Friday, 10 August 2012

From wild life to wild winds

Yesterday Becky really wanted to go to the Featherdale wildlife park, and I really wanted to go to the aboriginal dance theatre thing (see earlier post). So that is what we did!
In the morning we waddled with wombats, cajoled kangaroos, cuddled koalas, winteracted with wallabies, cocked our hats at the croc and danced with dingo puppies. If I'm honest I find places like this a little perturbing because whilst some of the animals have biggish enclosures and the option about whether to interact with humans or not, there are others that clearly don't have enough space. Macaws that have the capacity to learn 4000 words for example, stuck in cages where they cannot fly more than a couple of meters before hitting the other end, using one or two words because the humans talking to them are only capable of repeating "hello" at different pitches. I swear the bird was ready to turn round and say, "it's ok for you to sound so cheerful, you can walk away when you've had enough!" probably couldn't be bothered to waste the energy on a being with a one-word vocabulary who probably wouldn't understand! And as for birds of prey in cages as wide as your average wide-screen TV...don't get me started! I don't think eagles can smile, but if they could they wouldn't have been.
The staff were all a bit despondent too, morosely plonking eucalyptus branches into a koala's hand with a look that said, "you can come and have your photo taken with this koala but don't expect me to offer the experience to you or tell you his name..."
Not quite sure what was wrong with everybody, perhaps in Australia it takes more than the sun shining to make their day! I suppose when you have to organise koala petting day-in day-out it must get a bit wearing, but I'm sure she gets to feed the crocodile for a change!
However, these small things aside it was fun feeding wallabies, stroking the koala and identifying some of the birds we've seen flying around. I also learned a lot about a snake's anatomy (see me for further details!) and got some great footage of a southern hairy-nosed wombat. Sadly there were several cages labelled "quoll" but the residents were tucked up asleep out of sight (if they were there at all!) The dingo puppies were very cute, asleep too but in the sun where we could see them. If only Lottie spent that much time asleep...
In the afternoon we trekked back on the bus and two trains, got our tickets for the evening performance of Terrain, got the ferry home-a fantastic discovery as quicker and much more pleasant than the bus- ate the remains of yesterday's dinner and went back in for the show (hence night shots of opera house and bridge) We have bought multi-travel passes which have meant that we have been able to jump on and off public transport whenever we like...mine runs out tomorrow (very sad) and Becky has till Sunday -by some freak coincidence the first bus machine didn't register her card and by the time we got our next transport it was after 3pm and you get an extra day...grr...wish we'd known! Nevermind, I'll just have to do more walking and less hopping on transport! if it wasn't for the high winds and driving rain which have arrived in Sydney this afternoon, I'd swim alongside the ferry!

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