"It's only a three-hour drive!" I told the boys. "It's good to go to a place we've never been before!"
Rocco turns seven soon and still had never been to a zoo ... I don't like zoos, they make me sad. But I booked us in at the Zoofari Lodge at Western Plains Zoo Dubbo and we headed west young man. Unfortunately my information was wrong and it took five and a half hours to drive, not three. Max shrugged it off but when Rocco told me he was bored for the forty-second time I said "Mate, I'm bored. I'm just as bored as you - driving is boring. The sun's in my eyes. Have a sleep, that was the last time you were allowed to tell me you're bored."
He laughed and we played games and talked while Rocco slept and then we got to the zoo. Late, but we were there.
This guy was full, FULL of questions. Very good ones.
"Is there a spider exhibit because I need to see a spider sleeping. Hey how does a giraffe sleep? How many animals are there at this zoo? Is this zoo even any good? Is a rhino horn made out of wood? Can I eat all your blue Starburst?" (No way, dude.) After an African buffet dinner we headed out on the bus for a night-time spotlight tour. We all stood outside the hippo enclosure expectantly, waiting, waiting.
We waited for so long. The zookeepers kept flashing torches and it looked like the scene from the talent show at the end of Sound of Music. "And now .... the Von Trapp Family singers!"
No hippo. Walked up to visit some beautiful creatures called Bongo? Kind of like an antelope. All the kids lined up and hand fed them carrots and it was so cool to be out so late feeding animals in the dark and sleeping in a ZOO.
After a hippo called Happy did a poo and then sprayed it all over the concrete to attract the females by shaking and wiggling his bum (Rocco was BESIDE HIMSELF) ... we went a bit nuts on the bus.
The boys fell asleep at 10pm but I lay awake for hours, so annoying. Finally drifted off but got woken straight back up by the sound of sex noises. Like, REALLY LOUD and passionate sex noises. I tried to figure out what kind of animal it was - bird? Giraffe? Fell back asleep. Again woken up by sex noises so completely primal that I finally understood the meaning of "animalistic." I was also in awe, embarrassed, and after five moaning intense climaxes over as many hours I really felt like a cigarette. Took some video at about 1am this morning on Climax Number Four but the sound is too graphic - here's a screenshot.
At 6am it started AGAIN and I thought, A MORNING SESSION? COME ON! It woke the boys up but they just lay there talking to each other and didn't ask what the noise was. (On our way to the early elephant and leopard tour I found out the culprit was one of the lions.)
I fell in love with that African elephant. Her name is Cuddles. The head keeper came over and asked me how I was going and I told him she was so majestic I felt like crying.
We all had two servings of breakfast and our behind-the-scenes tour was finished so we headed into the actual proper zoo part. Hired bikes. I fell off on the gravel and people laughed at me but I'm completely fine with that as I always laugh at people when they hurt themselves so it was just my karma.
We saw hippos, rhinos, meerkats, giraffes, wild dogs, otters, monkeys, lemurs.
A beautiful day!
Until Rocco wanted to stop riding and just go to the jumping castle. Max was thirsty. I was hangry, couldn't read the map, tired, and hormonal. Just as I gave up on finding the tigers and apologised to the boys I turned and shouted for them to come back. I was done.
"LET'S GO WE'LL YOUTUBE THEM AT HOME I'M HUNGRY."
YouTube is a verb now. We stopped at the giftshop and I realised we didn't visit the lions either ... but I'd had quite enough of them for one night. Discovered a new species of monkey.
Drove across Dubbo to a motel in the main street. Went for a swim. The boys have just walked across the road to a park and I realised there's a balcony so I'm sitting on it right now and this is the view.
I can hear the boys laughing from here. We're ordering room service nachos for dinner. Before the long drive home tomorrow we might visit the old local gaol, it's supposed to be pretty cool.
And it's true - it's good to go to a place we've never been before.