Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ping Pong, Bingo and a Jittery Day at the Zoo

So I met my friends at their hotel for a day of fun. After relaxing poolside for a few hours, we decided to head to the zoo. It’s walking distance from their hotel and seemed like a truly interesting thing to do. What would a Mexican zoo be like?

Before heading out on our adventure though, we had to play a few rounds of Bingo! The tension was running high as the numbers were called out. Was he ever going to call a number on my card? It certainly didn’t seem like it.

Now Bingo is a little different here in Mexico, at least at the Barcelo Resort it was played differently. The first game, you had to get four corners to win. The Traveling Hillbilly got one corner, before my friend Mike shouted Bingo! Well actually, he shouted Viva Le Mexico! That was the rule. He won a wonderful Mexican calendar/plaque. We think he plans on wearing it as a necklace. The next round, we just had to get one line of numbers. It got more difficult as the rounds continued. The final game, we had to get two rows of numbers to win! After a few more exciting rounds, Bingo was over and it was time to head to the zoo.

Now as many of you know, when you go to the zoo one of the main rules is “Don’t Feed the Animals.” Well that’s not the case here. They will actually sell you a back of food so you can feed the animals. Given my friends had heard a woman from their hotel got bit trying to feed a bear; we decided to pass on the food.

The first thing we see as we walk in is a monkey handing out on top of a red tent. We stop to watch the monkey and then realize that inside the tent are baby tigers and someone is actually petting them. We stand and watch this amazing spectacle until little Dylan, calls out, “look it’s a snake!” At first I didn’t see it, and then suddenly I realized where he was pointing. There in a tree, just above us, perched a snake coiled around a tree branch! Ok, most of you may not know this, but the Traveling Hillbilly, HATES snakes. They really freak me out. So this is how our visit to the Puerto Vallarta Zoo starts off, with a snake hanging out in the tree above us, not in cage, not in glassed in case, just lounging in the tree. So my day of jitters begins! Needless to say, I spent the rest of our walk through the zoo, looking up, checking for snakes constantly!

But I was not surprised to discover the snake was not the only scary thing in the zoo. A lot of the animals are not really in a cage and there isn’t much, if any, barrier between you and a lot of what I would consider dangerous animals. Now the bears, the jaguars, lions, tigers and some mean monkeys were behind fencing but you could actually reach out and touch a lot of the animals. I have never been so close to a camel, a giraffe and zebras! I was even a little too close for comfort to a few alligators! Just avoid looking them in the eye. I hear they can move and jump very quickly. We moved past the alligators in their low concrete wall, quickly. But we stopped to for a while to hang with the pink flamingos. They truly are beautiful creatures. We also had fun with the Zebras. Oh, and the baby pigs were so cute! My friends even got to pet a baby tiger! All in all it was a very fun and exciting adventure. Once we were outside the zoo, safe and sound, my jitters subsided and I had to admit, it was a cool experience! One you would never get to have in the states, or most countries for that matter!