Hard to believe that this is my last weekend Down Under! It's been quite the journey, but Danni assures me that they have a jam-packed week planned for me, and this weekend was the beginning of that. Saturday was a bit of a washout, so we didn't get to do too much. We started the morning off at Teigan's netball game, a not-so-riveting girls sport that's pretty popular here. To warm up and dry off afterwards, we headed to a local coffee shop for breakfast. I tried an Australian bacon and egg sandwich -- pretty similar to an American one, except with barbeque sauce. It sounded really weird when I first heard that, but it was actually pretty good.
We had to cancel our waterfall trip because of the rain, but Fr Mannes had invited me to the priory for the day, so I went there later in the afternoon. We went out to a steakhouse in North Adelaide for lunch -- Outback Jacks. It was really good -- they had some pretty typical steaks, but the kangaroo meatballs reminded me that I'm definitely in Australia. After lunch, we headed back to the priory for Mass and evening prayer, which were both very Dominican. It was really nice to spend an afternoon at the priory, but I am so glad that I didn't end up living there -- these past few weeks have shown me a lot, and yesterday confirmed that the priory isn't meant to be my home.
Today, I went with Danni, Teigan, and Jake (her son) to Monarto Zoo and Murray Bridge, just on the other side of the Adelaide Hills. Monarto is really cool -- it's like a mini Africa in South Australia, with lions, giraffes, zebras, hyenas, and the like. You can hop on a tour bus that takes you all around the zoo, through the different animal enclosures. I felt like I was in the Lion King! I had never seen so many African animals in one place, so it was really exciting. The zoo was huge, and it was great seeing the animals in something more than just a small cage. The African wild dogs seemed to like the extra leg room -- the whole pack went flying when the trainer put out the kangaroo carcass for them! (not exactly the prettiest site when they started ripping that apart).
|The giraffes were so cool|
After the zoo, we went up to Murray Bridge, a popular nearby town on the Murray River. I had my first Australian meat pie (something I was told should have happened a long time ago), and we got to see the bunyip! Danni has been telling me about it for a while, so it was really funny to finally see. The bunyip is an Aboriginal mythical monster, and in Murray Bridge they have a mechanical bunyip replica that pops up out of the water and roars at you (when you put a dollar into the machine). It's the quirky little things like this that really make a trip memorable!
|Watch out for the bunyip!|
|On the river with Jake, Tiegan, and Danni|
On the ride back home, I managed to accomplish one of my Australia goals -- take a picture with a koala crossing sign. We had to search a bit to find a good one because most of them are right on the freeway, but we succeeded -- twice! There was one type of sign with the koala climbing that we found on an old side road, and then another with the koala running. The only problem with the running koala sign is that it was at the busy start of the freeway, right along with median strip. I was determined, though -- I can only imagine what the people driving by where thinking!
|Sign #2 (with busy traffic in the background)|
Having survived my freeway side photo shoot, I can safely prepare for my last week at Blackfriars!