We started the day with a tour of a wildlife park. We got to feed kangaroos, touch koalas, and pet a wombat. Wombats aren't fat, they're muscular, although they sure look fat to the unknowing eye. The other two animals I had already seen in the wild, so seeing them in a large pen wasn't as exciting as it was for some other people. We then headed for a flower center and grabbed a quick lunch. Afterwards, we had a chance to go touch the Indian Ocean. I know I've touched the Southern (see the Great Ocean Road entry), Atlantic, and Pacific. I'm pretty sure that while in Kotzebue I touched the Arctic, so this was the last ocean on the list. I believe that I've now touched all of the oceans. Not bad for a twenty-something. Next came the really neat part: the Pinnacles desert. The Pinnacles desert is a sandy desert with rocks (pinnacles) sticking up out of the ground. They are like icebergs in that the majority of them is underground, and depending on how the sand has settled on any particular day you can see more or less of any particular pinnacle. In general, the shorter ones are 2 feet tall, but the taller ones are many feet taller than a person. Some of them are generically shaped, but there are a few that are shaped in a way that almost everybody sees the same thing in them (like trying to find designs in clouds or ink blots, but everybody sees them). I thought the desert was pretty neat. Even though it was hot, the walk wasn't bad because there was a good sea breeze going, and it wasn't too humid. After the Pinnacles, we went somewhere else sandy- the dunes. Nearby the golden sands of the Pinnacles desert are some white sand areas. Whereas in the Pinnacles area, the wind blows a little sand all over you, in the dunes areas, the sand is blown al over you all the time. It is actually quite abrasive. We spent the first while on the 4WD bus, duneing. We drove over some pretty big dunes and down some pretty steep hills. I was surprised the bus made it. Check out the video of the bus going down the hill. We went over that hill repeatedly. After the bus was done, it was our turn. We got out, grabbed a surf board, and walked up a large dune. Physically, it was pretty hard. Every time I stepped up a foot, I fell back 6 inches because the sand would slip. It took much longer to get to the top and much more effort than I expected. Also, my sunglasses and hat weren't enough to keep the sand out of me, so I ended up covering the rest of my face with my shirt. The sand was getting in everything, but it was worth it. From the top of the dune, we each sandboarded down. It was pretty fun. I'm glad I did it and I would do it again.
Tomorrow: on to Sydney