If there is one quintessential moment in a trip to
Australia, it is probably the one when you see your first kangaroo. And today was mine.
We had spent yesterday
going slow; most of the time had been spent in between the hostel and the mall where we had food. There had also
been a walk up to the new parliament buildings and a tour of the chambers, but wet weather had left us a bit soggy
around the edges. Our dorm in the hostel was a ten-man job, despite the early promise of a four man room. It was
still a nice setup, and after slowly easing our way through the day and making the most of the accidental but
unlimited web-access we had a quick drink at the hostel bar and a Mexican dinner before bed at 9pm. Not the most
exhilaratingly of days, but we were still feeling shoddy from the coach journey.
This morning we were up and
out by ten. Corrine, James’ cousin once removed (we think) picked us up and we dumped our bags over at her house
before going on a road trip around Canberra. Firstly we took a trip up the Telstar tower (for free; Corrine’s
daughter Tess works there) and absorbed the fantastic vantage over the city. We then drove further out, visiting the
sites of the burnt out space centre and the remaining working site (following the bush fires three years ago).
Afterwards we visited a local reservation (again fire damaged) but were able to get a close up look at the kangaroos
and wallabies. Unfortunately the koalas were a bit thin on the ground (in the trees) but no disappointment as we
have the wonders of Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo in Brisbane for that extra privilege.
Tonight we are going to
watch the Ireland/Australia match (Heather is pining) and then have food when we get back. It’s been pretty cool,
as it’s the first day where we have really felt like this is ‘true’ Aus, and hopefully as we move up to Sydney
we’ll continue getting the good weather.