February 15th, 2006


Valentines at the Zoo

We don't give each other cards, flowers, or presents for Valentine's (which was yesterday). Instead we go somewhere fun for a meal, and this year it was Auckland Zoo. We ordered a 'deluxe hamper' for two from the Darwin Cafe (really an unbleached cotton bag of food) and ate it at one of the wooden picnic tables while listening to live jazz at the rotunda through the trees. Then we wandered around on a calm, warm summer evening.

The first animals we saw were some of my favourites, red pandas. I love red pandas. They're an adorable mixture of cats, bears, and raccoons, and I could have spent ages watching them. I was furious with myself for forgetting my camera, but Greg used his mobile to get some pics in the fading evening light. Opposite the red pandas were the meerkats, much smaller than I'd thought, looking like earnest little bandits; so cute. We saw lots of other animals (mostly submerged hippos, a lion, a huge rhinoceros, lots of zebras and springboks, lemurs, and various primates) and ended up where the band were, where we had dessert: a Tim Tam cornetto each which I'd been wanting to try (and very nice too). It was a lovely evening.

I'll be back though--the new cheetahs are coming at Easter, and they'll be trained for public encounters like Charlie and Delta in Wellington. [bounce]

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