Tuesday, 4th April, 2023

Today began as yesterday, with a very satisfactory buffet breakfast at the Moxy Hotel. Our room, although fairly small, had very comfortable beds and an excellent shower.

Our first activity for the day was to contact the bank again about the rental car situation. A very helpful consultant gave me several options and sent me an email indicating that the money owed to the rental company had indeed left my account. As before, the "gentleman" at the desk refused to even look at the email and stated once again that no money had been received. When I asked him to guarantee that we would still get the car eventually, he declined and then stated that we would not get the car even if the money did come through as the date for pick up had passed. This has left us in a bit of a mess really. We don't know when, or even if, we will get any refunds from Easirental or Enjoy Travel. The person at the bank seemed fairly confident that, if the refunds did not come from the companies involved, then Visa would come good. We can only wait and see.

So tomorrow we will need to start from scratch to find a rental car. Preliminary research indicates this will now cost in the vicinity of $10,000! At least we will be able to escape from Hounslow and finally get on our way! I guess the moral of this story is "caveat emptor". If I had only thought to check the reviews, I would not have touched "Easirent" with a barge pole.

We decided that we would go to the British Museum for the rest of the day (at least that would be free!). However, when we had almost reached it, we changed our minds. The weather was just too glorious to spend the day inside so we opted for London Zoo instead. This was definitely NOT free - £30 pounds each (about $120 in total). The rest of the day was very relaxing as we wandered around the exhibits, enjoying both the animals and the lovely warm sunshine. London Zoo is about the same size as Melbourne Zoo and the set up is very similar too.

Note the giraffe's tongue!

The Okapi is the giraffe's closest relative.

This is a warthog. Think "Pumbaa" from the Lion King!

This giraffe was very tall, even for a giraffe!

The Grand Union Canal connects London and Birmingham. It flows through the Zoo. Note the willows with their lovely new leaves!

This ring-tailed lemur had found a commanding spot!

Another ring-tailed lemur

This is a golden-headed lion tamarin. The tamarins have a very-well-designed enclosure. Visitors can walk through it but the tamarins have the choice of whether or not to venture out of their private apartments to mingle with the visitors. There is a network of branches and structures which the tamarins use. This one came very close to us and so we were able to take some really clear photographs.

I had not even heard of, far less met, a Karoo Round-Eared Sengi before today. It was not difficult to understand why they are also known as elephant shrews!

The meerkat lookout

The otters were very active and congregated in a particular place. We thought they must have been expecting to be fed!

The Colobos monkeys have recently moved in to a very large enclosure which visitors may walk through. Again, this made for some great photos.

I'm sure I left some food in here somewhere!

A Humboldt Penguin

This macaw was actually outside its enclosure with its keeper, again allowing the opportunity of taking photos without having to worry about bards or glass getting in the way.

An unknown bird in one of the walk-through aviaries.

An unknown bird in one of the walk-through aviaries.

An unknown bird in one of the walk-through aviaries.

An unknown bird in one of the walk-through aviaries.

Cleaning one's whiskers is time consuming...

and, well, a bit of a yawn really!

An unknown reptile

On the way back to our accommodation, we visited Paddington Station where we met up with an old friend!

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