My excellent nan, Betty.
Last night, after our lovely meal at the house exchangers, we headed over to seemy cousin Danny who lives here in Sydney. It's easily been 20 years since we last saw one another and it felt good to re-establish contact after all this time. We also met his girlfriend, Sharmilla, who was just lovely and invited us to stay at her apartment on Bondi Beach tonight. Awesome!
The weather forecast today promised showers today but sun for the rest of the week so we decided to save the majority of sightseeing for when it would be dry and today paid a visit to Taronga Zoo in central Sydney. It's been a long time since I've been to the zoo if you discount the butterfly parks etc we visited on our travels, and I wasn't sure if I would like it. I mean, I'm very much one of those 'animals are better in the wild' kind of people but I appreciate that not everyone has the opportunity, money or ability to get close to such a wide variety of beasts any other way. My uncle Kev played taxi driver today, dropping my auntie Margaret, my 82 yeard old nan Betty, my
My auntie Margaret :-)
nan's 78 year old friend Jeanie and me off rather than come into the zoo for the something like the 5th time this year. Entry wasn't cheap so I was grateful for the 15% discount voucher I found on the internet.
Just inside the entrance there was a kiosk advertising volunteers to do guided walks of the native Aussie animal enclosures which sounded great as I was particularly keen to get to know the 'locals'. We all readily stumped up the extra $3 each for the tour. Our guide was a dippy blonde lady who repeated her facts and figures rather a lot and we twigged quite early on that she really didn't know what she was talking about. This was proven when we were at a bird enclosure and were told that the rather large bird we were looking at was a kingfisher. Now I don't know much about birds but I know roughly what a kingfisher looks like so I was pleased when a keeper popped up inside the enclsure and corrected our guide on this and several other 'facts' that she had overheard us being told!
Despite the dodgy guide, we did get to see
Long Lost Cousin
My cousin Danny who I haven't seen for 20 years and his girlfriend Sharmilla.
some amazing animals including kangaroos and wallabies, koalas (which apparently are NOT bears) an emu and some saltwater crocodiles. I now know that a gallah - as in 'flaming gallah' - is actually a cockatiel type bird and that Tasmanian Devils look nothing like the cartoon character at all!! Aside from the Aussie animals, we also spent time with the giraffes who have an excellent view of Sydney Harbour from their enclosure, lions, bears, monkeys, zebras etc. My favourite area was the reptile enclosure where I saw a fabulous variety of lizards and snakes with a massive komodo dragon being the absolute star of the show. I still can't get over how big he was! Kev reckons he has never seen him do anything more than lie asleep in the sun so I felt very privileged to see him walking about, his tongue whipping in and out all the while.
Later on, we took a cable car ride across the zoo which also afforded wonderful views of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge as well as over the elephants. We enjoyed the ride so much that we stayed on for 2 loops in a row. The day was
I still don't know what the difference is between a kangaroo and a wallably except for the size. I know what a Jisharoo looks like though!
rounded off with a bird show in the amphitheatre which also had stunning harbour views. Eagles, owls and parrots circled overhead, flying down to perform party tricks for the buzzing crowd and to win themselves a feed from the keeper.
All in all it was a very nice day and the predicted showers thankfully never came. Back home, we packed our overnight bags and made our way to Sharmilla's apartment. Everyone except me and Kev hit the sack early so we stayed up and put the world to rights over a good few bottles of beer. So far, I have to say I prefer Kiwi beer!
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