this post is days if not weeks overdue, really. a while ago i was at home with the boys for a week or so, and thus we went off on a range of adventures. the biggest thing that the boys wanted to do was go off to the big zoo once again, as they had not been there for a bit. by big zoo they meant Johannesburg Zoo and so, with a sort of set of directions at hand, off we went!
yes, that's right, we took the car. i would have loved it if the train went towards the zoo, or even near it and a bus went past, but alas no. hence this post being called zoo and not zoo station. if you need that last comment to be explained, i can only guess you have not given Bono too much money over the years.
with my spectacular sense of direction we somehow made it without a single wrong turn (honest) and were somewhat surprised yet pleased to see that we had pretty much all of the zoo to ourselves!
this meant that i had the margin to get a few really good pictures of the boys in general and in particular with perhaps the most celebrated attraction at the zoo - the statue of Max the Gorilla.
well, when i say "really good" i do of course mean that they are almost looking the same way. and no, we don't usually do that thing of dressing them the same. they just happen to both love that particular jacket, and indeed it does look rather smart!
for those of you unfamilar with who Max is or why he is so celebrated, well, here's a link that should explain it all for you!
back to the animals still at the zoo and the boys were particularly excited about going to see the elephants. and who could blame them on that front?
as you have probably worked out by now, i took a "proper" camera with me, and one on which the zoom thingie works well on!
the boys were particularly happy to see the elephants up and about doing their thing. this was because a fair few were, wisely, having a sleep. it was a rather cold day to be out and about, which might be why they have the sniffles now!
this next elephant in particular really impressed the boys due to the disguise it had adopted.
i am sure there is a perfectly good reason as to why an elephant would walk around with a good deal of grass on its head, but i do not know it. it cannot i would imagine that anything to do with keeping cool as the weather took care of that, perhaps it is a heating thing?
moving on to the answer to an obvious question, and no i most certainly did not allow the two boys to just run riot. they would have been impossible to control, really. i took the decision, then, to hire one of the push buggie things for them. they rather liked it, and i got something of a good workout pushing it up a number of hills!
something of a warning to anyone thinking of heading to the zoo and hiring one of these - it is rather pricey.the cost is a R100 deposit and R100 rental, but you lose the R100 deposit part if you don't bring it back within two hours. basically, then, the fee is R200, because unless you are going to rush or miss large parts of the zoo there's no way you can make it back in that time. i had no interest at all in rushing about, we were having a good time!
not that they stayed in the car for the whole time, of course. they wanted to walk, stretch their legs and have a look at the animals. and, of course, they wished to do some top-level climbing!
i do not recall a single area which William did not try to climb in to! despite his assurances that he was just going for a look and that none of the animals would hurt him, i allowed his climbing to go no further than what you can see in the picture above!
other than the elephants, something that James really wished to see was the polar bears. now, yes, Africa is not a natural place for one to see polar bears, but Johannesburg has two (well, two that we could see) and they are kept in what i would guess is as close as to their natural environment as one can create. they seemed happy enough, if somewhat, as it were, chilled.
i didn't take all that many pictures of the polar bears, what with it being a long drop down to where they were and both boys keen to climb in and get a closer look. the above one is about the best of the lot!
the best part of the zoo for me, other than the boys having a good time, was certainly stopping briefly to eat some class "chip stix". basically they are a potato sliced into a massive curl, skewered, fried and covered in some lovely different flavours. they are very very bad for you, which is another way of saying that they taste great. the boys loved them too!
after that it was time to take a further walk or, in the case of William in the buggy, drive around to see what more the zoo had to show. as it turned out, that would be lots and lots of animals, but i was too busy having fun with the boys (and making sure William did not get too close) to be taking too making pictures.
i did, bravely as William was very keen to get in ("look Daddy, they are sleeping, it will be OK"), get one picture of some of the crocodiles. here they are, sat waiting for someone to assume they are asleep and passive......
erm, yeah. sure they are passive, and will not bother with anyone who hops over the rather low fence to take a closer look! you go ahead and try that if you want, but i'm not and i was certainly not letting the boys do it!
finally for this post, then, and the ones that turned out to be William's favourites. ladies and gents, two of the giraffes wandering around!
as you can see, the giraffes are about as good at looking towards me when i have a camera as they boys are! at least you can ask the boys i suppose, even if they choose not to respond!
as i mentioned, William was really taken with the giraffes. he did in fact ask, or suggest, that we could rather stay here forever and just watch them. a very nice idea, but by that point i was well worn out from pushing the buggy, and so not long after the above was taken it was time to head home!
and yes, thank you, we made it home OK without any wrong turns!
with some luck we will get off to the zoo again soon, although perhaps we will wait for a warmer day!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!