Monday, 25 January 2010

A Trip to Loro Parque...

It was meant to be the day that I conquered Mount Teide - like so many of my friends did this past Saturday. But due to a cold that lasted for five days I decided to leave Teide for another year. Instead I joined a large group of Mercy Shippers in going to Loro Parque, a lovely wildlife and marine park located in Puerto De La Cruz. Mercy Ships were given a half-price entry fee into the park, and it was really worth it!

There were many little paths that wound in and out of different sections within the park, and offered the leisurely walker many opportunities for a scenic view. Of course, some of these views were a little more scary than others... There was a large gorilla section, an alligator area, as well as a shark tunnel in the aquarium, where you walked through a glass tunnel surrounded by sharks and other marine life. Add jaguars, meerkats, penguins, chimps, many beautiful birds and displays of lovely flowers into the mix and you have something to attract everyone.

But the favourites were the dolphin, orca, and sea lion shows. We went to the Dolphin show first and were amazed by these graceful creatures. They are such intelligent animals that share a strong bond with their trainers. They entertained us with tricks and many displays of leaping through the air.

Next stop was Orca Ocean, where we got to witness the huge power and beauty of the orca. Orcas are also known as killer whales and they have incredible strength. The orcas also performed tricks and leaped out the water to crash down again creating a huge splash! The capture and holding of orcas in captivity is controversial, and I believe that a natural environment is always best for wild animals. But I will say that it is useful to see these animals up close to gain a new perspective and a deeper respect for the creatures that share our planet.

The final show we went to was the Sea Lion show. These animals are also intelligent and were definitely my favourites. They performed many tricks in a routine that kept the audience laughing. It almost seemed as if they understood what they were doing the whole time - and appreciated the audience just as much as the trainers did.

So all in all it was a fun day out with good friends in a lovely environment - definitely a worthwhile expedition off-ship. Here are some more photos from this trip.

The penguin section.

The dolphins performing tricks...

And getting some major air-time!

One of the orcas breaching.

The sea lions.

Inside the shark tunnel.

Some scary sights!

Not sure what kind of bird, but it sure is pretty.

A couple of colourful but attractive birds.

Some beautiful flowers.

And some lovely orchids.

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