The Year That Was
In a year of overseas travel for me, from riding camels through the Sahara desert in Morocco to weddings at the Pink Flamingo in Las Vegas (and the biggest pina coladas I’ve ever seen at Caesar’s Palace) and living the hustle of everyday life at work in the city like I do and regular interstate travel, its a rare opportunity when you get to spend an entire week on a remote island with nothing but your thoughts (and some rum and a good book) to occupy your mind. Where stark white sandy beaches stretch their limbs across the Island’s perimeter and crystal clear waters lap at the shores – there is no place quite like Kangaroo Island. The island where I was born.
I’ve posted a few pictures of this magnificent place on my Twitter and also on our Facebook page – and it was the most unlikely place to meet a representative from one of the worlds leading spirits distributors. Amongst the consuming of red wine, beer and random conversation as to who was the better fisherman, Steve and I got to talking about rum.
He told me that his company was the distributor for the worlds best rum, and asked me if I knew what it was. I replied with, “Zacapa XO?”.
Steve’s face changed, his eyes widened and he looked at me as if to suggest I’d stolen the answer from his pocket. He was stunned. Amazed that I had guessed what he considered to be the worlds best rum straight out, he simply offered his hand and congratulated me on a fine guess – complete fluke mind you – but I do consider the Zacapa XO one of the world’s finest rums!
Steve promised me that if I return to KI next year at the same time, that he will be there, bottle of XO in hand. I told him that I’d make him a deal – if he brought the rum, Id help him drink it. A win-win situation or us both I’m sure you’ll agree!
New Years Eve at Emu Bay
The next day my mum and I gave the painkiller cocktail a whirl – fresh out of Pusser’s and nutmeg we decided to give it a new spin – and went with apple and cinnamon instead and named it the feel no pain… its wasn’t bad for a first go. I headed on out to the north coast of the Island to my cousins place.
NYE was a big night, we started out drinking Bundaberg Red Rum at my cousins beach house, which I had never had and was a bit of step up from the standard Bundy I was used to drinking out of a can with coke. I happened to have taken a bottle of Mt Gay over to the island, it was a gift from a work colleague and friend, she knows I’m a bit of a rum nut.
I grabbed my bottle of Mount Gay for the road and we headed on down to the beach and set up camp half way alone the 2km stretch of sand and watched the sun go down and sipped on rum. We met some french tourists who had only arrived on the island that day, we made friends and shared our rum with them too.
The countdown came, some home made (and I’m sure illegal) fireworks were let off by some strangers further down the beach, and any pet dog within a 5mile radius ran for the dunes.
After midnight I walked the 2km back to the beach house, up two giant hills (which were the finale to the 14km run we had done just days earlier) and eventually crawled into bed around 3am. The next morning I woke to the 41 degree heat and spend all morning swimming in the clear blue waters of Emu bay- no better way to clear the head from the previous night consumptions.
Back to reality:
I’m back in the city now, and there’s only one place I want to be – and its not here let me tell you – I’m already planning my next trip – I’m thinking St Lucia at this stage or Barbados – to the part of the world where the real rum is made, but only time will tell where I end up, in the mean time – I’ll just keep day dreaming.
Until then, take care. LukeyJ