ben was so sweet and wanted to shout us each an ice-cream for dessert. He was so proud of himself- I was too :o)
Got a couple more supplies and hit the road towards Flinders Chase, the national park at the west end of the Island.
Snake Lagoon Campground
We spent some time at the Visitor's Centre where the kids MUST buy something or some intergalactic war might start! Molly bought her 15th native bird of the soft toy variety, complete with chirping noise when you push its stomach. Ben and Kasper could not decide and poor Kasper was having quite the breakdown about it! I did just several times that it was ok to not buy anything at all and just window shop.  But that only brought on louder howls from him. Finally, I convinced him and his brother that perhaps they could sleep on it and we could get what they wanted on our return journey out.
We got our park and camping registration done and hit the road once again.
Only a short 8km up the gravelly, dusty road to Snake Lagoon.
The tent was soon pitched, the evening meal cooked and eaten and our bodies tucked up into our sleeping bags.

March 12th
Unfortunately, despite the really warm day we had had, it was one of the coldest nights! We were all freezing and shivering until the sun came up in the morning.
We had made some plans for some hiking that day but the kids were having a lovely time drawing together that they didn't want to stop. Rasmus and I thought it best not to disturb the calmness so he soldiered on alone and did the 4 km trek solo.

Heath Monitor [Varanus rosenbergi]

(Male) Red-Barred Dragon
[Ctenophorus vadnappa]
Red-Barred Dragon
[Ctenophorus vadnappa]
Rocky River
Rocky River arriving at Encounter Bay
Arrived at Encounter Bay
Bridge over Rocky River
Chilling out at Snake Lagoon Campground
While he was away I sent the kids on a scavenger hunt which they had to report on when they had found their items-I read my Kindle. I had a blister ok!!
Having Leverpostej
Rasmus came back with stories of Monitor sightings and the amazing sea views.

Remarkable Rocks
After lunch we finally conjured up some energy and went in search of the Remarkable Rocks. And they were indeed. Majestic mountains of granite which you could clamber all over- but not too close to the edge, as the sea raging against the rocks where awesome, but dangerous.
Remarkable Family
We found images in the rock which the sea and wind had chiselled over many 100s and 1000s of years and the kids tried for ages to climb up the edge of one of the smaller rocks. It was a lot of fun.

N.Z Fur seals on the Rocks
From here we went to see the New Zealand fur seals which were fighting back from near extinction after the seal trade had reeked their havoc.
Molly and I watched the young seals playing in the rough sea while the older ones lay dozing on the rocks. We imagined their conversations as we listened to them grunting and croaking at each other.
Admirals Arch
Rasmus took the boys to climb down and see the Admirals Arch. Molly and I waved to them when we saw them across from us.
Back at our camp site we remembered our chilly night the evening before and rugged up with extra layers for tonight's journey to Sleepy Land :o)

Heath Monitor [Varanus rosenbergi]

March 13th
Monitor in middle of picture
We had been hearing noises about the lovely weather we were having coming to an end so we weren't sure how many days we had left on Kangaroo Island. Not much fun in a tent with 3 kids while it is pouring with rain outside.
So, after we packed up the camp-site we decided to speed things up.
Added by Rasmus: (Before we left Snake Lagoon the kids really wanted to see a Monitor so I Took the kids for a 2.39 km walk to see a Monitor the day before I'd seen about five and pretty close to the campground. Unfortuatnly It wasn't until halfway down to the beach that we finally saw one.
Molly spotted it with a squeal and frightened the living daylight out of Kasper)

First stop was back to the bloody visitor's centre so Ben and Kasper could get the souvenirs they had been dreaming about for the last 2 days.
After that job was done we ate lunch in the car park making sandwiches from the back of the car. We are the Fun Fiedler's heh!!
Molly and Kasper in Drypstens hule
Next on the agenda was a tour of the Kelly's Hill caves. The Limestone caves had been so named after a stockman's horse fell into one of the cave's hidden chambers; the horse was called Kelly.
Anyway, the caves were great. Nice and cold for one thing after the heat of the last few days. But they were so beautiful. The kids thought they were really good too. They embarrassed me though when the guide asked them what they saw in the shapes of the stalagmites and they said, 'uuhhmm...nothing.' Knew I had some really imaginative kids :o)
Kelly Hills Caves
The hole where Kelly the horse fell into
and thereby discovered the caves
When we had finished here we decided to head to our next camping spot and set up at Vivonne Bay in a small camping area.
The area was very beautiful but the ground was so hard it seemed impossible to bang the pegs in. We all had a go but were getting no where and Rasmus wanted to pack up and move on- to where I wasn't sure. It took the special hammer of the man next door to get any where- there is humanity in the world after all.
It was getting on in the evening when we had finally finished with setting up and eating dinner. We went for a walk onto the beach behind the camp. It was really lovely there with a small inlet, which would have been great for swimming, and great banging waves at the end of it with miles of white sand.
It was getting dark though so we trotted back to our tent and put the kids to bed. We grown ups soon followed as we couldn't get reception for the tv. (Infact we had trouble all over KI with that!)
We had heard from the local weather man that some wet stuff was on its way so we weren't sure how long we would stay-the morning would reveal all.

March 14th

Very, very windy. It was time to go :o(
We could see the rain clouds moving in and it was so windy we could hardly stand.
A quick brekkie and time to pack up.
Later, a ranger came by and said that coz of the wind the fire warning had popped up to serious so we needed to be careful.
So, into Alfie (did I say that was the name of the car we had bought?) we all piled and began our journey back to where we had started.
Arriving at the ferry at 1.20 we were only minutes late to buy tickets for the 1.30 trip-darn it! To make matters worse the 2.30 and 4.30 were full too!! The next available spot was 5.30. Hmm...guess we het to look over Penneshaw ….again.
First lunch.
While we were at the cafe, where, by the way, I was complimented on my children being the most behaved they had had for a while and were welcome anytime, we heard news of 3 fires which had sprung up quite near us. A storm was brewing and lightening had started them.
I think we made the right decision to leave.
The SeaLink office was nearby so I wandered in and managed to snare a spot on the 4.30 ferry back to the mainland. We felt a lot safer and despite the stormy weather my sea sickness was much better this trip.
Back at the caravan we heard that lightening had also started a grass fire right next to the camping-ground!!! It was out by the time we got there so every thing was A-ok back in our little home :o)

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