,Hello friends and family
I arrived home at 8 last night after an amazing trip. Jan and I went to San Diego to see Emperor penguins. This was intended as a bit of a busman’s holiday but turned out to be incredible. We started out by spending a night in Auckland to make our international connection stress-free in winter conditions, and we were able to do so at less cost than flying from Dunedin in the morning. This gave us the chance to visit Kelly Tarlton’s penguins. We saw Kings and Gentoos, thanks to the awesome people who work there, and shared the issues around our work.
On the Wednesday night we flew to Los Angeles and it took us 4 hours from getting off the plane to Union Station where we caught the train to San Diego. We arrived there after 10 pm and crashed! The next day we met Uber. Using Uber cost the same for 2 people as using public transport and took much less time. I would highly recommend it. We took Uber to the San Diego Zoo, ranked as number one in the world and to our delight, found a colony of African Penguins there. It is a new colony, only 2 years old and with the penguins just moulted, they looked magnificent. The motto for the zoo is “no more extinctions”.
The next day we went downtown and toured the Midway – a retired aircraft carrier. By now summer had kicked in and we were wearing shorts and tee shirts and coming home to the pool and spa. The next day we Ubered to Sea World which was just amazing. It exceeded my every expectation. They have 430 penguins of 8 different species. I have now seen every different kind of penguin although only one of the three Rock Hopper species. All the wildlife there looked amazing and the whole place was mind-blowing.
After visiting an artist friend of Jan’s, the next day, we went back to Sea-world because we could. The day after, we returned to meet up with more staff, including the wild-life rescue team and the vets. What a fabulous skilled, dedicated team they are, willing to share and advise. We used our last day to go back to the zoo and meet their specialist staff. Then it was back to LA, do the Hollywood tour and then home for me and off to Alaska for Jan.
Now I will catch up on stuff I missed while away.
Have a great week!