Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thaibodia Day 2- Animal Park

Today was our first whole day here in Cambodia. It started with Sean not getting up to exercise like he'd planned. And then we all got up later than we'd intended and it was a little bit of a rush to get everyone dressed and down to breakfast.

Sean had to go into the office today so I was on my own with the two kids. I had a tour set up for us to go to an animal park outside of Phnom Phen. We hired a tuk-tuk and set out for the cafe where we'd meet our tour guide. Our tour group consisted of two other people from Australia. When it was time we loaded ourselves in the back of a leopard print jeep and took off for the park. The ride was pretty uncomfortable. They had benches for you to sit on,  but the bars along the side made it near impossible to sit back. You were basically sitting for an hour with your back unsupported on a bumpy road in the hot, hot sun. I put sunscreen on me and the kids and I still managed to get fried. Terryn and Jayce both slept on the way there for at least half and hour. Terryn ended up sitting in the front seat with the guide. He fell asleep in her lap.

Once we arrived at the park, we saw monkeys running through the sparse trees and towering termite mounds. The jeep dropped us off and I bought a hat for Jayce since I left his in the hotel room. Unfortunately little tike was having none of that. He kept tearing the hat off his head. 

The first place we went had a small pond that was drying out. There were monkeys swimming around in it. Terryn was being so whiny. He didn't want to walk and he was on the verge of a tantrum. Then we came across two wild boar.
Terryn was interested in these and forgot that we was going to cry. May I note that these animals were all free roaming. We were just walking around with them. Then there were cages with other animals like mongooses, gibbons, small deer, turtles, giant squirrels and other animals I can't remember.
An iguana.
We also saw some really beautiful large birds. Terryn got to feed some of the small deer some sweet potato. There was a cage with the gibbon that we got to feed. It was really sweet. We got to touch it's feet and arms. The pads of it's feet were so soft. There was a roaming large deer that followed us around for a bit too.

A Martin.

Terryn feeling the gibbon's soft hand.

A weird thorny tree.
After that it was time for some cold drinks. It was so dang hot. Jayce was starting to get cranky and although Terryn was starting to enjoy himself, he was still whiny and wanted to be held. We came to some crocodiles, more monkeys, birds and small wild cats. At this point Jayce was starting to full out cry. He needed to be fed and I needed a place to sit down so I could do that. Terryn had chilled out somewhat, but I could tell he was super hot. I was on the verge a breakdown myself. The heat was killing me and I didn't know how I was going to deal with two horrible kids if things continued on as they were. I was about the give up on the rest of the tour and have the guide just leave us in the Jeep or something. The guide ended up taking us to where we'd have lunch. The other two people in our tour were left to wander through the cages of the exotic birds and other small animals at their leisure. We breezed past the cages of the all the musical birds. We arrived at a large covered area full of elevated platforms. These platforms were covered in woven mats and there were hammocks strung up all over.

I was able to cool down, feed Jayce and Terryn climbed into a hammock for a bit and played around with some other kids that were hanging around the area. Then I fed Jayce actual baby food. He was a lot happier now and so was Terryn. The rest of our group arrived and we all relaxed for a bit. Lunch was brought out to us not too long after. It consisted of rice, noodles, steak, spicy minced pork, chicken basil soup, chicken curry with vegetables and pineapple. It was really tasty.
After lunch we watch an elephant dance. Terryn got to go up and touch it's trunk. Then we hopped in the Jeep and it was off to the bear enclosures. They were really cute and playful. We also saw a lion. Terryn was pretty excited about that and showed us how they roar.

Next it was off to see more gibbons, some otters and a jaguar. I love otters so I thought they were super cute. The jaguar was beautiful and our guide had to keep reminding us to mind the fence. We were behind the enclosures so there weren't any safety bars helping us maintain our distance.
After a brief stop off at more monkeys, the tiger enclosures were next. There were a bunch of the Asian tigers. They were so beautiful. Our guide was familiar enough with some of the tigers that she can actually pet a couple of them through the cages. Terryn was more excited to climb all over the statues than see the actual cats I'm afraid. Oh well.

And then before we headed to the next thing, Terryn climbed in the jeep and started "driving". The driver thought that was hilarious.

Then the last thing we did was feed an elephant. Her name was Lucky. She was a small Asian elephant. She was such a sweet lovely creature. Our guide gave us a bag of goodies to feed her. We would pat her trunk to have her lift up her trunk to expose her mouth and then we'd put the food on her tongue. Her tongue was so big, wet and soft. It was weird, but pretty cool. I absolutely loved her. She was so amazing. I helped Terryn to feed her too. I had to keep telling him to watch out for her feet. I think spending time with the elephant was my favorite part of the tour. As we were about to say our goodbyes to Lucky she kept walking close to the Jeep. She found our guides 7up can (that was about half full), picked it up with her trunk, dumped into her trunk and then drank it all. It was hilarious!

We all settled back into the Jeep and began our way back to Phnom Phen. The clouds were threatening to rain and the sky got pretty dark. At least it cooled down a bit. Unfortunately the Jeep is completely unprotected from the elements. For a short period of time we got hit by huge raindrops. Then the storm continued on away from us. We only hit the edge of the storm. We were lucky because we would have been soaked.

After our tour we went back to the hotel and met Sean. We took a brief swim to cool off and then met a co-worker of Sean's for dinner. We had pizza. It was nice, even though Terryn was continuing to be a stinker. Then it was off to bed again.

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