July 6th:\par \par \tab Woke up earlier than I wanted to, took my time getting ready and left the room shortly after 9am. I walked over to the bus nexus and found that the little bus info center doesn't sell tickets (oops). The lady told me I needed to buy my passes down at Circular Quay (pronounced "key"), and how to get there. As I rode a bus down to the quay, I decided not to get the SydneyPass, but rather the 2-day SydneyExplorer combined pass. My reasoning was that I had intended to use the pass to GET to the quay, so I didn't really need one.\par \tab When I got to the quay, I located the McDonalds (right in front of which, so I was told, was the booth where I could get a pass) and had some breakfast. I next found that booth and bought the combined pass. Crossing the street, I entered the quay and figured out what kind of ticket I needed to get to the zoo.\par \tab I was just too late for the 10:15 ferry, so I waited around for the 10:45 one. Rode over to the zoo and chose the lower entrance over the top entrance. Walked up, seeing more empty cages and construction than animals, but finally the animals began to appear.\par \tab The Taronga Zoo is decent. I certainly saw creatures I've never seen before. I was annoyed at myself that I had forgotten to transfer my replacement battery from my backpack to my purple bag, because while I was on the ferry over, the battery low indicator showed up on my camera. The gift shop at the lower entrance had no batteries - I had to walk all the way to the top to find some, and they didn't last very long (not more than a few hours, really). Fortunately, I was able to squeeze out enough life in the old CRV3 to get all the shots I wanted to.\par \tab I got to the top entrance at about noon, found the information booth where my "behind the scenes" tour was going to leave from, and then stood in line to get some lunch. The guy at the counter was having trouble operating at a normal speed, so the line moved rather slowly. Still, I got my hot dog eventually, and scarffed it up. I checked in at the information booth at 1, for the 1:15 tour, and then looked at some more animals. At 1:15, the tour started. There were supposed to be six of us, but five (all one group) didn't show, so I got two guides all to myself. We went into the koala pens, and I got up close and personal with them, and the echidnas, the quokas, and later, some wallabees and kangaroos. I got to see the kitchens for the Australian section of animals. I got some "guided tour" information about some of the animals, and then they took me into the education center to get up close to some reptiles. The guides left me at the reptile section of the main zoo, and I did the rest of the exhibits that I hadn't done before the tour. I rode the sky safari down to the ferry, and took it back to Sydney.\par \tab I used my SydneyExplorer pass to take the red bus half way around its loop to the Central Station stop, which wasn't quite as close to my hotel as I had thought, though it wasn't really far. I went back to my room, then down to the hotel's restaurant for a nice dinner of Ceaser salad and a 280g ribsteak with bernaise sause, sauted spinach, and a weird layered potato concoction which was actually pretty good, though I didn't eat a lot of it.\par \tab After that, I went downstairs to read my email (I bought another hour of access), and then I changed my O'ahu hotel to one much closer to the beach. In cancelling the old hotel, I only lost $25, but my new hotel is about 3 times as expensive as the old one. I hope the change is worth it.\par \tab Tomorrow is the Full Day Sydney Tour with Lunch Cruise, with pickup from here at 7:55am. Gonna need to go to bed early, and set my alarm.\par }
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