Wednesday 7 May 2008

To Tenerife - Loro Parque

To Tenerife at last

Visiting Tenerife today was a thrill, after all my fuss, it was still a day out to the zoo. The pickup to Agaete where we boarded a ferry was 10 minutes late but I must say that this trip was organised by the same company that cancelled the trip for Tuesday, late on Monday evening.

I would suppose there are empires in that organisation where one excels at incompetence whilst another department strives to make things happen – somehow booking direct and booking through a hotel tour representative can make a whole lot of difference, I still never found out why the tour was cancelled.

At a bearing from 310 degrees we set sail for Santa Cruz de Tenerife and it was all over in just about 70 minutes.

Loro Parque

On disembarking we boarded a bus and headed for Loro Parque on the western side of Tenerife, it was established in 1972 as a parrot aviary but has grown to include a larger variety of animals and it is the home all sorts of endangered or threatened species.

There is such a fascination for watching sea lions and dolphins perform, but we also had the added fun of watching orca whales. When we arrived in the Orca Ocean arena, the cameras zoomed in on me which was beamed out to the big screen with a balloon callout 'bald is beautiful' – I could only wag a finger at the prankster.

Hard entertainment

Sometimes, I wonder what it takes to entertain us. When we watched the Diana Ross tribute performance, each completed song drew polite applause.

A few days later we watched a Chinese acrobatic troupe and as each performance got a bit more difficult we seemed to be less appreciative of the last and were slow to applaud the next.

Imagine, the man was balancing on one end of plank which was placed on top of the round side of a cylinder and was using the principle of levers to flip bowls from the other end of the plank to the top of his head. He did it with three bowls at a time and then a cup and finally flipped a spoon into the cup.

Another performance was the legs of a chair each balanced on 4 beer bottles and the man doing handstands on the back and seat of the chair, he went on to balance another chair unevenly on the first chair and still do handstands but each consequent applause was grudging, I probably initiated the most appreciation for those acts.

A lady spinning tables with her feet on the table edges and obliquely, then going on to spin a colleague on a barrel, really awe-inspiring stuff as far as I was concerned.

Fascinated more by animals

So watching sea lions, then dolphins and finally orca whales do the same acts of jumping out of the water, going through hoops and splashing around, whilst being incentivised through frequent handouts of fish was in no way boring as if humans were to do the same thing, each repeated act still drew increasing applause.

Animals do repetitive things compared to humans doing unique things and we felt better entertained by the animals.

By the time I returned to the hotel, there was great consideration on their part of offer a cold buffet, but as the saying in Yoruba goes, the late night visitor would hardly have choices for the food laid before him – a salad and a bottle of cold water, you could not complain at all.

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