Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sunday we we were invited to the zoo with our neighbors, Claudia and John. They picked us up in their VERY tiny car and we braced for the hour long trip to "The Zoological" with kids on our laps. I know I have mentioned that driving in Brazil is scary at best. Most locals laugh when you put on your seat belt (if there is even a working one in the car). They rarely wear seat belts here and they drive like maniacs so it can be a very frightening experience! I pray every time we get into a car with a Brazilian. Not only do they tend to be crazy drivers, the roads here are horrible. There are potholes everywhere. Even the so called highways are full of bumps and small craters!
We arrived at the zoo around 11:00 and it was already packed. We had no problem finding parking as the zoo was huge and there was plenty of street parking. We began our tour at the home of the Leao (lion). They were magnificent as you can see. I have never seen such a large lion! The way they have the animals staged, it is almost as if you are on a safari in Africa! It brought to surface my dreams of an African Safari which we plan to do in the next couple of years.
The birds were exotic-just what you would picture for Brazil. Unfortunately, I did not get optimal pictures of them due to the cage wires!
We took a break for lunch and I almost gagged because of a homeless man that was collecting cans near our table. He was very nice but had really bad B.O.! I felt very sorry for him but I also felt sorry for myself as my lunch threatened to errupt on the table! I had to excuse myself and finish my food outside of the restaurant.
We finished our zoo trip with a quick tour of the Amazonian snakes-yikes! On the way to the car we ran into my favorite animal-the monkey's (macaco's). The monkey's were not caged. They were just hanging out entertaining their audience! The monkey that I will picture here was a ham! He would just stare at you until you gave him some food then he would do a little dance until you fed him some more.
Overall, the trip to the zoo was a pretty good experience. Once was enough for me, however. As most of you know, I am not one who likes to hang out in large crowds. I rarely visit the zoo in Seattle and then only if it is a school fieldtrip and I am needed to chaperone! My idea of fun is a little more simple: I prefer visiting one on one, or with small groups of people in the comfort of my own home (or someone else's). I enjoy the tranquility of a beach above anything else. Public places make me a nervous wreck with my kids. I have a hard time relaxing and find myself counting heads every five minutes or so! Now we can chalk the zoo off our list of Brazilian Adventures! Enjoy the photos!