I know, who’d believe it? I’m back already.
The heatwave is in full swing, a somewhat alien weather pattern. Blue skies, sunshine and oh so hot! Very hot. But it’s invigorating and inspiring. Until it just gets too hot and then you just wilt, preferably in a nice cool shady spot with a long drink or an icecream. I love this weather. It can be tiring but it’s definitely uplifting.
Yesterday we went out. A family day out, full of expectation but secretly naysaying any promise of good in my head. I’m a cynical pessimist who expects rain and disappointment and boredom and takes it from there. It was amazing, totally awesome.
For some reason, we’ve never visited our local safari park (I know a safari park, not even a zoo!) despite the fact that it’s less than an hour away. Why is it always the things on our doorsteps’ that we take for granted? We love animals, countryside, conservation, culture, history, architecture … this is the perfect place to visit.
It was excellent value, would appeal to any age group or interest, had plenty of toilets scattered about and exceptional access. Sounds like a good enough reason to visit anywhere, doesn’t it? Actually it was also stunningly beautiful and at times totally mindblowing.
Have you ever been six foot away from a chilled out tiger who’s rolling on his back in the long lush grass? That was just one of our highlights. There’s a herd of giraffe and zebra (look at the babies!) strolling over the plain, in this case the luxurious verdant rolling countryside of England in atypical blazing sunshine. There’s a monkey sitting on the car roof. There’s a deer sticking its head in someone else’s car window. There are free flying rainbow coloured lorikeets landing on people as you walk through their aviary. There are butterflies the size of dishes. There’s the sea lions flocking to the side of the boat to be handfed fish. There’s the senior and totally silvered gorilla looking at you disdainfully, he’d rather be watching satellite television in high definition. There’s a fruit bat swooping past your shoulder, if you listen carefully you’ll hear their faint clicks. Now hold out your hand and meet a tarantula.
That’s just the animals. We didn’t get to tour the inside of the house, it’d probably need a whole other day for that, but the glorious Elizabethan architecture made for a stunning backdrop. There were mazes and adventure parks for the more active folk, and perhaps cooler days too. There was food spots whose quality, and more importantly value and variety, made you just want to try out their fare. It was amazing.
I want to go back!