So in my last post I boasted about writing two entries in one week, and then… nada for three weeks, because in some kind of Shakespearean twist of hubristic fate, only a few days afterwards, I slipped over in the bathroom, slammed my elbow on the floor, needed two x-rays to confirm it wasn’t broken, after which it was still so swollen, I couldn’t straighten it for a week, and then couldn’t bear weight on it properly for another week and a half.
But what does that really have to do with something as simple as typing a blog-post?
Well, the doctor put me on these pretty sweet pain-killers/anti-inflammatories, but the main side-effect?
Drowsiness. Like, mind-numbing, zoning-out, dying-for-a-nap-everyday drowsiness.
Add to that the general tiredness of healing (I assume?), and that fact that doing anything with a sore arm took twice as long as usual, and I just could not be fucked blogging.
But it’s pretty much better, and Bae took the Friday after ANZAC Day off, so we got another long-weekend, and so decided to have a bit of a get-away in the Tablelands.
Australian Platypus Park
To kill some time before checking-in at our lil’ AirBnB in Tarzali, we stopped at the ‘Australian Platypus Park’. Now, this place ain’t anything fancy, but for 10-bucks you get a guided-tour around the property’s beautiful lakes, you can stay as long as you like, and you’re guaranteed a platypus-viewing. If you don’t see a platypus, you don’t have to pay; simple as that.
I was, of course, super excited about this, particularly after our trip to Yungaburra yielded NO platypus sightings.
Luckily we saw MANY platypus this time, and they looked like small, wet versions of baby Booboo! I was overcome with that cute/playful-aggression phenomena (which is honestly pretty common for me), and I just wanted to pluck their fat little blubbery bodies out of the water, and mush them into my face over and over again!
Unfortunately, the platypuses were so fast and wriggly diving in-and-out of the water that it was impossible to take a decent photo of them…
While touring the property, the ‘ranger’ also told us the following little factoids:
- Platypuses don’t have stomachs, so they don’t digest or metabolise their food in the same way we do, meaning they have to eat a third of their body-weight in food every day.
- To deal with the cold in Tasmania, Tasmanian platypuses are EXTRA FAT compared to their northern counterparts, and have to eat even MORE than them.
- Platypuses are completely carnivorous, and ONLY hunt and eat live prey, which is a little creepy when you consider 1) how fucking cute they are, and 2) the fact that most Australian animals are herbivorous, insectivorous, or omnivorous; and if they are carnivorous, they’re at least opportunistic scavengers, like the Dingo or Tasmanian Tiger. Hell, even crocodiles and snakes will eat frozen or fridged meat. What gives then? Is the platypus just ultra-sadistic? No actually; rather, because they’re essentially blind underwater, platypuses use their sensitive snoots to sense movement via the electronic-pulses that every living animal emits. Dead animals = no buzz-buzz = no food, so fresh it is.
Lastly, the Park also had a bunch of hokey-but-adorable tourist signs, which I was more than happy to take advantage of.
After the Platypus Park, we kept driving north to Malanda, home of the ‘Malanda Falls Swimming Pool’.
Half natural, half-artifice, the Falls are fed by an actual fresh-water river and waterfall, but the river-banks have been built-in with cement, with the bottom left as sand. So even though there’s no chlorine or chemicals in the water, it’s almost as clear and fresh as a completely natural swimming-hole.
These kind of manicured swimming-holes (or ocean-holes) were super common in the late 19th to early 20th century (and supposedly pretty unique to Australia), so whenever I think of them I imagine old-timey people in full-body cotton-bathing suits – though even in the ’20s they apparently needed signage to deter local nudists.
The falls is also situated in a National Park, so it’s surrounded by walking tracks, beautiful rainforest scenery, and a cool Visitor Centre with some interesting information on the local Aboriginal people, and native wildlife, such as the tree-kangaroo.
Overall, both places were really lovely, and I would definitely go back.