Australia in which dreams come true
… And do not tell me that this is a stamp that is indecent to use in a decent magazine. Because in Australia, my most important, most childhood dream came true. Behind this dream, it was imperative to go to the ends of the world, because koalas, well, absolutely nowhere else in the world. And here it was necessary to go for the most silvery eucalyptus groves, the most endless watercolor beaches, the funniest Australians and the most serene happiness. But all this I learned already on the spot.
The fact that sooner or later Australia will happen in my life, I realized in the seventh grade. This confidence came to me in the form of a small photograph in a geography textbook (as I remember now, below on the right page): a furry animal of some unearthly charm, tightly hugging the trunk of an eucalyptus. Since then, I have learned everything about koalas that I have possibly set up a small koalas museum at home (including the film “Our friend koala” and the same textbook that I didn’t pass to the library fraudulently) and I began to distrust people speaking : “Koala? Ah, it’s such a black bear with white circles around the eyes!” So, you see, a trip to Australia was absolutely inevitable.
… Leaving Sydney Airport, I was ready with suitcases to go to the zoo, national park or where there are still koalas. But the guys from the company that hosted me dissuaded: “Well, you see the koala – and what will you do next? Put it aside for a snack!” For a whole week I walked around Sydney and its environs, peered with hope at the crowns of eucalyptus trees, bought up all possible books and albums with koalas (and you could buy absolutely everything – from a koala-shaped toilet brush to gold earrings with opal eyes – Australians no less obsessed with them). At the same time, for some reason, I did not meet the museum of koalas. This is the only museum that I would probably visit in Sydney. Everyone else, having felt the warmth of the sun and the smell of the sea, I mentally canceled. “Well, what museums, such wonderful weather!” – reassured my conscience of the locals, putting me in a jeep and taking me to the park, then to the beach, then to ride around the city. We fed long-billed ibis and arrogant gulls in Sydney parks, which, as expected in November, fragrantly bloomed with something curly-lilac and shaggy-red. Caught the hot spring sun on clean and spacious city beaches (no European fuss and the smell of fried fish!), The most fashionable of which – Bondi Beach – is located in the “Russian quarter”. “It’s fortunate that you’re in November,” the Sydney men told me. “In January you can’t sunbathe so boldly – the sun in Australia is quite dangerous. If you see anyone in swimming trunks, then you are a tourist. Ozzy (that is, Australians) almost do not sunbathe and bathe in special costumes. ” Seeing that I was nervous, they added: “Well, now spring morning …”
In the Blue Mountains
“Get acquainted, this is Duncan,” Sydney acquaintances told me one morning. “He will show you the Blue Mountains, the famous national park. Duncan is the principal of the college, a serious man.” And they added, thinking: “Perhaps koalas are also found in the Blue Mountains.”
When we left the city, it seemed that from a bright modern film we find ourselves in a faded chronicle. The colors of provincial Australia: silver – eucalyptus, brown – earth, muddy green – rivers. Along the highway, every couple of hundred meters, there are bright yellow signs: “Koala 2 km”, “Attention: kangaroos!”. I demanded to stop the car, stroking a smooth, as if polished bark of trees, and even furtively chewing on a eucalyptus leaf. For my taste, it’s bitter, but for koalas, apparently, just right. “Where are you tearing leaves? By the road?” Duncan remarked my maneuvers. “They are dirty and bitter here!” – and crunched branches somewhere inland. After a couple of minutes, he returned with an armful of leaves. Chewing one, he smiled: “This one is much better.” Lovely, sweet ozzy.
After an hour and a half a quick drive, the car began to dive downhill, then climb up, eucalyptus groves turned into thicket, it became colder, and I realized that we were approaching the mountains. They’re kind of low, I thought disappointedly. Duncan stopped the car in the clearing and said: “I will show you something that not a single tourist has seen. This is a place few people know.” For about five minutes we made our way through the trees until the sky appeared behind them. I took a step and … Duncan grabbed my hand: “Watch out, don’t fall!”
We stood on top of a giant rock overgrown with forest. The mountains were on the right, on the left, and underfoot, somewhere far, far below, a forest stretched for some boundless number of kilometers. If it weren’t for the cable car, I would have thought that wild animals live in these primeval forests, and people, by a strange coincidence, forgot about their existence. “And you probably saw those three peaks on all the postcards,” Duncan waved his hand in the direction of the three-headed mountain. “These are our Three Sisters. According to the Aboriginal legend, these are three girls turned to stone by their father for disobedience.”