No Worms at the Giant Worm (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Fri, 25 Jan 2008

No Worms at the Giant Worm

Of course I had to stop. How could you drive by a roadside stand advertising the Giant Earthworms of South Gippsland and not stop?

Besides, Bill Bryson had written about it.

But the Giant Worm museum was a disappointment. They had a sign up apologizing for not having any actual live giant worms on display (it's an endangered species), so all they had was models and one yucky preserved specimen in a jar.

It still was a fun stop, though. They have a little wildlife center -- not nearly as nice as the one on Phillip Island, but they had a very tame and sweet baby wombat, and a shy but very cute baby wallaby. Plus a variety of other animals like dingos, full sized adult wombats, an assortment of kangaroos, cockatoos, pythons, etc. And ... alpacas? Not something I normally think of as a native Australian animal, but they were cute.

The worm stuff was fairly pedestrian in comparison. If you want to learn about the Giant Earthworm of South Gippsland, either read Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country or, better yet, rent the appropriate episode of Life in the Undergrowth and let David Attenborough fill you in on the details.

After leaving the worm museum, I headed over to the Mornington peninsula (I'll let Bryson tell you about that, too, since I didn't stop there) to take the car ferry across to Queenscliff.

I'd never been on a car ferry before, and was a bit shocked when I found out it would cost me $57 to cross. Yikes! I probably would have taken the long way round, had I known. But it's just as well I didn't know, because then I would have missed the dolphins -- four of them, escorting the ferry and playing in its wake. I'm sure it's nothing unusual, but it my first time ever seeing dolphins in the wild. When we landed at Queenscliff I found out that it's the place where you go if you want to pay to "swim with the dolphins", so I guess they're unusually tame there. I didn't stop to swim with them (nor was I much tempted to take a dip, on a chilly overcast day); I was on my way to Geelong to drive the Great Ocean Road.

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[ 13:18 Jan 25, 2008    More travel/melbourne08 | permalink to this entry ]