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The Grand Asia & Australia Voyage, part 32

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The Grand Asia & Australia Voyage - Holland America Amsterdam, September 19-November 23, 2008

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Thirty-two

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October 28 (Tuesday, Day 42, At sea) -

We lost another hour last night and Filbert decided to wake up for the 5:23 sunrise. Unfortunately, the ship had forgotten about the lost hour and the sun didn't really come up until 6:23. He was up anyway and took photos during the rainstorm. By the time Snookums woke up at 7:30, it was bright and sunny.

Morning showers

More after the jump . . . We went to the Soccer Kick and Filbert won two Dam Dollars while Snookums won one. Then an hour later it was time for the Frisbee Toss which was held inside due to the high winds. It ended up being Velcro darts and each of us won two Dam Dollars.

Filbert was feeling a little queasy and took seasick medicine just in case. The swells were up to 12 feet and the ship was rocking and pitching. He sat on the verandah to read and watch the seas and spotted a humpback whale around 12:45. He saw the fin and everything. Snookums was only able to see the spout and the foam from when it breached the water, but Filbert saw it all. Snookums took seasick pills, too.

A fine day

We went to the basketball free throw contest and saw a woman being placed in a HAL wheelchair by the nurse and another assistant. We guess she fell down while waiting her turn for the free throw. She didn't appear to be hurt but the ship was rocking and rolling a lot. Snookums's father would have had a hard time walking, even with a walker, since there were times that the motion would propel you forward, backward or sideways 5 or 6 steps at a time.

We both took a 3-1/2-hour nap before dinner. A combination of the motion sickness pills and the steady rocking took it out of us. Dinner was exciting since the ship was swaying so much. Alice grabbed the table at times since she thought she was going to fall backwards. Some dishes were on a waitstand and fell to the floor but that was the extent of the damage for the evening. We returned to our cabin but had a very hard time falling asleep.

October 29 (Wednesday, Day 43, Fremantle, Australia 1.60 Australian dollars to the dollar) -

Windy morning at Fremantle Port
Wind turbine in the middle of Fremantle

Neither of us slept well but we managed to get up, shower and go to breakfast in order to get ready for our 8:45 AM departure for our tour of Caversham Wildlife Park. The weather was overcast and windy and Snookums wore her winter coat. Filbert brought a fleece jacket in case he got cold but just wore a long-sleeve shirt. One week ago it was 85 degrees in Fremantle and today it was 58. Oh well. After going through Australian customs and having dogs sniff Snookums's backpack for food and other no-nos, we boarded the bus and settled in for a 45-minute trip to the park.

We had a nice commentary by our Swiss guide (yep, he was from Switzerland!). We drove by the Swan River and even saw its famous black swans which aren't always easily seen. We also passed several vineyards. As we approached the entrance to the park, we spotted our first wild kangaroos. Just like the U.S. has deer, Australia has kangaroos. We got off the bus and made our way around the park. It was a small zoo but very nice in its setup. We went to the koalas and petted them with the back of our hands so that oil on our palms wouldn't get on their fur. They were soft. Their diet consists of 17 kinds of eucalyptus and not much water and that's it. They sleep for about 20 hours per day in order to digest the eucalyptus.

Photo Title
Cold wallaby

An American woman that had just graduated from a Louisiana university staffed the koala area. When we asked which one, she said Centenary (Shreveport, LA) and we told her that we had been there and saw a basketball game in the Gold Dome and that we saw the unveiling of the new mascot. Centenary is the smallest school in NCAA Division I and it has around 1,000 students. She played tennis so she knew the Gold Dome very well and was also on the mascot committee and was impressed to meet someone who had been there since she doesn't get too many Centenary-knowledgeable folks in Caversham Wildlife Park. She told us that she has to tell people she is from a university since colleges are high schools in Australia.

Cold koala
Cold, sleepy koala

Then we saw other animals native to Australia including wombats, emus, Tasmanian devils, flying fox (bats) and lots of pretty birds like lorikeets and kookaburras. We noticed that many of the animals were curled up in order to conserve body heat since it was unseasonably cool. When we passed the dingo enclosure, they all started to howl. Dingoes are wild dogs (or maybe descendants of wolves) but they don't bark. They howl. Anyway, the dingoes serenaded us and it got quite noisy. We wandered away from them and finally decided to enter the kangaroo enclosure.

Friendly cockatoo
Tasmanian devil

More from the Caversham Wildlife Park in the next post . . .