It was Dan’s day off yesterday, so he went to sleep for 4 hours after work, then woke up a little after noon and we headed out. He called in a hamburger order just before we left. Now I had been “warned” about Australian hamburgers, how they put all sorts of weird stuff on them. But Dan assured me that a hamburger with “the lot” was delicious, and since he had been dreaming about them for last couple of days, I figured I’d trust him. Besides, I was starving. Which was a good thing, because this is a hamburger with “the lot”:
What’s on there? Let’s take it apart and see…
Ok, normal hamburger stuff like a patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions. And a slice of beet, a fried egg, and a big slice of bacon (which is a little more meaty than American bacon, but not disappointingly ham like Canadian bacon). I think it was everything on this list, except for the pineapple:
Sweeeeet. It was like eating breakfast and a hamburger all in one. With a side of beets. Good thing I like beets. I made it about 3/4 of the way through it before giving up. Did I mention I was hungry?
I was prepared for disappointment in the fry department – Dan described them as big steak fries which are my least favorite kind of fries because they’re too much like potatoes. I think fries should be a thing unto themselves, soaked through with oil, covered in salt, thinly sliced, and super-crispy. But I have to admit, these fries weren’t bad! They were definitely thick like steak fries, but the outer skin was nicely crispy, the middle just melted in your mouth, and they were loaded with some interesting type of salt. Dan said it was called “chicken salt”, I’ll have to look it up in the grocery store and read the ingredients. It’s more than just salt, and I don’t think it has MSG like the fries at Firestone. I’m intrigued by this new salty fry technology.
After eating at a little pullout along the Murray River, we drove the rest of the way to Hattah Lakes National Park. We drove through a couple swarms of locusts on the way there – the sound they make when hitting your windshield at 100 km/hr is like hail. The park is a landscape of wetlands amid mostly flattish rolling hills. One of the lakes, Mournpall, was a bona-fide body of water, but the rest were more like marshy seasonal ponds. Dan at Lake Mournpall:
There were a lot of birds, which are quite amazing down under. I’m not really a bird person, I hardly know any types of birds at home, but the ones here are just amazing colors and some have beautiful calls. There are a lot around the house (likely since the house is in the middle of vineyards), so I’m becoming better at recognizing them. There are magpies, which make the most amazingly beautiful lyrical music here, and they’re a very striking black and white. Cockatoos are white parrots, Galahs are pink-breasted cockatoos. We saw some brilliant green birds too, parakeets maybe? Anyway, the only ones that stayed still for the camera were the emus:
I also finally saw 2 kangaroos! Or maybe they were wallabies, we’re not really sure as they immediately hopped away. So mostly I got a good look at their butts. Kangaroos are the animal I’m most excited about, so of course I’ve only got the one glimpse of them. Hopefully I’ll see more, rumor has it that they hang out by the river near sunset.