Monday, January 4, 2010

Koalas are not bears

Here's a little zoology lesson I learned.

It's been a busy few days despite the rain and generally gloomy weather.  On Saturday night, we went for a BBQ at a local friend's place.  Met lots of hot guys. Ate kangaroo. Drank a goodly amount. Afterwards, the three of us headed to check out the nightlife Saturday had to offer.  (See post: Scene, not hurt.)

Sunday, we were up and out the door by 7:30a to catch a train to the far NW suburbs to the Featherdale Wildlife Park. Thankfully we didn't qualify for the "wide gate."

A photo of Matt Damon in a glass case at the wildlife park verified this was the real deal.

We saw all sorts of adorable, scary, loud, stinky indigenous animals including koalas, kangaroo, wallabee, emu, dingo.

We had postponed our Coogee to Bondi beach walk until today, but as we left the wildlife park, the heavy gray skies opened up and put another big red X through those plans.  Always thinking on his feet, Ken suggested heading to the famous (and indoor) Paddy's Market for some trinket shopping.  It was an insanely huge, ridiculously crowded swap-meet of stalls overstuffed with everything from cheap t-shirts to jeweled iPhone cases to hair extensions and animal pelts.  'Twas an experience etched into my brain. By now, it was lunch so down the street to nearby Chinatown to eat.  Women young and old wielding oversized laminated menus proselytized their cuisine.  We decided on the most crowded of the establishments, which coicidentally lacked the aforementioned marketing teams.  It was dim-sum time, but we opted to order from the menu.  Dim-sum can be confusing and overwhelming after Paddy's Market.

After a quick lunch, we headed off to catch the Sydney Harbour Ferry from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay.  We got primo spots right on the bow for many a photo opportunity.

By this time, it was getting close to another wildlife excursion to the Harbour City Bears event at the charming Lord Roberts Hotel. (It's really a restaurant.  The call pubs and restaurants hotels here quite a bit.  Don't understand that yet.) It was crowded, the bears were out despite the wet weather.  We had a chance to encounter this fine species in their natural habitat, including a rare "fruit fly."

After our second petting zoo of the day, it was off to Indian dinner #2.  Spicy creamy sauces with meat and cheese breads.  Delightful.  Feeling overstuffed with food, the next logical trip was to the Midnight Shift for more cocktails and beary camaraderie.

By the way, cocktails in Sydney are EXPENSIVE and TINY.  We've got to get some Chicago or San Francisco style drinks here gentlemen!

We didn't stay out too late, because it's up early again on Monday to embark on the world famous Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb.  They actually administer BAC breath tests to be sure you're fit for the 1500 meter climb.  More on this to follow, I need caffeine.

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