Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mira & I flew in late late on Friday night to Perth, then rented a car to drive south of here.  Perth resembles San Diego a bit and the area south resembles the wine country - sort of - except there are huge forests of eucalyptus trees with parrots, parakeets and kangaroos.  We went wandering south to see those big forests.  We found ourselves outside of a town called Nannup. Since the sun would be setting soon, I decided to try to see if we could stay at some cottages near a river.  The road wound south 8 km, turned to a dirt track, and when we got to the place it was booked.  Drat!  It was a lovely place and I heard my first kookaburra of the trip there. The lady was very kind and forewarned me to take care as I drove toward Augusta. We headed back up to the main road in our rented Prius - that hybrid so many people rave about.  The sun was sinking now.  Ahead of us about 100 yds, three small grey kangaroos crossed the road.  Boing, boing, boing.  Boing, boing, boing. Boing, boing, boing.   Very cute.   

When we got to the main road we headed east toward Augusta.  In this part of Australia, when you get outside of a city, which we were, it's dark.  Really dark.  A dark that will let you see the Milky Way clearly.  A dark that gets those lines on the road pretty mesmerizing.   We'd gone about 30 minutes east when I saw a large kangaroo hop into the right lane.  Then everything went into slow motion.    I put on the break ....1..... 2.... 3.... 4.... the kangaroo hopped into my lane..........5....6..............the kangaroo was not moving ......7....8..........the car was not stopping….9.....10.....I breaked hard. The Prius finally stopped throwing everything in the back seat forward.  The kangaroo was 10 ft in front of us, lit up in the head lights - taller than the car and nearly as wide....11....12....13.....14....It heaved its big self off the road.  Galumph, ........galumph,......... galumph.... Stunned, heart racing, we sat there in the road.  It took us awhile to breathe.  It gave a new perspective on being careful while driving!