Friday, April 22, 2011

Adelaide Family Trip - Day 2 (Wild Animals)

After a crap night's sleep (I don't sleep well on the first night in unfamiliar surroundings) I was feeling very tired and grouchy.  I neeeded some caffiene and we hadn't yet gone shopping for groceries, so no coffee. Luckily Oaks has a bar/cafe downstairs and I had not only a good cup of coffee, but also probably the nicest Eggs Benedict yet presented to me.

For those unfamiliar with this dish it is essentially two poached eggs on muffins with bacon (or ham) and Hollandaise sauce. Whilst not recognised in Wikipedia, I often find spinach included in this dish, adding to the dish in colour, texture and flavour. The meal provided by "mbc" turned me from a grizzly bear to a content pig in the proverbial.

After having a bit of a wander around our part of the city looking for a decent supermarket, or even a decent convenience store ($2 for an apple?!) we decided to spend a few hours visiting the Adelaide Zoo.  Now I like going to zoos, and having 2 boys who also like zoos means it's not that difficult to include a visit as part of a holiday.  During our 2007 (or was it 2008?) visit to Canberra we visited the National Zoo & Aquarium (their big cat collection is impressive, including tigers, lions, snow leopards, cheetahs, servals and cougars) and in 2009 during our Gold Coast trip we spent a morning at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (not as good as Healesville Sanctuary, in my opinion).

Australia seems to have really good zoos, and Adelaide Zoo is no exception. Located along the Torrens River, just north of the city CBD, and is spread over 6 hectares. This makes it about 1/3 of the size of Melbourne Zoo, but doesn't seem to suffer too much for the size difference. It doesn't have elephants or gorillas and it's lion enclosure is much smaller than Melbourne's, but it does have a couple of aces up its sleeve.

The first is Wang Wang and Funi the only Giant Pandas to be found in the Southern Hemisphere. The zoo is understandibly very proud of this fact and ensure that it is a "must see" part of the zoo visit, including booking viewung times to see the Pandas, using them extensively in their promotional material and making the Panda Exhibit itself a special experience.

Wang Wang and Funi. I'm not sure which one is which.

In addition to the pandas I found other unique animals to the Adelaide Zoo. There are a couple of very old flamingos (which proably wont be replaced once they die, due to tougher envorinmental controls on the exportation of these wonderful, pink birds). There were also two enormous hippos, that seemed to live the good life, spending most of their time either in the water or eating (yeah, I could do that!). The meerkats were fun to watch and there were two very amorous Aldabran Tortoises trying to make out in a very tortoise manner.
Two male hippos doing what hippos do best. Nothing.

I have now seen a flamingo in real life

Those weird brown shapes are meerkats. Lesley said it was hard to see them in the photo.

Poor weather cut our zoo trip short but I think that the next time we visit Adelaide for a holiday we will be making another visit to the Adelaide Zoo.

The band is still is gearing up for the Nationals title (a 2 1/2 rehearsal tonight) and I think we are all looking forward to getting on stage tomorrow (Friday) afternoon to play our hymn and the test piece.

Anyone not in Adelaide, you can still see us playing, online. Visit Brass Banned for live streaming. Footscray Yarraville City Band should be on at about 5:15 pm. Anyone in Adelaide, we are playing at Elder Hall, on North Terrace.

Good Night all.

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