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Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

I like birds.  I really do.  I love to watch them in their natural environment and I especially love spotting unusual-to-me birds.  As spring hits Canada, I know that the sounds of chirping birds must be back in full force.  I saw a robin before I left Toronto last month and for many that first robin sighting truly marks the beginning of the season.

Well, there are no robins in Australia and, as I’ve already lamented, we won’t have an Australian spring for some time.  But there are birds!  Lots and lots of interesting birds.

I tend to look up as I walk through the city.  There’s some incredible architecture in Adelaide and around every corner is a beautiful tree.  Andrew is not the most helpful when it comes to identifying species, though he seems to always know whether it’s a native or introduced tree, but I am happy to admire ignorantly.  Plus, these interesting trees are full of bird calls I’ve never heard before and I like to put a face to the voice, so to speak.

As we were finishing a walk this weekend, we turned a corner and were nearly home when from down a side street came a call I recognised but had never heard in the wild before.

Sure enough, when we adjusted our eyes to the tree’s darkness, we found that it was full of rainbow lorikeets.  Parrots!  That’s something you just don’t see in Canada and I could have watched them for hours.  They were eating berries and flitting from branch to branch and tree to tree.  I can’t tell you what kind of berries because, as previously mentioned, my tour guide is not an expert in Australian flora. 

Many things about Adelaide feel Canadian to me.  Many, many things feel different, of course, but there are so many similarities that if I don’t concentrate too hard I can forget for a while that I am somewhere completely foreign. Peugeots;  parrots; trips to the supermarket: these things serve to remind me that I’m not in Canada any more.

Imagine… parrots!

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I made it!

It’s been nearly a week since landing in Adelaide and I’ve been busy getting settled in; acquainting myself with the time change and convincing myself that yes, I am actually here.  There’s been some concern amongst friends and family that I may have been eaten by Australian wildlife as I’ve dropped off the communicative planet this week but allow me to assure you all that I am alive and well.  

My flights (three of them!) were all excellent and I didn’t have any difficulty navigating four airports with my excessive baggage.  After a bit of schmoozing, I even landed a window seat for each leg and for the two longer flights there were empty seats beside me… airplane bliss.  I think I’d imagined travelling to the other side of the world as somewhat traumatic.  Worst Case Scenario Girl pictured 13 sleepless hours with crying babies surrounding her; tearful fits of boredom and the attendant carts running out of ginger ale.  In actual fact, it was very relaxed. 

Qantas was a delightful surprise and I haven’t a single negative thing to report.  This may be thanks in part to the magic combination cocktail of sleep-inducing pills I self-administered upon locating my seat but I really think that’s neither here nor there.  The flight attendants were all charming (and curiously nearly all male. I wondered about an international flight gender superiority imbalance there) and they came up and down the aisles throughout the night bringing trays of assorted beverages in large plastic glasses – no piddly airplane cups in sight!  I nearly slept through dinner (thank you magic cocktail) but breakfast was very good… considering it was served 11 hours into a flight.  Whenever I have airplane food and especially airplane breakfast food I think about my friend Kristy who just loves it.  At least she did love it, 6 years ago when we last spoke about this.  Still into it Kristy?

The entertainment options on the Qantas international flight were like nothing I’ve ever seen.  I almost wished I didn’t need to sleep because there were so many interesting and varying programs and films available.  In the end, I watched The Fighter and The King’s Speech and one episode of Hoarders that brought me into Melbourne with not a moment to spare. 

I’d packed some extra clothes in my carry-on case and I changed into a new outfit between each flight.  I also brushed my teeth and freshened up as much as I possibly could throughout the journey and as a result I felt quite comfortable while traveling.  In fact, the only discomfort I experienced was a bit of inevitable swelling on the Los Angeles – Melbourne flight.  Because of the open seat, I was able to keep my legs elevated now and then and I joined the conga line of plane walkers when I needed to get up and move about.

In Melbourne I was informed that my bags (all three of them!) had not made the trip with me and were still somewhere in Los Angeles… or Toronto.  I’m not sure.  Given their weight and size I’ll admit that I was a bit relieved and I moved quickly through customs without them.  It was a relief to finally arrive in Adelaide to the warmest welcome I’ve ever received.   

My bags arrived by courier two days after I landed and I’ve been busy unpacking ever since.  Okay, maybe not.  But I have been busy!  It’s a 5 day long weekend here in South Australia and Andrew and I have been making the most of his time off.  Blogging will begin in earnest this week and  I’m looking forward to sharing my Australian discoveries with you.

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