After my fantastic weekend at Tom and Jills, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were somewhat less eventful. All the days were allocated by me as work days, although they ended up being research days rather than producing anything useful. On Monday the weather was rather dull and rainy, but it picked up a little on Tuesday, encouraging me to go for a quick run.
At the weekend Tom had mentioned about how it was the end of summer in Australia, and that autumn was winging its way to Melbourne. Interestingly, he noted that the seasons, just like the weather in general, changed very quickly in Australia, and I have to say I agree with his assessment. In 3 weeks, the average temperature in Melbourne has gone from the mid 30s to the low 20s, and you can definitely feel the difference. That said, it still feels like a summers day in England, even when it rains. The shorts will be staying in use for as long as possible!
After my 3 days of research and work, I decided to have a day off today. After sleeping till 11am (and apparently missing a scheduled Skype session - sorry mam!) I got up, and opened up Google Maps to pick a destination. Seeing as the weather was reasonable - 20s, sunny but with a lot of cloud, I decided an outdoor day would be good. Activities like the Melbourne aquarium and the Melbourne immigration museum are firmly on my to-do list, but when the weather is still very pleasent I want to be outside on my days off.
I moved the map around for a while, before remembering that the Melbourne Zoo was not far away from my first hostel (back up in North Melbourne). A zoo definitely fit the description for a good day outside, and so after grabbing some supplies from the shop, I set off across the city. I arrived at the zoo at about 1pm, having taking the train and the tram.
As I entered the zoo, the announcer came on to say that they would be feeding the baboons in 5 mins, and that it was the best chance to see them as they come down right next to the feeding area to do it. Destination settled, I headed straight for the cage.
When I arrived, the announcer was just beggining the feed, and all the baboons surrounded the area, storing food in their pouches. The announcer pointed out the various roles the baboons play, and how the less important ones have to store their food and run away from the pack, else the leaders have priority over the food. The baboons came right up to the viewing area, and I was able to grab some pretty good pictures.
After the feed finished, the crowd dispersed and I decided the best plan would be to head back to the entrance and follow the route on the map to make sure I saw everything. I wandered around the path, seeing various different animals and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day. Some of the highlights included watching a Giraffe torment a Zebra by eating the flies off its back, and a rather mental display by two Seals in a pool - as well as some Lions just chilling out in the Sun. I also managed to see a lot of native animals, including Kangaroos, Emus and Koalas right up close.
It was a fantastic day, rounded off with some time in the Japanese Zen Garden, before at 5pm catching the train back to South Yarra. I took plenty of photos along the way, and where possible snapped the information cards next to the animals so that you can see what each animal is.