Singapore Zoo is one of the best zoos I have ever visited. The most exciting thing for me, was finally getting to see Komodo dragons.
I had met a guy in Perth, Australia who had told us about his visit to Komodo Island. He had graphically described how he had bought a goat, which was then incapacitated and left for the Komodo dragons to devour, while he and his fellow tourists had fled to the safety of a cage, to obseve the Komodo Dragons enjoy their feast.
This was not my idea of fun, so it was great to see the Komodo Dragon in Singapore Zoo, where there was no running (nor gruesome goat killing) involved whatsoever.
From my leaflet at Singapore Zoo,
Their main diet is carrion, although they can sometimes cannibalise their own kind. They have a deservedly fearsome reputation, for they have been known to kill human beings. Almost extinct the dragon is protected on its native Komodo Island in Indonesia.
I noted that Singapore train station was not particularly busy.
Eventually having gone through the necessary customs and immigration, we were able to board the train. We had six long hours on the train. The air-conditioning was very effective. I was amused to read that Lonely Planet considered Malaysian air conditioning to have only two settings-“Freezing and suspended animation.”
They even had a special television channel for us to watch on the train. The programmes were all British. They didn’t even have Malay subtitles…
One thing I had not expected to watch aboard a Malaysian train was Benny Hill.(very politically incorrect-watch at own risk.)
Well we finally saw the swirling mudpools of Rotorua yesterday. By the way Rotorua stinks(Sorry I was only talking about the sulphur smell, everything else was great.) I finally saw a geyser. I had always wanted to see a geyser ever since I had seen a picture of Old Faithful as a child.
I was really excited. The mudpools are amazing-really intriguing to watch. The bubbling streams were incredibly noisy.
I do remember being told that they did not bury bodies underground in Rotorua, as they had a habit of reappearing. They have above ground mausoleums instead. I also remember having to pose for photos right in the smelliest spots. I loved it there (I had a brilliant natural steaming spa bath.) but honestly the smell would certainly clear any nasal congestion.
We had a lovely time. I particularly remember the Friday we (my American friend and I) had struggled through the crowds at Damascus Gate, just before a riot had broken out,(Somebody had been killed.) in order to reach the Arab bus station, to catch a bus into Jericho, which is in the West Bank. It was pleasantly warm and very pretty in Jericho. I remember some spectacular fruit stalls. I bought these lovely Jaffa oranges.
Somewhere out there, are some fantastic shots of the fruit stalls and also likely one or two of me, as my friend had been a very keen photographer. who had had an awful lot of very professional camera equipment.
We then hired a couple of bikes and headed up to the monastery. I had sat in the sun with the bikes. whilst my friend had finished the climb. I was soon joined by Palestinian children begging for money. I shared my oranges with them.
It is a lovely memory.
I have just been surprised to learn (from the video) that the monastery is the Monastery of the Temptation, where Jesus is supposed to have been tempted. I had not known that at the time. I had just wanted to visit Jericho.
Eilat is supposed to have some of the best snorkelling in the world off its shores. So even though I had never done it before I decided to have a go at snorkelling. I did not know quite what I was supposed to do.
Still I tried. What I saw was amazing. I was surrounded by coral reef and large, beautiful multi-coloured fish. It was absolutely breath-taking, (in more ways than one), as I was so absorbed, that when both my mask and snorkel had filled with water, I didn’t notice and then suddenly realised that I couldn’t breathe. I also cut my legs rather badly on the coral.
I get lost a lot. On my way to a cat cafe, I got lost in east Shinjuku.
What should have been a ten minute walk turned into a half an hour of google maps telling me to try and walk through buildings. Every time I thought I was finally going the right way, my phone would ping-pong and tell me to go in a different direction. As I often tell my mom, my sense of adventure is strong but my sense of direction is not.
I can get lost walking home to a place I lived for thirty years. In fact I have, several times. Regardless, I found it eventually. Now, how do I get back to the station? The answer eludes me.