Tuesday Night

Bus photograph

Our Zoofari Tour Bus

Drop Cap hen we went back to the Main House for dinner. A lovely log fire was burning and drinks were offered. The food was stylish and interesting and well served. There were only nine of us staying that night. Two couples from Queensland, Bill and Bev, very nice, Nick and Pam, younger but still easy to get on with, one older couple from Hobart, Tony, originally from England but having spent most of his adult life in Zimbabwe and Sheila, his South African wife. And a single American, Jay, who was finishing a whirlwind week and a half in Australia with the Western Plains Zoofari. And us.

Drop Cap fter dinner, we reluctantly tore ourselves away from the fire, and rugged up again. This time we went to see some of the nocturnals, some natives but the stars of the tour were the tigers. They have a White Bengal tiger, absolutely sensational, huge (you don't really realise the size of them until you get as close as we were. They were in cages of course, their night quarters. There were a pair of Sumatran tigers as well, so beautiful but the expression on their faces is warning enough.

Tortoises photograph

Galapagos Tortoises

Drop Cap e saw the hippopotamus, much closer than is possible in its exhibit, the animal nursery and hospital and then, in the pitch dark, our guide Greg took us into a small enclosure and told us to listen. Silence but for deep breathing. He put on the light and we were in the heated night house of the Galapagos Tortoises! All snuggled up together, they hate the cold apparently. The largest, about 300 kg in weight was about 200 years old! They all started waking up and taking notice of us, poking their heads up. The second most interesting animal experience (after handfeeding giraffe) of my life is stroking and scratching a Galapagos Tortoise under the chin like a cat! It is like very soft leather gloves. Incredible!

Drop Cap e decided to skip port and coffee in the Main House and retired to Giraffe Lodge. It had been a very long day. It was quite cosy in the the lodge, I certainly did not feel cold at all, even when getting up in the middle of the night. It was a very cold night outside, the cars in the carpark were iced over (not just misted) next morning. I would not like to be here in the summer, however.

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