Sunday, February 22, 2009
Flinders Chase, Australia
There comes a point in every trip where I pull out the map and make a considered judgment of time and distance and how to cover as much as possible before heading for home.
I reached that crossroads in Adelaide. I could turn north (Ayers Rock and all the cool stuff in the tropics), west (go for a complete lap of Australia, stupid but kind of cool in its reckless ambition) or south (a small pissant island that has managed to flummox me on two prior visits). All the really cool stuff was north, so I duly signaled a left turn and headed south for Kangaroo Island.
In its ability to disappoint, the island once again did not disappoint.
I watched as the day’s blue sky gave way to clouds gathering to the south, sighed as they gained momentum while aboard the car ferry across, and mumbled darkly as they settled in for the long haul upon arrival. About then, I also remembered that this is a bloody big island. Flinders Chase lies at the far western tip, nearly 100 miles away. A newly paved two lane promised highway speeds, but I tried hard not to add to the roadside marsupial slaughter.
I reached the park boundary and headed for Remarkable Rocks, sandstone boulders carved by howling ocean winds. They are nice rocks. Perfectly lovely rocks to be sure. But remarkable? That struck me as a bit of a stretch. Still, as twilight descended and the cloud deck dropped, they were the only rocks I was going to get.