Day 55 - San Diego's World Famous Zoo

Saturday, October 16, 2010
Miles To Date: 
8 045

After a late night last night neither of us were in the mood for a long drive this morning but we still managed to get out by 9 for the drive down to San Diego. It was around 150 miles and covered a rather bland section of coastal freeway. The main observation from the drive was just how huge Los Angeles is – around 60 miles across.

Once we reached the San Diego area we drove straight to the zoo. In the queue I was approached by a woman who offered me free entry on her year pass – very lucky! When we were both in we decided to head anticlockwise around the zoo. Its divided into a number of areas which are given a theme. For example there are zones which specialise in animals from Africa, Oceania, the North Pole etc.

The most interesting were the unusual animals which we had either not seen before, or never heard of before. Highlights included foraging kiwis, koalas, takins (very strange looking cattle-like animals which are only found in the same mountains as pandas in China), komodo dragon, and of course the pandas. The pandas were probably the highlight and we had to queue for around 20 minutes to see them. My memories from my visit in 1999 are of the pandas just lying behind bushes, but this time they were walking around and eating bamboo. There was even a 14 month old cub lazing around on a hammock while its mother tended to it. Another unusual sight was the elephants having their nails filed by the zookeepers.

After the zoo we spent some time having a look round a mall in the city centre and went for dinner at Quiznos. Later this evening Lindsey came down with her friend Lisa and we are all staying at her boyfriends house in the suburbs, since he goes to university here. Tomorrow we are going to the other main attraction in San Diego: Sea World.

Photo(s) of the day: a rather cheeky giraffe sticking its tongue out, and the baby panda waking up from its nap.