On Sunday, we went “bushwalking” at the You Yang Regional Park / on a search for kangaroos.  We’ve officially been here 4 months, and had yet to see a Roo.  The tension was building.  Having heard that Roos can be spotted there, and in the mood for a day of wilderness, we set out 1 hour south of Melbourne to the Park.

 

Potential visitors to Australia, be ware.  The sun here is seriously hot.  Apparently the thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica also affects Australia and New Zealand, and causes some seriously burn inducing rays within minutes. Against this backdrop, we set off for our first hike at noon.

As a testament to the heat, we’ve been on fire alert any day it exceeds 30 degrees, because the dry bushland apparently spontaneously combusts when the thermometer reaches a certain temp.  A few years ago, You Yangs suffered destruction from a massive fire, and is now recovering.

The midday heat also affects little hot dogs….

Who, if properly leading a spoiled and kept life, can avoid further toils with a brown-eyed pant in the right direction of a soft-hearted guy.

4.5 kms and 2 hours later, we had walked around Flinders Peak  on the East-West trail, sweated, seen panoramic views of the Great Ocean Road, Geelong and Melbourne in 360 degree fashion, started itching our scalps, and thoroughly exhausted our little four-legged friend.  Conspicuously absent from this list:  kangaroo sighting.  Determined, we headed to the west area of the park, to Big Rock, in hopes of a sighting.

No seriously.  It was a big rock.  (Which we experienced first hand as Steve went to take the below picture, pulling the recently holstered camera out of the camera bag to catch a sneak photo, punching the on/off power button.  Problemo.  See there’s this little thing called the camera cap, which is usually positioned on the front of the camera when holstered. And when one presses the on/off button the camera cap goes popping off.  And when one is perched on a seriously big rock at the time when the camera cap goes popping off (and tumbling down the rock face in comically slow but uncatchable fashion), its kinda classic).

I’m not kidding, that totally happened.  We also totally set out on a mission to the base of the rock and managed by sheer luck to find the cap.  But, still no roos.  Satisfied at the hike, but slightly deflated at our unaccomplished mission, we set back for the highway.  And then, passing a horse field on the way (that went on for acres and acres at the base of the park), we noticed that one of those horses standing just out and between the bush looked a bit different.

Success was ours.  Roos sighted.  We stood transfixed, literally parked in someone’s front yard and standing on the side of the road for 30 minutes.  Then we drove on, and spotted another pack hopping through the grassy flatlands.  It was awesome.  Kangaroos are perhaps the most interesting animals I’ve ever encountered.  The aerodynamics are just all wrong, and they are both graceful and ridiculous looking at the same time.

Mission completed.  Our new mission:  more roo sightings!

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