Four-thirty am and I am wide awake. One would think that after all of that traveling, I would have been able to get at least eight hours. By six, I was showered and trolling the neighborhood in a direction we had not explored. A few doors down from the hotel is a bakery advertising itself as the best pasty shop in Australia. Having won the award from the Australian Pasty Competition, they can make this claim. At least they are the best amongst those that competed, but yet, I wanted to try for myself. From the pictures, they look like calzones. I would have to wait an hour; they don’t open until 7:00am.
When Ron climbed out of bed, I went to the breakfast room and he met me there. We have hours to kill until we take the ferry to Kangaroo Island for two nights. The check-out time of this hotel, the Atlantic Tower is an early 10 am. It seems unreasonably early, but by nine, we had our bags stored, on our way out the door.
Gleneng is a cute little town, but like most little towns, you can run out of things to do very quickly. We went for a real coffee first. The hotel coffee is only instant. After a stroll to the ocean, we walked through town again, going into book stores, candy stores, Ron ventured into the Discovery Center. This is a museum type place that traces all of the areas history. This area was settled by people who chose to come here, unlike most of Australia, which were prisoners exiled from England. Admission was by donation of a gold coin, which meant one or two dollars, your choice. My choice was not to join him. I walked around and then met up with him thirty minutes later.
On the beach, there is a fun house with an arcade totally targeted to children, so we had to venture in. Mostly video games, games of chance with candy as the reward, and a carousel, there was not much to capture the attention of the adult mind other than imagining the fun children would have here.
Walking back out along the beach front, a couple was offering camel and donkey rides. The camels looked like they were molting; the donkey was the size of a Labrador Retriever. For $5.00 a person, you could experience riding any of the three animals. People were taking them up on the offer, but I left my camel riding days back in Egypt.
One of the churches was open, so we wandered in. It is a “Unifying Church”. Pretty basic inside, there were some handmade banners decorating the walls that were worthy art pieces to draw further notice.
We called the Sealink people once again to confirm our pick-up time and location. We arrived at our hotel pick-up by 2:45 for a 3:30 pick-up. They only have two locations in the town, so we chose the closest. By 3:30, concern set in. We had not had what would be called excellent communication with this company thus far. At 3:45, Ron called them again, making us grateful for having a phone. They claimed the van should be there any minute, but they did not have direct communication with the driver. How could that be in this day and age? At 3:50, the van pulled up. The robust woman driver told us she had been waiting for us at the wrong hotel. Finally, she called in on her mobile and was given the correct information. I seem to believe that mobiles can call in both directions.
So this van takes us to meet the larger bus of people going to the ship. After a forty-five minute drive, she pulls up to this roadside storefront and tells us that the bus will come for us here; here is the middle of nowhere. Inside, I am panicking. Calling the company has not been productive, so how long do we need to be abandoned here before someone cares to do something productive?
With no shade and the sun shining brightly, we waited. A Sealink bus arrived after fifteen minutes, gave us our boarding passes for the ship and off we went to the ferry. The ferry is comfortable and similar to many other ferry services we have traveled. The journey is only a bit over an hour. Today, though this trip had one special traveler, a real celebrity. Santa Claus appeared and had all of the children on board come sit on his lap to tell him their Christmas wishes. Each was rewarded with some candy canes.
At the other end, we walked the block and a half to our hostel. Normally, the word hostel brings mixed messages in my mind. We have had both excellent and horrendous experiences with them. The Kangaroo Island hostel looks more like a small hotel than a rabid youth party center. We booked a double room, but strangely our room had three sets of bunk beds. The bottom bed of each was a double with a single bed upper. Theoretically, this room could sleep nine, but for the next two nights, it was only for two. Immaculately clean, the mattresses were inviting. The first order of business was to grocery shop. The selection of restaurants in this area of the island is limited to two that are open and functioning; one of them is a fish restaurant.
Our cooking had to be put on hold since the German and Dutch youthful guests took over the kitchen and just about every piece of cooking apparatus. We were finally able to cook our sweet potatoes in the microwave and fried our patties of pork, apricot, and something else that we found ready to cook at the local IGA store. That and a bottle of beer and we were set for the night.
Hostel owners Maureen and Ray are gracious hosts, but they disappear after all booked guests are checked in. They did confirm that the Sealink bus would be here to get us at 9:30 am tomorrow morning, but that today, the bus was ten minutes late. We were warned not to panic if it was late again tomorrow.
Ron and I decided to sleep separately on either side of the divider wall to facilitate a better nights sleep.