I was about 8 or 9 when I went with my parents, sister, her then boyfriend (my soon-to-be brother-in-law) and a whole lot of extended family and cousins, to Phillip Island, where as tradition has it, we saw the Penguins.
Today, for the first time in about 25 years, I went back… with the first-timers, Hubbie and baby girl in tow.
I may as well have been a first-timer, it has been that long. Being a Monday we thought it would be quiet. Like, I actually thought, there may be like, another group of people beside us… something like, 25 or so?
Try 25 HUNDRED. Or so.
There were soooooo many people. So many tourists, and buses, and guides, it was like OMG.
Despite the crazy, we waited in the stands in the surprisingly calm Wintery air, and saw a few groups of penguins approach from the crashing night-time waves. After seeing half the crowd up and suddenly disappear within 20 minutes, we decided too to investigate and see if we could find any penguins who had made their way back from the sea, heading into their burrows and bushy-homes for the night.
We saw heaps. Baby girl was up close and personal with several of them, pressed against the barbed fence that separated the humans from the penguin track, saying “awww, so cute,” as they waddled past, and even waving goodbye to them as they made their way further and further in-land.
It was very sweet. And then once we had had our fill of penguin cuteness, some more adorable overload.
I mean, when there is something so exceptionally life-sized, it is a MUST to pose alongside it, yes?
Penguin joy passing from generation to generation. I promise I won’t wait 25 years until next time.