The Aboriginal People here in Australia send their young men on walkabouts where they, in essence, “find themselves.” I guess this is my walkabout, but rather than finding myself, I’d rather find some animals. Simply put, Australian animals are really quite strange. In fact, 83% of the mammals on this continent exist nowhere else in the world.

Unfortunately, since I’m staying in the middle of urban sprawl, I’m unlikely to run into many wild animals. So I was forced to head to the Taronga Zoo.

You get to the zoo by way of a ferry that swings you by the Opera House.

On arrival at the zoo, there were two choices: Africa or Australia. Since I’d seen African animals…ya know…in Africa, I chose to check out Australia.

It’s a bird. The Ostrich’s cousin called an Emu.

It’s tough to see, but that’s a sugar glider. Gliders are very friendly little nocturnal animals.

The Tasmanian Devil does not look like the cartoon character.

From there, I did what you do in Australia. I met my friends at a bar. Here’s what’s most interesting about Australian bars. Many include a small casino. What do you think we did? Yup. We played (a/k/a lost).

The slot machines were nice. The sombrero really completes the look. Don’t you think?

As you can imagine, we nursed our wounds with beer, which means that when I woke up this morning, I was a bit…umm…slow. But I was still ready to see more animals. So I headed to Wildlife Sydney, which is a private zoo. It was even better than Taronga because they let visitors get right up close with the gentler animals. I used a lot of sanitary hand lotion afterward.

Even though it’s asleep, still looks menacing, don’t you think?

Where’s the Sombrero?

I could have given her a little pat. I didn’t for fear of deadly disease.

Yours truly with my new best friend, Jack. He’s asleep. I’m jealous since I’ve got a gambling and beer induced headache.

An unmarred view of the fellow. They have two thumbs and sleep for 20-22 hours per day.

This afternoon, I climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge. It’s one of those classic “must-do” attractions. It’s probably one of the top ten things I’ve done on this RTW Adventure. The views were amazing and it’s a well-run operation. If you’re in the neighborhood, you ought to do it. As my souvenir t-shirt says, “1,390 stairs . . . and I climbed it!” Two hours have never passed so quickly.

It was a long climb, but very much worth it.

You can’t take a camera (because you might drop it killing someone below and they want to sell you pictures) so this is a picture of the picture they sold me.

It’s wedding season here, apparently. And my hotel is a hotspot. This evening, I could crash Clark & Kelly’s, Jason & Nimra’s, or Bryan & Mary-Jane’s weddings. Instead, I’m watching a James Bond marathon.

By the way, I’ve heard that some of you have been discussing my beard. I’ll leave you with an ad that I saw today.

Advertising I-Don’t-Know-What.

If it’s any relief, it likely won’t last past this trip.

Oh, and one more thing…I thought you might like to see the local Christmas decorations.

It’s on top of the aquarium and is about 40 feet wide.