We left for Denmark (Australia) when it was still dark. Paul picked us up with his friend Michael and we headed to Murdoch to pick up the other CIEE kids. Zach, Erica, Willy, Seth, and Becca all hopped in the van bringing our group total to nine and we started our six-hour journey south to Denmark. On the way we kept commenting on how the landscapes changed to different American states, which goes to show that there is a lot to look at here. We stopped at a gas station for breakfast and a park for lunch.
On the way we stopped at a museum commemorating the life of the indigenous people of Australia where we learned a brief history of the original Australians (when I say brief I mean the Aborigines tour guide flew through the exhibit in record time), and then snacked on some Billy Tea and Damper (bread) prepared Aborigines style by a fire. I bought a sports boomerang in the gift shop to support the local economy.
We visited an animal farm/petting zoo next where we got to feed kangaroos, goats, llamas, emus, bunnies, a camel, chickens, and ferrets, among others. We even got to pet a couple koala bears and watch racing pigeon’s fly in formation. Feeding the emus was terrifying but definitely exhilarating! They are incredibly accurate with their pecks and can snatch the pellets from your hand without hurting you.
When we finally got to Denmark we were met with beautiful tall trees and chilly
weather. We were basically as far south as you can be without being in Antarctica, so of course swimming in the South Ocean sounded like a perfect idea! So the whole troop got our suits on and headed to the amazingly beautiful beach and proceeded to swim around for about 30 minutes in the 50 something degree water. It actually wasn’t that bad once you became numb and stayed under water, but once you climbed out on a rock the cold breeze made sure you didn’t forget how insane you were being. The water was crystal clear and beautiful, and how many more opportunities am I going to have to swim in the South Ocean?
Hunger was an issue at this point so I was extremely excited when we threw a bunch of kangaroo and beef steaks on the grill for a huge dinner feast. It hadn’t even been a day yet and we were already great friends with our CIEE friends (all five from Clark College). The house (The Cove) we stayed in was absolutely amazing, built by hand from different local woods and reclaimed glass, and plenty big for our group of 11 to live as one big family. The guys slept upstairs and we each had our own bed. A fireplace heated the whole thing and did a great job considering the wintery weather outside. The evening consisted of chess and good conversation. Sleep came easy after such a big day.