Aus Tales #1 – Meeting the Wildlife

 Well I made it!  Descending into Perth was exciting looking out over
the city and the sea.   As you come past the aiport … it doesn’t
seem big enough and you fly all the way past it  then pull a big turn
to the right, spotting the runway as you come and then ease down and
slam on the brakes.

There are five gates at Perth airport numbered 51-55 for some reason.
First lesson – they  number things very strangely around here.  Then
it was a big hello to Jenjer and to take  receipt of my tour shirt …
no tour is a tour without a shirt.  Sky blue of course …

So hello blue sky, sunshine, warmth, ocean and lots and lots of space.
 Temperature is a  lovely 30 degrees and summer is here.  The hardest
thing to adjust to is not the time  difference, not the heat but the
light.  Going from the dark, grey English winter where you  hardly see
sunshine to bright sunshine gleaming off every surface nearly blinded
me and so I  emerged blinking like a hibernating small animal awoken
too early.

JJLB and I our easing into our holiday.  First job a big breakfast, a
latte and a catch up  sitting outside looking out at the ocean.  Then
a little tour of Rockingham before shopping  for essential provisions
.. hair cut, white shirt, hat to keep the sun off, yummy food and
finally a  swing by the bottle shop for some wine, beer and Pimms.
Not that our holiday will consist  of sitting around drinking …

Then it was time for a little afternoon nap.  Jen thinks this is
because I am not yet on Aus  time and was jet lagged.  Actually I’m
just exhausted .. too much work, not enough sleep ..  am definitely on
catch up  I think she will soon learn that it’s because I just love
sleeping and balsamic sleeps are essential on holiday.  It costs
absolutely nothing but  drifting off to sleep in the afternoon,
tickled by a warm summer breeze is one of life’s  little luxuries.

We popped by to meet the family and having been part of Jen’s life for
nearly 15 years it  was lovely to finally meet her Mum and her brother
and say hello.  We alos figured out how  to hook the car sound system
up to my phone via bluetooth so we can get at the ROAD TRIP  TUNES!!
(Very important).

So after all that settlign in and making myself at home the adventures
started today.  We  were supposed to go to Perth zoo whilst it’s still
quite cool but I was still sleeping –  shock, so we decided to leave
that until tomorrow and go down to the smaller Peel Zoo  instead where
you can get close to the animals.  So close in fact that the ranger
who sold  us our entry ticket had a live snake around his neck as a
fashion accessory …

Peel Zoo is full of very colourful (and noisy) Australian birds and
some animals that you  can get close to and pet.  We entered the
enclosure containing some kangaroos snoozing in  the shade little
realising that as we approached theem a curious emu was approaching
us…  When up close and personal with a large native, curious
Australian bird I:

a) was suitably curious back saying hello and being attentive to this
fine example of native  fauna
b) practically like Dr Dolittle enchanting the emu with my natural
affinity with animals who  then followed me everywhere
c) ran away like a girl screaming to Jenjer to get it away from me

There was an overly attentive emu in the next pen too and in the deer
pen an very angry  hissing goose guarding the gate.

“I can’t go in there Jen”
“Why Popey?”
“Because that is an angry mad goose Jenjer and when I was a child I
was attacked by a goose  I still have the scars, I was traumatised, I
can’t go in there”

We then saw some ostriches, possums, koala bears, wallabies, tasmanian
devils, owls and more  brightly coloured birds saying hello to us.  We
decided to do another circuit and be braver  this time .. an exercise
that was helped when a ranger cam in the pen with us mainly to
protect a six year old girl .. we just slipstreamed.  It was the
ranger who explained he was  just curious not aggressive:

“He just likes pecking shoes”
“I’m not wearing shoes, he would just be pecking me”

Protected by the ranger we did get to stroke and feed the sleepy young
kangaroos and they  were just lovely.  Soft and gentle they ate calmly
from your hand and enjoyed their cuddle.

Suitably emboldened by our brush with wildlife we decided to venture
to see the deers –  without protection!!! As we got there the angry
hissing goose was there but also two fallow  deer, two sheep, an
alpaca and Fernando the goat!!  All of whom knew we had food and all
of  whom were charging the fence.  After feeding them for a bit over
the fence Jen decided she  wanted to go in there.

“Don’t go in there Jen there’s too many of them”
“I’m going in”
“Don’t go in there …”

Too late Jen went in and … STAMPEDE!!!! Ha ha ha funniest moment so
far watching Jen be  body slammed by a posse of food hunting animals
before I unlatched the gate to let her out  squaling like a girl.  I
think there is a reason we are city folk…. we’ve lost touch with
the land….

We then went for a stroll around the City of Mandaruh along the Peel
Inlet, taking note of  some of the statues on the heritage trail and
you know just walking …

“Where I we going Popey?”
“I don’t know I’m just following you?”
“Well I’m following you”
“Err why I don’t live here I have no idea where I’m going”
“You were striding along so confidently I just though you were heading
“Jenejer that’s just what I do … so there’s no food this way?”
“Let’s turn around then …”

So if we were in the brownies and collecting badges I think today we
would have failed to  get our wildlife badge or our navigation badge
ha ha ha.

Some more observations about Australian life so far:

I can’t cope with the television it goes from programmes, to the news,
back to the programme  to the weather, back to the programme for a
bit, to some adverts, back to a totally  different programme ..

Insurance companies are mostly called after girls names and electrical
stores are called big  manly things like DICK SMITH or RICK HART (and
yes you do feel like you have to shout when  you say it).

There are new house build sales everywhere.  All along our drive today
are new communities  popping up and selling themselves.  They are all
in the middle of nowhere and have fantasy  made up names like Golden
Bay Sands or Secret Harbour and feature massive signs of fantasy,
community living close to a golf course/river/ocean.  Given that
Jenjer and I have a history  of visiting show homes when we are bored
I have no doubt at some point we may find ourselves  in a show home in
one of these places testing out our new fantasy lifestyle.

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