August 22, 2011

Two Western women in Cairo Zoo

This was the first day Ange and I were 100% on our own in Egypt. Drew and Teegs very kindly dropped us off at the Cairo Zoo and the adventure continued.

Being a white western woman in Cairo is a unique experience. Most of the population are used to seeing others like me because of the massive tourist turnover every year, however, walking around the zoo, Ange and I were almost part of the attraction. We had groups of young men following us around saying "hello" over and over and over again. It was novel to start with, but got a little bit weird after a while. 

True love is de-lousing your partner...

So regal, even in fairly tiny cages.

As we stood looking at the lions, a zoo photographer came up to us and wanted to know if we would like to have our pictures taken with some of the animals in the zoo. A lion cub and a 3 month old chimp were offered. Given the price you would pay to do this in Australia, we figured why not. The cub was not impressed at being held and passed around. He made a growling noise the entire time. Ange does quite a good re-enactment of it. You should ask her. 

The chimp was adorable. I wanted to take him home with me. He sat quite happily on my lap, staring at me. The handler couldn't get him to come away, he kept coming back to me. We were paying bakshish to the handler as we left, and the chimp started slapping my leg because we weren't paying him any attention. Cheeky thing.

Outside this enclosure, was the very small cage for a gorilla and an orang. It near broke my heart to see these amazing creatures penned up in such small areas. They were all making noises like you wouldn't normally here in the wild.

We of course, had to go and find the elephants for a certain person...

This fella didn't look to happy with his picture being taken.

Handler fed the black bear so we could get a better photo.

Walkling towards the camel Ange and I wondered what was wrong with his legs. Side on it looked as though he may have had an injury. Closer, and from behind, you can quite clearly see the animal is having a pee. Yes. We did need to take a photo of this.

Unfortunately, the pictures taken by the "professional" are on film, and I don't have them available to show you. They're ok given the circumstances, and for the six we purchased, they probably only cost about $20 Aus.

After the zoo, we decided on lunch and a walk over the Nile.

And then, as it was so hot, we decided a cab would be the best idea to take us back to the hotel. More fool us. After a month of watching drivers in the Middle East, we should have known it would not be an easy journey. Combine this with the driver getting turned about and unsure of where he was going. Ange and I had more of an idea than he did. We came along one street, and saw the grocery shop and KFC we'd been frequenting, paid the cabbie and walked the rest of the way.

The signage outside the hotel we stayed in. Inside it was quite nice. Why is it only after the fact, you remembe that photos of the interior would have been a good idea.

This street is a "block" away from the hotel, and runs along side the Nile

And then because it had been a long day, things got a little bit silly in the hotel room. We were watching old re-runs of "So you think you can dance" which, in the hands of Ange became, "So you think you can prance"

So cute

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