Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mountain Biking and a Monotreme

Zack tackles an obstacle with ease.
On Saturday, Zack and I drove to Lysterfield Park to do some mountain biking. This park, which is about forty-five minutes away from our place, has tons of trails through the woods. We rode some good singletrack, especially enjoying the trails that were specifically for bikers. My favorite part was finding wallabies and kangaroos throughout our ride. You haven't really lived until a mother and baby kangaroo hop across the path in front of you while you're biking!



I wanted a shot with me riding near the pretty flowers.
There were also tons of butterflies flying around, just like on our Great Ocean Road hike, and pretty purple wildflowers along the path. There were some challenging, technical parts, which Zack could handle better than me, and some of the uphill sections kicked my butt, but it was still a good time.

These two kangaroos later hopped in front of me on the bike path!
On our drive out of the park, Zack yelled "porcupine" and hit the brakes. I immediately knew that he had seen an echidna (pronounced uh-KID-nuh), and I'd been wanting to see one in the wild for a long time. I raced out of the car with my camera, and sure enough, this spiky guy was crawling around in the grass near the road!





Echidnas are also known as spiny anteaters. The bottom left of this picture shows its pointy snout. Along with the platypus, echidnas are the only monotremes (egg-laying mammals) in the world, and they can only be found in Australia and New Guinea. Pretty cool, huh?

As we got closer, this echidna balled up and stuck out his spines. This picture shows a close-up of the prickly-ness. We didn't try to pet it!

Mountain biking in Australia is a bit different than it was in Colorado or Utah. Kangaroos instead of deer surprise you in the woods. Dirt paths with tree roots are more common than the red, rocky terrain. Butterflies surround your head instead of mountaintop views, and an echidna might cross your path instead of a rattlesnake. I'll take it for now!

5 comments:

  1. Next I would like a picture of a tree kangaroo. Thanks.

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  2. Hmmm...just looked up tree kangaroo (didn't know it existed). Seems like we should have been on the lookout for those in Queensland!

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  3. Replies
    1. Three words for you: Working Holiday Visa!

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