I got off the plane fro Jakarta in Perth, and did what is usually expected of me (and anyone) when I land in a different country. I get my immigration card prepared, along with my passport, and stand in line praying to get a nice immigration officer.
The laziest ones I've encountered so far are in Argentina. (They're usually grumpy. They don't care for pleasantries. But at the same time, they move really slow.) The most efficient ones have been in Singapore (no surprise). And the nicest ones, I have to say, are in Australia. At least mine was. (Though the one in Indonesia is a close second!)
I had my immigration card, passport and smile ready. And to my surprise, the smile was returned! He quickly scanned my passport, and then asked me what my plans were while here in Perth.
Truthfully, I hadn't really bothered to put much thought to what exactly I was going to do here. I had booked a hotel in the downtown area, so I could easily access lots of things. And I knew I was going to try a Bikram class while here. But anything else?
Heck, I didn't know.
So I said the first thing I could remember seeing on Tripadvisor... The Perth Zoo.
"I'm definitely going to go to the zoo," I said. Though I wasn't sure that I was. I mean, I had just played with monkeys in Bali earlier in the week. A zoo would pale in comparison.
He agreed that it was a "must-see." And added that I should take the ferry to see it, rather than take a taxi. He also recommended a few other things:
- Fremantle Prison by Torchlight (meaning "flashlight")
- Swan River Wine Tours
- Cottesloe Beach
- King's Park
He then also added that he and his friends like to drink in the bar in my hotel. And that maybe he'd see me there.
"Sure!" I said with a smile.
(That's code for: Not a shot in hell. I'm not drinking or dating at the moment. Thankyouverymuch!)
But I took his other suggestions seriously. And decided that I would definitely do the zoo, as he recommended - by ferry.
I'm glad I did.
While it's one of the smaller zoos I have been to (with the Central Park Zoo being the smallest), it certainly had a lot in it. The ferry ride over couldn't have been more easy and efficient to deal with. And then getting from the ferry through the neighborhood to the zoo was easy as well.
I hadn't expected to spend so much time in the zoo. But I ended up being there for over two hours. Just inside the zoo!
So much to see... I started with the reptiles. Specifically, the snakes held my fancy.
This is a Tiger Snake. She was LONG. She was moving as I took this. So graceful!
And of course, I had to grab a shot of the kangaroos just hanging out in the middle of areas...
The last time I went to Australia was five years ago. It was to Melbourne. And we saw a bunch of kangaroos hanging out on a golf course. Then, later that week, we ate kangaroo for dinner at a barbecue.
I didn't like it too much. Not a fan of gamy meats.
My favorite animals to look at are zebras.
Their stripes mesmerize me. And I like this photo in particular because they were hanging out with the giraffes, and it's fun to see the two species together for contrast.
So beautiful! I had missed my opportunity earlier in the day to see these guys up close. I was about two hours too late. Which was a shame, as I would have loved to see them and possibly pet them.
The funnest animal, though, was the elephant. He was playing with an inner tube when I visited with him. He kept flipping it over his body with his trunk. And then he's splash in the water he was standing in...
Children are too damn easily impressed.
I watched some monkeys play. I watched some birds fly around inside special net-enforced open cages. I had a tiger growl at me and bang it's head on the glass separating us.
Then it was time to get back on the ferry and head across the river...
It was a very pleasant afternoon.