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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Day 158 - Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

australia Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ROCKS! Fact. If you come to Cairns, you come to Hartley's, ok?

I was SO not excited about coming here. Seriously, i was in discussions with sam and anthony about ditching it in favour of soaking the sun all day - since my lily-white skin was a mild embarrassment during my shirtless rainforest walks. Its a small park, and looks a bit crap. Compared with Australia Zoo, its TINY. I was SURE it was gonna be a disappointment. But oh no.

As soon as we arrived, we had a whole DAY of activites planned out. Croc feeding in the morning. Boat trip at 1pm. Cassowary feeding at 2pm. Snake handling show at 3pm. Croc attack show at 4pm. And Koala stroking at 5pm. For a park that takes less than 10 minutes to walk from one side to the other, it hard to think we could spend a whole day here. But we did.

Croc feeding was amazing. Our guide stook nervously amoungst a hareem of open-mouthed, closing-in crocs. Throwing fish heads in their direction, the dinosaur-like dudes would snap at them, crunching the bones or swallowing them whole. You soon realise that these little guys have nothing better to do than eat. It did nothing for my general fear of them (croc attacks are not uncommon in this part of aussie), but was pretty impressive to watch. Seeing them launch themselves out of the water is amazing too - I could watch that stuff all day.

Now, before getting here, I'd never heard of Cassowaries. From the road signs (which go to great lengths to get you to slow down on their behalf), they look like massive emus. And we met a fbre-glass model of one on the Daintree River which was the same height as me. But seeing them in the flesh was cool - they look well evil.

Sam's loving the amount of living creatures she's getting stroke. Not only did she hold a croc (small, cute, mouth taped up with sellotape), and eat some kangaroo meat (you guessed it, it tastes like chicken) but she stoked a koala while the guard holding it stared at her chest. Check him (and her) out.

And after watching a snake demostration (dull) and the croc attack show (WAY more exciting), we were ready to head off. But not before I expressed my distate at the kangaroo and crocodile skin merchandise on offer. Right, the dude in the shop said its VALID to be selling croc-skin handbags because if THEY sell them, less will be sold on the black market. Right, he's an idiot. fact. Nobody should have that stuff, and nobody shoud be buying it in a park with kids in it. I felt like a member of PETA trying to make him feel bad, but he didn't care. So I huffed my way out of the park and bitched about their policy for the next 20 minutes. Maybe one day people will stop buying that crap. But until then, you can get it all legally down at Hartley's. The ONLY disappointment of the day.

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