Melbourne Aquarium (part 1)

My satellite hardware has now been replaced – yay! Five weeks without home internet access has been very frustrating, especially having to drive into town almost every working day to check work email. But that’s over now, and the new connection is about four times faster than the old one so the World Wide Wait is a little shorter.

We spent a week in Melbourne recently, and I’ll write about that later. First I want to tell you about the Melbourne Aquarium. I’m fond of aquariums as I get to cheat and see my favourite animals – the underwater ones – with little effort. I wrote about the Georgia Aquarium a while ago – the Melbourne Aquarium is much smaller but it has some good exhibits.

Penguins are popular exhibits in aquariums – these gentoo (Pygoscelis papua) and king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) are not too far from their homes. Considering Melbourne’s weather at times, they probably feel right at home!

Gentoo penguin Melbourne Aquarium

Gentoo penguin – some were moulting and looking a little fluffy

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An adventure in time (part 5/7)

12 July 2008: Peat Moors Centre, Tintagel and Port Isaac

From gothic cathedrals to the Iron Age – I love this country!

We left the run-down Wessex Hotel and drove via the Peat Moors Centre to Camelot Castle Hotel, Tintagel.

The Peat Moors Centre is now closed due to lack of funding – a great shame, although there are other such sites in the UK.

The centre has reconstructions of three Iron Age round-houses, one of which had fallen down and archaeologists were watching it to see how it deteriorated. The walls were reeds and sticks smeared thickly with mud, and a solid thatched roof. The archaeological finds from this place, including a large canoe, were in the museum I visited in Glastonbury. The caretaker was going to give a tour to a group of school kids in 30 minutes, but we had other places to be and had to miss out, so a quick whizz round had to satisfy us. Various plants, including the woad bush, were growing there, too. The ancient Picts were thought to use the blue dye from woad to decorate their bodies, but this is controversial.

Iron Age dwelling at the Peat Moors Centre

Iron Age dwelling at the Peat Moors Centre

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