I am in love, I am in love, I am love, I am in love with a wonderful wombat!
7.20.06 0 °F
Tuesday, May 30 – Bus to Rockhampton
I realized when I unpacked my laundry that I was missing my sleeping tshirt, and I planned to go back to the laundry that was literally right underneath my room in hopes that it was still there. It was and with a tea in my hand, I went back to pack.
Katie had wanted to meet me for breakfast and had asked me to call her when I wanted to meet her. I went to the grocery store to pick up some fruit and cheese for the bus trip today as I felt I had not had enough nutritious food in the last few days and then called Katie. I finally ended up knocking on her door, as the phone was not answered. She indicated that she had gotten in late and would need to catch up with me in Sydney. I left my bags at the hostel and went a little way down the sidewalk to a café. Right next to my table on the ground was what looked to be a young dove that was not well. One of the ladies as the hostel was a wild life rehabilitator, so I went back and caught her eye and between the two of us, we caught the little dove. She was very soft and the woman confirmed it was a broken wing, but would take her back and put her in a box for safety until she could determine how to help her.
Then, along the sidewalk came Katie, who decided to meet me for breaky after all. She was the person who had the unwelcome late night visitor and told me that after that incident, she called another friend that she knew was in town in order to get away from the room for a while.
It was time for me to get to the bus station and I found that I also had Carl on my bus to Rockhampton (Rocky). Carl’s alarm clock was not functioning and he only just made the bus. I offered him a bottle of water and a banana. The bus trip was unremarkable and the movies were not that great, but hard to avoid due to the volume of the soundtrack. Garfield, Dirty Dancing Havana nights and Duma (about a cheetah cub and boy). Needless to say, I spent a quality day with my ipod and enjoyed the scenery.
When we arrived in Rocky, I had to call a cab as my motel that was on the outskirts of the city. I agreed to meet Carl for dinner the next night. The motel is good, just a little removed from the main town, but very close to my travel agent who I will meet tomorrow face to face.
Wednesday, May 31 – Rockhampton
A doodle day – slept late, lunch and a little shopping, bloging, travel agent meeting, cab to dinner with Carl. Carl was going to be over two hours late returning with his tour, so I had a cider at the bar and went back to my hotel. Watched a British movie called Deep Blue that was mainly a documentary with various sea animals. Boy, do I hate watching Killer Whales eat! Their food is always so cute.
Tomorrow I find the Internet café in Rockhampton – Not wireless, so still can’t post, but at least I can check e-mail. Also, need to buy a sleeping bag for the next two placements.
Thursday, June 1 – Rockhampton
This was to be my last day in Rocky before I headed out to the wallabies. I buses into town, always an adventure in a new place and walked to find the internet café. I ended up making an appointment at the library for a free half-hour of connection time. Before that I found a discount place and bought a sleeping bag, foam pad and daypack for $29.99 Aus. Not bad. During my internet session, I finally remembered to pull off the contact number for the wallabies and called Tina. She indicated that I could come today, and it sounded like that would be easier for them as her partner, Pete, works at the Rocky zoo and could pick me up after work. This shifted my plans slightly as now I had to pack and get ready for my two weeks on the farm.
Pete came and got me for our 1.5 hour drive north towards Marlborough. The sun was setting and it was a lovely drive. As soon as I got out of the truck, there was Tina and a young eastern gray kangaroo named Sugar who was sucking on her pants. I was greeted by three barking and very excited dogs, Mini (black wirehair), Cooper (Jack Russell with broken back leg) and Missie (Red Kelpie). Others in the menagerie include guinea fowl, a friendly Plymouth rock hen, 2 Havana Brown cats (Chico and Kitty Cat) and a lavender point Siamese, (Daisy) and a Galah (beautiful bird and sort of a parrot pink, gray and white) named Sport, a brahma heifer, a sugar glider (flying squirrel) named Simon, tons of bridle nail tail wallabies, 2 Bettong’s (sort of a large rat) and the most adorable and cuddly southern hairy nose wombat named Wiggles. I got to hold Wiggles and she is about the size of a hairy, gray bowling ball when she curls over and sucks her hind toe. She is cute as a bug’s ear and I want to bring her home to the cats. I am sure they will all get along splendidly. Next, I got to give Sugar a bottle. Sugar was here to recover as he was weaned too early and they attempted to release him into the wild. Tina put him back on the bottled and got his weight back up. He was a good baby and took his bottle like a pro. Because he was weaned too early, he likes to suck on things, such as your pants, your pillow or anything else in reach. He is very sweet, but I wonder if he will ever really be able to be released.
Late in the evening, I also had an up-close and personal experience with Simon, the sugar glider (flying squirrel). He is very oral and loves to chew on fingers, as he is climbing down your arm to get to your shoulder, he pees the entire way (marking his territory) and finally climbed into my fleece vest, lodged under my left breast and took a wee nap. As I was going to bed, I put him up a tree and he kept trying to get back on me. I found out the next day the territorial brown possum was in the tree and he does not like to go past her. I smell like Eau de Sugar Glider, but they have a washing machine, so I should be right soon.
Pete and Tina’s two daughters and new granddaughter are also in residence and Marty (Martina) and baby Kasia are visiting from the Gold Coast. Jessica is coming up to 18 and is working part-time at the zoo. Also in residence is an Australian man who is a semi-permanent volunteer, Matt, who pretty much stays on the farm unless there are lots of volunteers. When the volunteers leave, he comes back to help.
I was pooped, but there was so much to see and touch that I kept wanting to pet things. Finally, I went to bed and set the alarm