Up early again at 6am, ready for another round. I’m eating my breakfast…
…and Praxy hollers, “What’s that bird doing out there?” See out the window on the left? She composed a picture.
I laughed. I knew what it was up to. Looking for a hand out. It’s right foot was injured, so it had gotten used to panhandling around the area, looking for sympathetic tourists. And maybe sympathetic locals. Corvids (jays, ravens, crows, magpies) can be a nuisance.
Club foot and all, it made off with a slice of bread. Down onto the ground below the deck, it spent a happy 15 minutes devouring it’s prize.
This isn’t the first time I’d run into this with a corvid. Steve and I were tagging baby salmon on the South Fork of the Salmon river one morning and a Stellar Jay showed up in the fir tree above us. It was making the strangest noises and hanging around looking things over. This went on for an hour. We were both puzzled as neither of us had heard one sounding like that. We listened carefully and realized it was trying to talk.
Someone had tamed it down a bit and it was mimicking human voices. Then, it hit me. I had a little package of peanut butter crackers sitting on the table. It had spotted those and was kicking up a fuss. I watched closely; then I saw it looking at those crackers, first with one eye, then the other. Hilarious. With some coaxing, I got that jay to take crackers out of my hand. It wouldn’t touch them until I looked away. Steve got a big kick out of it and shot a bunch of pictures with my camera. For some reason, I don’t have those pictures on my laptop. They are probably on my backup drive at home.
After breakfast, we decided on an itinerary. We’d gone west both days, how about nearby and east?
Out again with our trusty steed, Ben the Toyota Corolla. Why I named him Ben? You’ll see soon. It’s appropriate.
Btw, Ben was going to get a workout today. There are a handful of roads that are paved on KI, the main connecting roads. The only paved side roads are to American, River, Seal Bay, and the Flinders Chase National Park road going to Remarkable Rocks and Admiral’s Arch. If you visit Kangaroo Island, make sure you rent a car that allows travel on unsealed roads. People that rent a motorhome or camper van (caravans) may face severe restrictions on off road destinations.
First off was a leisurely drive to Clifford’s Honey Farm. Bird watching and just generally lounging to pass the time until they opened up for the day.
KI is noted for having a very pure strain of special bees from Italy. Ligurians, imported in the 1,800ds. It’s a huge fine to bring in bees, honey, honeycomb, anything bee-ish without a special permit. (Unwashed potatoes is another one) Beekeeping is huge business here. And the honey is very tasty.
Inauspicious little place, but lots of goodies inside. The smell of honey was everywhere. The owners were in the process of making honey ice cream. Yes, we tried some. Of course. It was yummy. We bought some samples to bring home.
The display room full of information and history.
And, the obligatory beehive in glass for people to take a gander at the frenetic activity. I spent a little while looking for the queen and gave up.
We made a quick stop at the eucalyptus oil factory, then made our way to Kingscote for fuel and a few dinner supplies. We had invited the owners of the house to dinner and we need a few other items to make the dinner special. Sherry. Then a stop at American River for fresh oysters in the shell at The Oyster Farm Shop.
Quick lunch at the house, then back on the road heading east.
Through the eucalyptus forests to…
Penneshaw. And onward to Dudley Cellar Door Winery.
Quite the view here of the mainland.
We bought a bottle of wine after tasting several. I gave it a half hour before we moved on. Not taking any chances.
There it is, the Cape Willoughby Lighthouse. Several of them on this island. The shore was (and still is) extremely dangerous to shipping. Thanks to GPS tracking, these lighthouses are pretty much obsolete. The only one still being use was the one at the Cape Jervis port.
Those red roofed cottages can be rented nowadays. Those were quarters for the lighthouse keepers and their families. Couldn’t locate prices. The remoteness would be a bane. Or a blessing. Depending on your perspective.
We walked down the trail a bit to get a picture looking back towards Penneshaw.
Dammit! See that spot on the picture? A fly. On my camera lens.
I thought Mexico had the worst flies in the world. I still think they are. But what Aussie flies lack in toughness, they more than make up for in numbers and determination. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.
