When my daughter does the bird show at Taronga Zoo (and I’m sure it’s also true for the other presenters), she becomes a celebrity to the school children watching. She always spends time answering their questions. It’s nice to think watching birds fly around can impress little people; I’d like to believe they will remember some of the commentary on habitat threats.
As I look out on more than two feet of snow, I remember a sunny day spent in Sydney’s lovely public gardens.
Seeing my daughter and knowing how happy she is with her new life, and especially with her new husband, that was the best part of my trip to Australia.
I was privileged to spend the night at Taronga Zoo and met a large resident the next morning.
As the wind howls outside, I think back to the warm days I spent just weeks ago. Here is a reminder of my stroll through Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
Another lovely day with calm waters greeted me for the last full day at sea on this cruise. There are still a few more Mac sessions and a cocktail party at which Lawrence Krauss will discuss the Higgs Boson, but otherwise it’s just a day for getting the last few lazy minutes on a deck chair and packing.
Our last three stops before returning to Sydney were Lifou, Ile des pins and Noumea. My favorite was Ile des pins, but Lifou was very picturesque. Thee was a greeting dance by native residents and a market full of souvenirs. i was glad to find some purportedly free trade goods, cloth bags made by local women. I bought a coconut with a straw, drank the milk, then took it back to the vendor so he could open it with his machete and I ate the inside. On my way back to the tender to return to the ship, I was alarmed to see a coconut crab tied to a post, along with a sign offering pictures for a few francs. I gathered shells on the beach in Lifou and swam in the ocean in Ile des pins. Also on the latter island, I took a hike up toward a point called Pic n’Ga but didn’t quite make it to the top – it was very hot and the path was steep. In Noumea, I took a tour of a mangrove forest just as the tide was coming in to deliver schools of fish and to activate the small brightly coloured crabs. I have many, many pictures, but they will have to wait for a faster Internet connection.