Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jardim Zoológico

We took the younger kids to the Brasilia Zoo this weekend while Jack slept off the effects of a school "lock-in" in which the entire high school spent the night at school playing games, eating, and not sleeping, followed by his soccer game. The zoo covers 340 acres and has about 1300 animals, but I'm not sure if that includes the capybaras all over the place.  Shudder. The capybara is the world's largest rodent. Shudder. And they seem to have the run of the place.

Piles of capybara turds were everywhere. You're welcome!
The zoo is vast, and you can drive all through the middle of it. There aren't sidewalks on the road, and Brazilian drivers are very, um, assertive, so it's best to stay on the grass (earth? dirt? ground that's not paved? it's hard to tell what exactly you're walking on here in the dry season), while constantly being on the lookout for capybara droppings.
"SLOW! ANIMALS ON ROAD" (but hey, don't worry about the toddlers).

The paths can be treacherous in other ways as well, which is why a clumsy girl like me may or may not have tripped more than once, in addition to landing in capybara piles.
The scene of  my first accident.
You Americans, with your debris-free zoos don't know what you're missing.  This is good climbing!

A trip to the zoo is pretty much the cheapest gig in town, with the cost of admission PLUS lunch being R$22, or about 13 bucks for all five of us.
Yummy pastels.
The zoo has a pretty good variety of South American animals and birds, as well as some big zoo draws like elephants and giraffes.

The kids particularly enjoyed a big pond/lake thing filled with all these islands of different monkeys. And capybaras, of course.

Wait a minute...That's not a monkey!  That's a.....shadow of a minotaur? This zoo is awesome!

The zoo was filled with Brazilian families picnicking and...
Taking naps?  Have hammock, will travel! You know, it's a lot of work walking around a zoo all day, and if there's one thing Brazilians love, it's resting in hammocks. They were strung all over the zoo.

Next time I'm going to:
a.) wear more sensible shoes,
b.) bring toilet paper (don't ask), and
c.) bring my own hammock.


Camille said...

Are you constantly making Princess Bride Rodents of Unusual Size jokes? Because it would be hard to resist those...

Anonymous said...

didn't I tell ya ab out the toilet paper?! ;) And, was that 13 bucks per person or for the whole family?!?!?

Kate said...

$13 for the whole family!

Kate said...

And Camille, it's easier for me to pretend they don't even exist. I have enough trouble sleeping with a giant mural of the Black Eyed Peas staring at me.

Jen said...

Reminds me of the zoo in Caracas...so safety-oriented...like the two foot fence around the alligator pits....ah, memories...

Nick Jacobs said...

I've been trying to find the cheapest airline tickets for a great family trip for our kids this fall, i think it's located in: (http://www.farecompare.com/travel-advice/vacations-for-kids-5-educational-trips-your-kids-will-love/), Has anyone had any luck with finding good deals on family resorts and air travel?