Monday, September 24, 2012

Dubbo Visit

[Credit to my daughter Anchal for helping me write this log ]

We were speeding through the traffic now. For the last 20 minutes we could not have moved more than 10 cm. We still had 5 hours of driving ahead of us and sitting in traffic for 20 minutes had already tired me out. Despite the fact that we raced out of the house at 6am to avoid the traffic, our good intentions were outmoded when it seemed like everyone else had the same idea. Not the best start to a peaceful weekend away.
As we entered the city, I looked in the rear vision mirror to find our kids fast asleep in the back seat. The views were not that far away now. My hope for this trip was to get far away from the city, to have a nice peaceful time in a small town with a tranquil environment. We were headed to Dubbo, a beautiful town north of Sydney. It was the perfect place, boasting a large zoo, and observatory which was perfect for the kids as well.

Lithgow Station, 1987

The views outside the car were magnificent. Acres of lush farmland expanding over hundreds of kilometres while the sun peeked through the clouds like gold pouring out of the sky. That beautiful sight must have made my ride because I can’t recall the next 4 hours of driving. Chatting with my family and playing atlas was all I must have done until I realised that we had reached our destination.

We checked into our hotel and decided to take an afternoon walk to explore the town, which turned out to be extremely impressive.

The next morning my family and I went off to the morning zoo tour. A tour specially designed to see the main attractions of the zoo and experience the animals without the crowd around. There were only a few other families on the tour so It was essentially us and the animals and of course the guide. 
Our Guide

Not only neck my tongue is also long 

Watch out for tall shed

As we were led through the zoo, some of the animals really stood out. The first enclosure we encountered was the monkey enclosure. The loudest monkeys I have ever seen. They can be heard 5 kilometres away from anywhere, and standing meters away was not pleasing to the ear. We saw some gross stuff as well… like the hippopotamus rolling in its own poo to get warm. I was very grateful that day that I wasn’t born a hippo. 

Sleeping in Poo keeps us warm

We didn’t get to see the whole zoo as it is so large so we decided to return after a trip to the observatory. Unfortunately when we arrived we discovered that the observatory was closed due to bad weather conditions. Upon our return to the zoo we decided to hire bikes because it would be much quicker to get around. We jumped on our bikes and began our 8 kilometre ride around the zoo.
The zoo offered numerous entertaining and educational shows, which I made sure we did not miss. The kids were very engrossed as well. I appreciated that all the animals were kept in their natural habitats, which for a photographer is an excellent opportunity.

Riding around, I saw my favourite animal; the Indian elephant. It was feeding time and they ate their grass leisurely allowing me to get some amazing snap shots. I also got some remarkable photos of the cheetahs, giraffes and lions. These were very rare opportunities but thanks to the beautiful open grounds and amazing animals, I was lucky enough to capture them. Despite being an adult, I enjoyed my zoo trip, riding around and watching the animals really did entertain me.  
A very old tortoise

Indian Elephant

It was the Lions's 10th birthday

Before we knew it, it was time to head back to Sydney. The two-day holiday had a magical effect on my family. They were happier and I personally felt very connected to them.

Heading back home, we came around the world’s second largest canyon. The views were stunning. Trees covered the mountains and while I was standing there, I saw a dazzling sight; a flock of birds soaring in the sky as one. They were too quick for me to take a photo but I was still able to enjoy their beauty.

Captree Canyon: World's second largest canyon

I would definitely recommend taking a visit to Capetree and Dubbo. This trip re-energized me  and it isn’t often that you stumble upon the kind of natural beauty that these two places have to offer.