Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Day 118: Lower Glenelg National Park to Portland

Time: 4:03
Distance: 60.5 km
Avg Speed: 14.6 kph
Terrain: Rolling
Location: 38˚ 21’ S, 141˚ 36’ E

Life is a beautiful thing. We woke this morning to the call (more like a cackle) of the kookaburra and ate breakfast watching a kangaroo and her joey. On our way down to the main highway we caught glimpses of emu and an echidna (a sort of large hedgehog/porcupine). The ride itself was into a head wind (naturally blowing opposite of the usual trade wind) and along it we encountered several hills and big rigs full of sheep and wood chips. Evidently the Japanese have quite the wood chip and paper pulp trade here. The dock in Portland has a couple of giant piles of wood chips that get loaded onto a barge and taken to a plant in Japan. There the wood chips are pulped and made into paper before it is exported around the world. Quite the little cycle.
One of the main reasons we came to Portland was to visit the couple we met in New Zealand. When we met them earlier in the trip Leslie and I both thought that we had met a really special and unique couple. I am reading a book right now called Timequake, by Kurt Vonnegut. It is essentially a bizarre memoir about his life and people that have helped him along the way. He calls them saints. After our reunion over dinner and the generosity they have shown, I can think of no better description. They put us up, fed us and helped us feel welcome and at home. My vocabulary can’t do justice to feelings we have bouncing around right now. I won’t even attempt it.
I think that we are both feeling travel weariness right now. This little respite and visit has already done wonders for our psyches and our legs.
Until later.

No comments: