Part 1: Seein' and Feedin' the Animals, En Route
We left Dunedin, bound for Christchurch at 4am so that the chidluns would (hopefully) sleep for the bulk of the 5-hours-without-stops drive. Our flight to Wellington (from ChCh) wasn't until late that afternoon. The clouds looked menacing...but we decided to fill our day with a visit to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve and Petting Zoo and a picnic lunch. And it didn't rain until it was time for us to head to the airport! The good!
My MIL was with us, and I turned to her at one point and said, "You know what? That early start and drive was worth it just for this." She agreed. And she paid for the donkey rides. Thanks, Gamma. The girls had a joy-packed few hours...
Some of my favourite moments:
- The reverent angels' chorus pause the girls took on the path when they saw a Clydesdale off ahead. They both love horses. You could say they were kinda waiting for this moment...and then, the horse was awful big (Photo 4).
- Esky, as we approached the gibbons enclosure: "Ah...those don't look like ribbons they're sitting on"... (she is challenging the authority of a certain rhyme from this book);
- As is often the case, Ivy was immediately game to stretch her hands out for feeding the animals. I only demonstrated once, I think. After seeing our digits survived, Esky gradually gained the courage, and then we couldn't stop her.
- Check out that sheep's tongue! (Photo 3)
- We saw two kiwi active and moving about! In my experience at a range of dark kiwi enclosures, it can be a hard task to spot a kiwi. The girls (and other visitors) were sufficiently quiet. Yus.
- Seeing a super-small black morepork, awake (owl).
- When my MIL finished a sentence to the girls, then turned to came face to face with a very cheeky llama.
- The donkey hug. Unabashed, Ivy showed no reservations in embracing her mild-tempered steed.