Thursday, August 4, 2011

Jake is eight!

 Jake's birthday
His present of a model military vehicle
Jake feeding the cassowary
Today is Jake's birthday and he was delighted to get a large space Lego set from Mum and Dad, Tim and Zoe. He also loves games of various types so they gave him a game requiring strategic thinking to complete. He soon got the hang of that! We gave him a model of one of the military vehicles that Malcolm, his grandfather, has on the farm. He was also able to choose what he wanted to do for the day and had chosen to visit Hartleys Crocodile Adventures. Tim and Jake had been given $25 from Pauline and John for their birthdays. Tim had spent $16 of his on his photo with the koala taken at Wildlife Habitat and Jake had decided to wait until his visit to Hartleys to have his photo taken with a snake or a crocodile.

Hartleys was about twenty minutes drive south of Port Douglas and we wanted to be there by 9.30 am for the cassowary feeding so we headed off before 9 am. The cassowary are fed a mixture of large pieces of fruit and vegetables with a calcium powder. All three children soon gained confidence to feed the cassowary through the fence. We then went to see the turtles and some of the crocodiles.

We went on the 10.30 am boat cruise. The driver's name was Duncan and he had personality plus. He chatted, told jokes, sang, danced and generally entertained the tourists extremely well. He needs a medal for customer service. Besides pointing out the various crocodiles and explaining their habitat a feed of chicken was placed in a tree for a large eagle to swoop down and collect. He swooped a number of times and it was pretty amazing. Zoe soon had Duncan's song and dance of the "Crocodile Rock" off pat and enjoyed practicing this to show off to family and kindy on her return to NZ. Tim particularly liked Duncan's jokes and Jake, well he just absorbs the facts. He is so like Cam in this respect.

Lunch was next on the agenda but we all decided to give a miss on the crocodile burgers!

Hartleys also has a commercial crocodile farm operating so we went on a farm tour to have the operation explained to us. Hard to believe
that $75,000 worth of goods can be made from the skin of one crocodile.

We then went to a crocodile show - the staff certainly know how to entertain. This was very well done. Next was the snake encounter. Tim
 Tim & Zoe take it all in
volunteered to help but when it came to having the snake put around his neck he thought the guy meant the most venomous snake and decided against that. He in fact had meant a different snake and then Tim was annoyed with himself for not understanding and missi ghavibg his photo taken with the snake for free! Hey he is only six!

Now it was time for Jake to have his special photo taken with his birthday money. He chose to have a snake and the photo turned out really

Venomous snake demo
Still time at the end of the day for a visit to the kangaroo for feeding, and also the education area to look at the snakes and various lizards
etc. The last visit of the day was to the koala enclosure - they never loose their appeal.

 Just want Jake wanted for his birthday
It was a great day and on the way back to camp both Tim and Zoe fell asleep. Of course a birthday is not fully celebrated without a cake, and Jake had chosen to have steak and macaroni cheese (an unusual request and combination, but it was his birthday) so while Roanne and Roger went shopping for a cake and candles, dinner was prepared. Other campers soon joined in to sing happy birthday as Jake blew out his candles.

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