Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Day 13 – Post Congress Tour, Day 3- Kingscote to Perth

An early rise to leave Kangroo Island for Perth via the Adelaide Airport.

Words about the Ligurian bees of Kangaroo Island: Before the 1880s, there were no honey bees on Kangaroo Island. Importations were made between 1881 and 1885 with the intention of breeding bees as a future source for the beekeeping industry. The bees came from the province of Ligura inItaly and are called “Ligurian bees.” In 1885, the South Australian government proclaimed Kangaroo Island as a Ligurian bee sanctuary. No more importations were made, and they are considered the last remaining pure strain of these bees left in the world. The island is out of flight range by bees to the mainland.

The Ligurian strain is gentle and productive, producing honey from many varieties of native eucalypt, bottle brush, tea trees, banksias as well as introduced plants. In recent years, canola, an introduced crop plant, has become increasingly important. Honey is harvested at three-week intervals and hives moved every 6-8 weeks.

The Sealink crossing is much different than the previous day with the breezes very much calmed and few clouds in the sky. The trip to Adelaide is uneventful as we again traverse the Fleurieul Peninsula but along the Western coast road directly to Adelaide. We learn some more about Adelaide, an “overgrown country town” laid out in a series of neat, easy-to-follow grids.

The flight to Perth is uneventful, but long (3.5 hours); good food and complimentary wine. We view the movie, “The Flying Scotsman,” about a bicyclist who developed some of the technology modern cyclists use today like dropped down handlebars. We fly directly across the “Great Australian Bight,” a nick as if someone had taken a real bite out of the continent, where eons ago Antarctica nestled as part of Gonwanda Land.

It’s relatively late when we see land flying between the old gold center Kalgoorlie Boulder and Albany, where the British flag was first planted. Landing in Perth, we board yet another bus for the Eslplanade Hotel in Fremantle, Perth’s port city. This is by far the best accommodation we have had on the tours; pretty high class as Internet service from the room is AU$9.90/ hour.

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