Saturday, 24 July 2010

Linton zoo

Wednesday, my friend called in the morning, wondering if we wanted some cherries. Oh, yes, we do! So she stopped by with a bag full of tree-ripened cherries that her family had picked from a friend’s tree. While here, she asked about meeting up at the playground on Mildenhall later. I’d been planning to go over there, so agreed.

After lunch we packed up and headed over. I stopped at the thrift shop but didn’t find anything, and then we met up at the playground and visited. She wanted to go do something the following day, and mentioned a zoo. So that night I looked up the zoos in the area and found that one in Linton, Cambridgeshire, was about 1/3 the price of the other more famous zoos around. Reviews said it was small and nice, but not spectacular.

Thursday morning, after a couple of phone calls, we agreed to check it out. Misty and her family met us at our house about 11am, and we followed them to the zoo. I was a bit apprehensive about driving so far, but the road is pretty direct (only 4 turns after leaving my neighborhood), and though I slowed Misty down some, we made it in one piece.

Admission with guidebook totaled 40GBP (about $60) which I tried hard to not compare with our old zoo’s price (Abilene, TX, for same number of people - $16). There was a large parking area with only a handful of vehicles, so I easily got the bus situated, and we were pleased to discover the toilets were there in the parking lot. (Not so pleased when we realized they were the only toilets.) So we all went, and then we headed toward the picnic area. Actually there are several picnic areas, and we had to tear ourselves away from the fascinating giant tortoises and macaws in order to eat. We wolfed down a jar of peanut butter, a loaf of bread, a bag of chips, ½ lb of cheese, a bunch of bananas, and a box of granola bars. Our friends had a much more orderly lunch that included fresh spinach.

After lunch we were more relaxed about viewing the wildlife on display. I was really impressed with the size of the pens for the tortoises and the zebras. But before we got to the zebras there came a downpour. We all ducked into a nearby shelter, made for watching the tortoises, and waited for the rain to stop. The boys kept chasing each other in and out of the shelter, and the babies were getting fussy. Misty got a little fussy herself, at the ride-on toy that kept begging for another coin. Uh, Misty, did you remember to turn it back on when we left? Eventually we pulled out our picnic blankets and used them for cover so we could keep going.

Cedwryck wanted to see the lions, but I was distracted by a giant rabbit, and then they found it great fun to tease a large bird into showing its wingspan. The rain soon stopped and it became warm and humid, but not miserably hot. We bumped into a playground, where Elijah insisted on going to play with the others. He wore more dirt than he ate, I’m sure. Leaving the playground (after sending half the crew back out to the toilets) we discovered a tapir that liked to be hand-fed the choicest grasses from outside his pen. Then on past the pooping owl to the lions, who were fast asleep. Cedwryck wasn’t too disappointed. If fun is measured in decibels, we had a great time. No seriously, the children did make a bit of noise, but we all really enjoyed the zoo. We spent 3 ½ hours there and saw everything, but didn’t linger too long anywhere. There were just a few other people in the place; the exhibits were nice; there was a nice variety of animals, and we could get pretty close to most of them.

I made the drive home (without following Misty) just fine; traffic was light and I knew my way. I started the children taking baths as Bob was waking up, and we had a quiet restful evening.

Lest you think some foreigner took over my blog, let me add that the next day my hips were out of joint, my knees screamed anytime I bent them, and my feet hurt so bad I had to wear different shoes. Things are a little better today.

On a different note altogether, Friday was Bob’s last day on midshift, possibly FOREVER. He is on days (with many appointments out of the shop) starting Monday.
AND, I noticed I have a regular visitor from Florida – yes, YOU – don’t be shy, let me know who you are.


Wil said...

Sounds like an excellent day at the zoo, but paying four times what you'd have paid here is a little frustrating.

But the Abilene zoo is probably not representative... In San Antonio, it's $10 for adults and $8 per child. :-(

On another note: I eventually quit using my stat-tracker on my blog because of what it showed me... I had regular visitors from certain places that I could never identify. It was weird... :-)

Anonymous said...

The children enjoyed telling me about it; I think they had fun. Glad you got to go. mums

The HoJo's said...

we used to live near-ish there, remember it well, and yes, it is a much cheaper option for UK zoos!


Anonymous said...

Hi there, I'm a regular visitor of Wil's site and also stop by to read your blog. I enjoy reading about your adventures. (Thought I'd come out of hiding to identify myself) :O

Carol from Maryland : )

MamaOlive said...

Wil, true that Abilene was a great deal. I was sticker-shocked at OKC, too.

Carol, thanks for the intro; I've seen you over at Wil's before. :-)

Anonymous said...


I'm Lisa and i'm the Florida visitor (or one of them). I am also a regular visitor of your brother's site and I found yours via his. I really enjoy reading about your family and life in the UK. I have family members living in Oxford and I absolutely love visiting them there.

Take care.

Lisa from Florida

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MamaOlive said...

Lisa, thanks for the introduction. I'm always pleased to learn someone enjoys my writings. :-)

Anonymous, I'm sorry I don't understand what you mean. :-/