The little one was still speaking incomprehensibly and was usually pointing to the moon or the wider cosmos, in an attempt to express her wishes, when I heard of the safari park. I will not forget that day. She was digging happily a hole in the sand pit while I was talking about family fun activities with another mom. And so, the Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park popped out of the conversation. With an elevated mood, I digged into the web just to find out that the chances of monkeys attacking your car and adjusting the front wipers into a tooth brush, and the side mirrors into a baby rattle are equal to those to get hit by a car while crossing the ringroad. So the topic was off table for another year, despite my curiosity.
SAFARI ADVENTURE WITH CHILDREN
Until yesterday, when we finally got there. With four children aged 3. In Scotland, temperatures over 20C are lux. They happen rarely, last for short, and you can see everyone indulging outdoor activities. If you picture the crowds on a football game, you’ll get a glimpse of the cosmic number of people on streets, parks, playgrounds and, as it turned out, the safari park in Scotland.
I will spare you my trip to the safari, where I got half-alive and will rather continue with the huge four-lanes queue at the entrance. I had almost given up on this adventure, as I was already in my own of a having-a-trip-sickness passenger. However, at this very moment I heard four happy voices cheering at the sight of a giraffe in the distance. Now, it was clear that there was no going back. At least, not before seeing the giraffes from close. So, this is how our adventure started.
EYES IN EYES WITH THE WILD LIFE
It is still indistinct, but I found myself with three kids on the front seat plus one who was spinning the wheel in his father’s lap. With the speed of a wounded snail, we moved after the caravan of cars and a forest of small hands that were showing through the car windows. Happiness was short lived as a tall men dressed in the colors of the savana approached and reprimanded us asking for all car windows to be immediately closed. When I got eyes in eyes with the lion on my right, I understood his concerns.
Minutes later we heard strange noise coming from the roof of the car. I thought that we are being kidnapped by aliens when two monkeys appeared on the windshield. From the shock I tooks photo of their tails only, except for this one which I am very proud of.
Then we saw the bisons with their huge horns, which no one wants to put on their heads. They were super beautiful, but the two brothers began to fight who to drive the car. Meanwhile, the girls were discussing which ribbon to put on their hairs. I think they missed the bisons, but the big brown camels got their attention. It was a very happy moment for me. Finally, one of my wee one’s favorite tales about a camel and his mom obtained color, fur and smell. At that moment, several antelopes ran through the meadow and literally turned our heads around. It was just surreal. I have no idea how these enormous animals were behaving so calmly and comfortably surrounded and followed by all these cars around. They were either so used to that and so very bored or they were on some mega strong drugs. In general, only the monkeys showed interest in us. The other animals ritually turned their heads on the other side, looked at us under their brows, or galloped in the opposite direction.
THE SEALION MAYRA – THE SAFARI PARK’S TALISMAN
We parked our car and walked to the other half of the safari park which looked more like a huge zoo. We met the sealion Mayra, who turned out to be four years old and who had a sealion boyfriend aged three. She showed us her great diving skills and then we went to see the penguins. They were like some miniatures aiming at the water. They were breathtaking with their amazing underwater pirouettes and diving. While I was enjoying them, the children seemed mesmerized by the lemurs nearby, who were standing on their back legs and exploring the kids with curiosity.
BARBECUE IN THE NATURE
So in jokes and high spirits we went through the whole safari park. We celebrated the end of this adventure with a barbeque on the meadow near the elephants. After our tummys were full and our souls filled with new experiences and memories, I thought it was about time to go home. And then the children saw the playground. It was as big as the Meadows park in Edinburgh. There were at least six types of slides, an old ship, a sandpit larger than our flat, and any other entertainment you can think of. The last hope to head home was lost after my 273463547326489 invitation to get into to the car. I do not know why I bothered calling the kids so hard since no one was really listening.
Finally, we were home. The kids have not had even a one minute power nap for the past 10 hours. Worst of all, there were no signs of them feeling sleepy at all. On the other hand, all I wanted was to fall on the bed without even stepping into the bathroom. I visualized it, and I even experienced it for a very short moment in my dreams before reality kicking in and leading me to the bathroom to bathe the little one. She then went to bed without even requesting to read a fairy tale, filled with unforgettable experiences and … camels in her dreams.