Becky’s friend Ellie kindly gave us a free promotional pass to Taronga Zoo yesterday so today we’re going to the zoo (insert song here). Unfortunately the trains aren’t running into the city from Bondi junction today so we’re forced to catch a replacement bus. Going to the zoo in the city is fun as we have to catch a ferry. All ashore and aboard another bus we are forced to wait 15 minutes. A lavish wedding fills the road, a white Rolls Royce, 2 white Lamborghinis and 6 Harley Davidsons are displayed behind the bride and groom who pose for photograph after photograph much to the dismay of the disgruntled bus passengers all too eager to get a selfie with a koala.
It was a concern of mine coming to a zoo after being lucky enough to see most of the inhabitants in their natural habitats on my world travels, and I was right. I felt so sorry for the poor creatures locked up in their pens. And as lovely as Taronga Zoo is, how it’s educating people to the harsh realities of man’s effect on the environment, and successfully breeding their animals in captivity, I left not wanting to visit any more zoos in the future.
As we leave the Sydney skies darken and downpour upon us. I am soaked in a matter of seconds, running to seek shelter from the wet, thunder and lightening at the ferry dock, Rachel had the foresight to bring an umbrella. As I stand there dripping the lady next to me says, “Excuse me? Soul and Surf?”, “pardon?”, “Soul and Surf, Kerala, India – your James aren’t you?”. Yet again I find myself thinking what a small world it is. Mel and her partner only spent 2 days with Rachel and I at the surf and yoga retreat in India. I can’t believe that she recognised me, let alone remembered my name. How very weird that we bump into them here, they are going to an evenings concert at the zoo.
Talking of small worlds tonight we have arranged to meet Emily from our India tour for a catch up, as she too arrived in Australia last Sunday. Emily is officially an International friend as we met in India, almost bumped into each other in Sri Lanka and are now to meet up in Sydney. First Rachel and I need feeding so gorge on burritos in the city before walking in the rain to Darling Harbour. The storms are worsening so we wait for the rains to decrease under the shelter of the highway along with hoards of others who too cannot believe the thunder and lightening flashing, cracking, rumbling and echoing around us.
At the Watershed bar we sit outside undercover watching the amazing light show the storms are creating in the skies above the cityscape. Thankfully the rains stop and the storms pass in time for us to leave the bar and stand harbour side for the 9 o’clock fireworks. They are so impressive.
We meet Emily and her lovely friend Emma at the Blackbird Cafe and have a really nice evening catching up, getting to know Emma, sharing stories of our travels, talking about Sydney and reminiscing about India and Sri Lanka. After a drink we walk around the harbour in search of another bar but due to my attire (shorts and trainers) and the astronomical door charges to enter the bars we decide to head home. The girls are both working at a very posh boarding school in Double Bay for the next 6 months so I’m sure our paths will cross again.