Thursday, July 2, 2009

Not Seeing the Animals

DSC03849 DSC03838

Today was Jacob’s turn to choose a location for a day out (GREAT!) and so it was that we drove south to Port Lympne Wild Animal Safari Park. Or something like that. It is 600 acres of what is basically a zoo lets face it, but it is rather more successful than most as it somehow manages to send animals back to their native habitat. Apparently they have sent 5 rhinos and a bunch of gorillas. Or so they say and, really, who’s checking anyway.

This ‘Zoo’ is actually more like a work-out with a few animals along the way. This is the trouble with these places that try to treat the animals decently: they have such bloody huge pens that a) you are lucky if you can spot one of them at any point and b) it’s a bit of a trek between not seeing one animal and then not seeing the next. I have had similar experiences at other ‘animal parks’ including a particularly frustrating one at the Portland Zoo where the kids and I didn’t see about 12 of the 15 animals on display in the North America section of the zoo and then also didn’t see the elephants, which was singularly frustrating as the pen was about the size of a ping pong table. Where could they be, we wondered. I mean really where the $%#& are the elephants hiding? We left in disgust a few minutes later (at 4:15pm - this is important) and I lead the pack, stomping off to the car, shaking my head, declaring that that was it, never another zoo again etc etc. Later that evening after the kids were in bed I turned on the TV to watch the News only to hear that just that afternoon at 4:12pm, hadn’t Bingo the Elephant (or whatever her name was) delivered a baby calf at the Portland Zoo where visitors to the Zoo were able to watch the event AS IT HAPPENED on a video screen only feet from the actual place of delivery. Yes,that’s right my kids could have watched a baby elephant being born if only I had stopped stomping about and gone to look through the window at the side of the elephant pen, not 20 feet from where I was whinging on about not seeing the elephants.

Anyway, as I was saying, it’s a trek to get between the pens and as there is a heat wave going on right now here in the UK (34 degrees tomorrow) that made it an extremely HOT trek. They also failed to mention at the start of this experience that you will have to trek up a steep incline for a few hundred metres. I’m not making this up. On the way up this hill, you may be lucky enough not to see Bison, Lions, Cheetahs, and Rhinos. We did make it to the top, with Zoë in full whine (she was looking rather pink). At this point, you can either stumble to your car, or you can opt to join in the African Experience which is a safari-like gimmick where you get to ride on one of those safari trucks through a 100 acre area that has been created to look and feel like a real safari in Africa. 22 different types of animal live together in this area and you can drive through, and try to spot them. I was very sceptical but everyone else was keen so I agreed to go. With the exception of the African music cd they insisted on playing (no Julie Andrews here I’m afraid) it was really quite good. I think the heat helped it feel authentic. That and the rhino that appeared lumbering out of the trees, and then the giraffes who were sedately munching on the tops of the trees and walked across the road in front of us. Oh and the ostrich, and wildebeest. The kids loved it, and I was amused. I was hoping to see mother nature in action with a chase and possibly even a killing, but of course they had thought of that already and all of these animals seemed to be friends. Or at least Herbivores. I told Zoe they were friends.

We left relatively happy and headed back home with a short stop along the way in Headcorn which seems to be the only place around here where I can get wifi. I think it is my dead relatives helping me out personally.

We had dinner at home thanks to my mum who seems, once again, to have amassed a large amount of food which she insists on offering to us at regular intervals of about 30 seconds. This is lovely of her and I’m not complaining as it means I have not had to think about cooking or food prep etc which is a TOTAL BONUS. So what if we have had ham sandwiches for ten days now. She also saw fit to buy a jar of Nutella which in itself is not that funny or even worth mentioning except that she cannot seem to remember how to say it. It started out as Nuterella, and has since become Nuterril which sounds to me like it might be the name of the little-known 4th daughter in King Lear. Jacob and I have been repressing giggles each time she enquires if anyone would like some Nutteril on their toast or if we would care for a Nuterella sandwich. This while we sit watching cricket at the Cricket Patch as my mum calls it. It’s endearing. RATHER!

I spoke to Kent last night and he is still in the hospital with complications. He sounded really fed up with the whole situation and I don’t blame him. Hospitals are weird places lets face it. I’ll be back on Tuesday and can’t wait to see him.

Tomorrow we plan on finding a beach. I’ll let you know how that goes. SMASHING!

No comments:

Post a Comment