Today is my last full day in San Diego before departing on my 28 Day Panama Canal Cruise. Tomorrow morning I will be packing up and heading to the pier to board the MS Statendam. The cruise line is Holland America Line and this is, as I think I have mentioned before my first ever cruise. However, I still have today to share with you before the cruise comes around.
San Diego Zoo
I had tried to set out a plan for today, but that got a bit mixed up when it came to the detail. Originally I wanted to get to the zoo around 9 am and see as much as possible in 4 hours. However, when it came to the hotel shuttle bus they do a specific drop off and pick up for the zoo. The drop off time is 10 am and they come back at 4 pm for the pickup. So instead of having four hours to see the zoo, I end up being there for six hours. But once you are in the zoo the time does go very quick and I was able to fill in all the time.
There are a number of ways that you can get around the zoo. The one I will use most is walking, but with such a large area to cover I am happy to take the odd shortcut. So my first stop was Skyfari, a chairlift which takes you from near the front of the zoo to the top of Polar Rim.
You get a rather good view over the park from Skyfari. So unless you do not feel comfortable with heights I highly recommend giving it a go.
The name might have been a little giveaway, but Polar Rim is home to you guessed it the Polar Bears. I stopped to take a little look and they were in the middle of a feeding time. Which meant they were out and about.
Once you have taken the first couple of obvious options it starts to get tricky making decisions at which way to go. There are two options from the top of Polar Rim. I started out with the Eagles and Pandas which were in one direction. That turned out to be the best decision as there is a way you can loop back to the top and take the other option. So getting to see both without having to double back to much.
The elephants are of course some of the bigger residents at the San Diego Zoo. There are a number of different species of elephant. However, they are all older animals and there are no baby elephants here.
Meerkats are one of the cuter animals here. They sort of remind me of smaller dogs, especially considering that they do like to dig. Plus when not digging they do plenty of standing or laying around.
While the animal below does have a small resemblance to a camel in appearance, that is exactly what it is. The domestic Bactrian Camel is primarily found in Asia but has been introduced into other areas of the world. It does have a rather interesting hair do I think.
The San Diego Zoo has quite a number of different species of monkey. Everything from smaller breeds right up to the Gorilla. I have a few photos but unfortunately my record keping was not quite up to par so do not know the specific species.
While the San Diego Zoo is all about the animals there is another aspect to the experience. The Habitats and gardens that are created for the animals to live in and for asthetics for the visitors are interesting as well. Such as this small waterfall that I spotted, and efforts are made to give animals a habitat that seems somewhat natural.
If anything the Hippopotamus do seem to know how to relax. Honestly, I do not know what else to say about them though.
There is also a rather large collection of birds at the San Diego Zoo. Many are rather difficult to photograph as they are always on the move. However, this one was sitting in place, while you cannot see it there is a very long tail. One of the more interesting species, but not entirely sure just what species.
Getting to the display with Koala’s did bring back some memories of home for sure. The San Diego Zoo has a number of koala’s, including a program where they are loaded to other zoos. The program helps to gain some funding which helps to provide assistance to maintaing koala homelands in Australia.
A breed of rattlesnake, just one of many different varieties on display. Some are much easier to find in their display than others.
After finishing at the Zoo and getting back to the hotel, I decided to head out and see the sunset on purpose. That is instead of just as an afterthought because I was in the right spot. There are some rather nice colours in the sunset around San Diego. Another thing that I enjoyed was seeing the sunset over the ocean to the west, well the harbour anyway.
One rather interesting thing about San Diego is the location of the airport. Which in turn can create some interesting pictures of the planes landing on the actual flightpath. The plane below is only a matter of seconds off landing and has come down directly over the city.
As I mentioned above tomorrow I will be heading off on the 28 days Panama Canal Cruise. At this stage, I am unsure how much internet access I will have. Wifi is available onboard the ship, but at a premium price for a slow service, I understand. So I will have to see what is available in port to provide updates on here. If I do not get the chance to update along the way I will be keeping track and get something up once I return.