No chance to avoid them. They lurk on every bush, tree, person, rock, stump, fence rail, even every atom. I caught one of the little devils and looked him over.
Cattle flies, so they are. Nasty, dirty rotten, no good little cattle fly looking things. As they are indigenous, they didn’t evolve for European cattle, sheep, or horses. So, they must be the blight of wallabies and kangaroos. And what other two legged critters inhabit Australia and stand upright? Yep. Humans.
There are a few ways to deal with the little turds. Special hats with netting. Repellant (gonna get some of that). Going out on windy or cold days. Or, the “Australian Salute”, shooing them off with your hand. Grumble grumble grumble.
A quick wave and presto…
…a proper picture. I’ve found they don’t taste too bad. Unfortunately.
Alicia attended an outdoor event one time that absolutely required netting. The flies were so thick and determined that they would crawl under the netting on your neck. Egad!
Australia needs to import about a million tyrant flycatchers from the USA. (tyrant flycatchers are renown for their aerial skills at snatching flying insects) Only problem with that is…the flycatchers would have soooo much to eat that they would breed in huge numbers. Next thing ya know, we’d be dealing with another “crisis” on our planet. Global “sidewaysing.” The extra weight from all those obese birds would tilt our planet. Or make it sink into the lower universe as Australia is “down under”.
Enough silliness, no worries. I’m not letting a few flies get the best of me. Or even a lot of them. As with the Mexican flies, they are part of the adventure and I’m going to honor them with a little good humor. This is all I’m going to mention about it. I hope.
On the way back we stopped and checked out another “wine cellar” between Penneshaw and Island Beach. I’m not mentioning names, but the place was ridiculous. $115 per plate for a four course meal. Wine was outrageously priced. View was fabulous. But, these places are not affordable for working class people. There must be one helluva bunch of the “elevated pinkie finger” crowd, more commonly known as the “wine and cheese” crowd. This place wasn’t serving food in the afternoon, but we could get a “cheese plate”. Yeah. Right.
Back to the house. We ate leftovers, played cards, and lounged. Praxy ended up calling Alicia and I fell asleep as they were talking. All this fun was wearing me out!
Day four-After pouring over the maps trying to decide our day, we both agreed. Stay in and relax. After a two hour walk along the beach (I now have a sunburn), we just hung out. I wrote up the two previous KI blogs. Besides, we had guests coming and a dinner to prepare. The owners were dropping by. Since they cut us a great deal on the house, we went all out. Totally all out. Some of this was leftovers that had to be cooked anyway.
House cleaning as well. Praxy and I spent a LOT of time straitening up. The house was so nice we couldn’t fathom anything being out of place. The menu.
Roo steak, teriyaki chicken, BBQ’d oysters in the shell, grilled potatoes, steamed veggies, Asian salad, apple crumble w/ice cream. Celes brought some Philippine empanadas and a sticky rice dessert. Sherry for Chris and myself (he’s English) and wine for the ladies.
Roo, chicken, and potatoes. Oysters on last, a little later. Note the Guinness beer, lower left. Gotta have a BBQ beer while cooking.
Praxy set the table and the feast was on! We made some wonderful new friends. Amazingly, we ate most of banquet.
Celes gave me the wifi password and I uploaded all my blogs that evening after they went home. I hope you are enjoying reading as much as I enjoy writing.
Celes works around the area keeping houses cleaned and checked while the owners are gone. She has the two holiday houses to clean they she and Chris own. Plus beekeeping. I think the beekeeping is just about over, though. Chris is starting to struggle with the work. There is a lot of lifting and he’s almost 80. They stay in one of the holiday houses when they are empty. If occupied, they have an RV (caravan) nearby.
We hope to come back some day. But given the distances involved, I’m not confident. Figure about 10,000 miles of travel to get here. Not exactly next door.
This was our last evening in KI. Obviously we survived my driving, as we’re still going strong back here in Mount Barker. Exit from Kangaroo Island next.