On Tuesday not too long after Julie and Lisa's birthday party I was invited to go to the zoo with Gwen, Chen, Zahir, Alex, Natasha and Yeeping (is that how you spell her name?). Because it was Gwen's birthday not too long ago I decided to get her a birthday present. This meant I spent most of my time awake the day before (I woke up nearly at midday after the party the night before!) wandering around West City once again searching for a birthday present! Aonghas and I found a shop selling some cool interesting stuff and we decided we'd buy something from there just in case. Aonghas soon left me to go off to a BOT meeting, and so I wandered around for a bit more but by the time the shopping centre closed, I left with only a birthday card! I was pondering and pondering what to do all night, and with a little bit of help I only just managed to find a birthday present on Tuesday morning! In the end I got Gwen a Winnie the Pooh soft toy and a little 'Grow your own lover' - you put this little guy in water and he grows 600% his size! He's not meant to replace her boyfriend but only to give her something to love a little closer to home ;)
Anyway Chen came round to pick me up and we both got to Gwen's house where we caught up with the others. We then walked down to the bus stop. While we were waiting this lady from the post shop across the road came along with the electoral roll enrolment forms asking Chen and Zahir to enrol. After a bit of persuasion they ended up filling out the forms. As soon as the girls came by I called out to them and the lady got straight onto them! Gwen ended up filling one out while Alex managed to fend her off!
The bus soon came and we all got on and sat at the back. Along the way Gwen, Chen and I were just talking about uni, school and the future. It wasn't too long before we arrived at Western Springs and got off. The weather wasn't too bad by that time. It had been raining the day before and earlier in the morning it was slightly gloomy, but it cleared up just for us! We paid for our tickets and went in and I managed to get a picture with some lady dressed in a lion suit! Not too soon after we met Mr White, the computers teacher at Rutherford College, and I managed to get a picture together with him too! Yes I know you usually take pictures with REAL animals when you're at the zoo, but how often would I see things...those people again?
We first went into this dark room where kiwis were on display. We couldn't see each other in there so we had to resort to touching. At the other end we came across a few lizards or geckos or whatever they were! We then walked along this platform, checking out the giraffes, zebras and ostriches. We hung around there checking them out, waiting for the giraffe feeding to begin. We walked off a little to check out a few more animals before coming back to find a long line stretching right along the platform! We queued up at the end. I think we must've been the only teenagers out of the many parents and little kids there! While waiting in line we checked out some chickens and chicks in the grassy area on the other side of the platform while dodging wasps. Soon the line started moving and we got to the feeding platform! We were each given a bit of fruit to feed the giraffe with. I was a little afraid of getting too close to the giraffe and so it extended it's long tongue to grab the apple off me! Guess who happened to be the volunteer there? Erica, my old accordion orchestra conductor! I had a brief chat to her (wow she recognised who I was!)
We then walked past an OUT OF ORDER ant (or termite) hill, checked out some antelope (or were they sprinboks? I don't know my animals do I?) and a rhino before we got to this little cafeteria that was at the centre of this crossroad where there were several different paths leading to different places. We decided to take one path, which lead us past the Hippo River with no hippo in it. Fortunately the cheetah enclosure had a few cheetahs! We came back to the cafeteria to have a bit of lunch and watch the elephant.
As soon as we were done we were off! We passed a gorilla or chimp or some sort of animal closely related to us, before going to the watery place where there were a few otters and a penguin, but not one of those cool emperor penguins though. The path led us down to this hut where you could see underwater through this huge glass window. This thing kept swimming buy like a torpedo!
When we exited the watery place we came across the meerkat enclosure. Meerkats are cool, and what was even cooler was the film crew that were filming them and the kids checking out the meerkats! I heard one of the little kids ask if they could be on TV, and the cameraman told them that they could if they could look as though they were checking out the meerkats, so I decided to join in! Hey I've never been on TV before!
We then came across a little farm where there were chickens and sheep before taking a short break at Darwin's Cafe. I thought the signage of that place was great! They had all these evolution pictures on the toilet signs, and on the walls were those types of pictures that change depending on the angle you look at them.
After that break we went through the Australian Outback enclosure where we saw some kangaroos and this big lazy thing lying on the ground. Gwen and that thing had a staring contest, I think the thing won. We then went past all these avaries with birds in them. They weren't as exciting. We did see some bats and tortoises which are so cool! I once had a tortoise named Douglas...I got him in a Kinder Surprise...and then somehow lost him somewhere...
Anyway we went down to check out the aquarium with all the fish and prawn. It's amazing. I've only seen cooked prawn but never live prawn!
We then entered this sort of bird sanctuary. They have two doors which you must enter, but you can only open one door at a time. This meant you had to wait for everyone to go in or come out before you could proceed through the next door. We wandered along the track, not having great success at spotting anything moving, until we got to the end of the track where there was a large bird sitting on a sign. Zahir tried to touch it but it kept trying to bite him!
When we got out of there Zahir found a zookeeper, went up to her and asked if there were any giant moas at the zoo! She told him they were all extinct and he asked if they'd be getting any soon! Gwen and I walked around the corner so we could disassociate ourselves from him! ;)
By now we thought we had seen everything, till we realised we hadn't seen the rainforests, or should I say the NewstalkZB Rainforest! Actually it's unbelievable how much sponsorship there is going on at the zoo. Nearly everything is sponsored by one thing or another. We first checked out the spiders which are larger than any spider I've seen before! We then proceeded into the rainforest where we saw all these different types of monkeys, or animals that look like monkeys. There was this cool little white one that came right up to Gwen and me, allowing me to get a good shot of it!
By now we really thought we had seen everything! We decided we'd wait for the next Zoo Safari ride half an hour later. While we were sitting there waiting, we realised we hadn't checked out the kidzone! So we went over to the building on a slight slope to check out the rabbits, rats, mice, sheep and Gwen's favourite horny....ram?? (no it was horny! It had these two curled horns on its head!)
As soon as Zahir discovered one of the passengers of the last ride just walked by him, we realised the safari ride must have returned, so we went back to the stop only to discover it was full again and that was the last ride! By now it was just about 4pm, and we decided to go over to Western Springs to hang out, with a stop at the souvenir shop along the way. There was this sticker booth outside the shop with about ten Asian tourists gathered around it trying to cram inside!
On our way to Western Springs though the weather took a turn for the worst. We ended up ditching the idea and instead crossed the road to wait for the next bus back to Te Atatu Peninsula.
As soon as we got back, Yeeping first got off the bus to go home, while the rest of us went to Gwen's house where we played cards. Chen received a long distance phone call from Michael, this Australian guy who used to go to Rutherford but went back to Australia, and at 6pm we tuned in to watch the news about the Virginia shootings. I've never seen teenagers so fixated on the news before! It's amazing!
My mum and Aonghas arrived just after six to pick Chen, Zahir and me up. Because Hamish was also in the car we had to fit four guys in the back which was really squashed! It turned out to be a good day anyway, getting to hang out with the cool guys from Rutherford one more time before the holidays ended and getting to check out all those animals at the same time. The last time I went to the zoo was probably about ten years ago!