Trip Start Nov 17, 2008
Trip End Feb 16, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Indiana
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So now I've got a car, I can go where I want instead of having to rely on buses and trains.  I decided to visit a friend of mine in Indiana.  Burke was a little out of the way on my route to Colorado, but I'm in no rush.  I met her house hunting in Belfast last year, we went to look at a flat together and kinda stayed in touch since.  She lives in Bloomington which is a University town, so I thought it would be cool to be there for the inauguration. 

I almost missed the inauguration because we got drunk the night before and I nearly slept through it.  It would've been poetic justice because in our inebriated state we decided to go ghost hunting and broke into an old house that had been boarded up. 

The next day was a total surprise. Burke had mentioned the night before something about big cats, and I had completely forgotten about it until she asked if I still wanted to go to the sanctuary.  An hours drive away is the Exotic Feline Rescue Centre which has almost 200 big cats, over half of them tigers.  We arrived near closing time, and there were no other visitors that day (being in the middle of winter and -10Celcius) so we got our own private tour of the compound. :) 

The storys that we were told about these cats is unreal.  I had known that America has the highest population of tigers in the world, but I didn't realise how many people actually own tigers here.  You can buy tiger cubs for $25 on the black market!  A lot of these cats were rescued from family homes, they just became too big to feed so were abandoned.  We were told about lions and tigers running around the garden of homes with kids from the local neighbourhood coming to pet them! 

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