Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree…… Halls Gap, Australia 03/13/2020

Friday the 13th of March was a lucky day for the duo. Meandering out of our hotel room, we headed towards Grampians National Park to do some hiking and see some wildlife. We stopped at the visitor center where Dave was assured that he would see some emus grazing in a field down the road. So that was our first stop. We fixed our PB&J sandwiches and scouted the area for an emu in between bites. No such luck, but we did spot a Masked Lapwing which we identified using the Merlin app from Cornell University. Still one our most used apps for identifying birds and we love that there are no ads bothering us. After we filled our bellies, we prepared to hike up Mount Sturgeon a 4 km hike up and 4 km hike back down the mountain. It had amazing views of the surrounding mountains, but not much in the way of wildlife.

Our next stop was in the national park where we plan on bedding down for the night. A reservation was secured and we were off to find our room among the hills of Australia. Leaving our bags in the room, we headed down the road where Dave was again assured that there would be emus and maybe some kangaroos. Success!!! Hundreds and hundreds of large grey kangaroos – the 2nd largest kangaroo in Australia – and some emus were in the field just grazing in the grasslands at the base of the mountains. There was also that Australian anteater, the echidna, just hanging out.

Hungry for dinner, we walked into town and stopped at a local pub for a bite to eat. Kathy had chorizo bon bons over mashed potatoes and Dave had a Po Boy. (Pictures for you, Jill.) Dave’s Po Boy had a fried egg over the pulled pork – not sure if this would be acceptable to our southern friends. A lively conversation ensued with a couple from Switzerland where the topics flowed from the coronavirus, travel, and visiting Switzerland. (Definitely will be a future trip where we can spend more time hiking and exploring the alps!) Reluctantly, we left knowing we had to still stop by and pick up some groceries before calling it a night. On the walk home, we saw our first kookaburra and a bird that Merlin identified as a crimson rosella. The bird’s name says it all, a bright red and blue bird that Kathy at first mistook for a parrot because of its bright plumage. Tomorrow, we will head to… who knows? But wherever we go, we are together and having fun!!

Enjoy this throwback:


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