At the zoo!
Trip Start Feb 17, 2005
123Trip End Feb 27, 2006
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Where I stayed
I woke up in the middle of the night and the entire room was shaking and there was an incredible noise, but after a few seconds it stopped...so I stupidly thought no more about it and went back to sleep! It's one of those weird instances where you're not sure if it was a dream or not! It wasn't until the following evening that I discovered that it was an earthquake that measured over 6 on the Richter Scale! I think the earthquake was about 150 km away though and at sea so we obviously didn't get the full effects thankfully. So in just 3 days in Wellington I've suffered a virtual earthquake in the Te Papo Museum, and a real one in the Cambridge Hotel! Apparently there are around 15000 earthquakes every year in Welly but this was considered a pretty big one.
So after surviving an earthquake (but not yet realising it!), I decided to head to the zoo for the day as the weather was beautiful
It's been ages since I last went to a zoo, and I could literally spend all day just sitting there watching the animals go about their own business. As the zoo was fairly quiet (I purposely went on a weekday), I just sat on my own and watched the monkeys playing around for about 20 minutes! Most of them were oblivious to me watching them, but one of them (probably the male) kept staring at me and a couple of times stood up with arms out as if to say "Yeah, what are you looking at?"
Opposite the monkeys were a couple of white cheeked gibbons (I now understand your fascination James!). I'm fairly sure that they were showing off to me as they swung around the assault course, doing sumersaults and generally just hanging around (sorry!!).
My favourite animal without doubt was a Malayan Sun Bear who was called...Shaun! He was 7 years old and was there with an older female bear (17) whose name I forget
I also spent time watching the kangaroos, lions, tigers and cheetahs in their respective areas...but it was the monkeys and gibbons who were the stars of the show! Having said that, the chimpanzees were cute too...apparently one of them had learnt to throw things at the people who were watching them! They were all sleeping when I returned later in the day, all cuddled up together and one of them was looking in another's hair for nits! And the way one of them stretched when he woke up was just like me first thing on a morning!
So once I'd worked my way around all of the animals, I decided to leave and go for something to eat...Burger King of course!
After reading a couple of chapters of my Alex Higgins biography back at the hostel, a guy from Liverpool arrived and I chatted to him for a good hour or so. He reminded me of Yozzer Hughes actually but he was a good bloke and was telling me all about his trip around the country
Soon after, a fellow Richard arrived back at the hostel. I had spoken to him the day before and he was looking for a flat as he is working in Wellington permanently. It had been mentioned that I liked the odd game of pool and so he asked if I wanted to go for a few games...of course I agreed! I think Richard is probably in his 30s and a really nice guy, so I enjoyed the night...especially as I wiped the floor with him on my way to an 8-4 victory, despite losing the opening 2 frames! It was a really cool place with about 20 pool tables and I seemed to find my old University form after a few bottles of Tui!
So we exchanged email addresses and agreed to meet up for a rematch the next time I'm in Wellington...he's a glutten for punishment!!
I'm heading to Napier next to see what that place is like and also to see what fruit picking work is available. I've heard mixed reports about the Art Deco Napier, but I will see for myself and if I don't like it, I'll head up the coast a bit further...