Had one of those "what the hell am I doing here" moments today. Tess (my flatmate) is keen on applying for a guide position at the Greater Vancouver Zoo as she's well and truly over the role she's in now at UBC.

Understandably, she wanted to check out the facility before applying and since we both had an appointment free day today we figured the time was as good as any. There was only one hitch. It seems the word "Greater" in the Zoo's title is a fairly pivotal use of language.

The journey out took us almost two and a half hours after we had caught the skytrain to the end of the line (King George), a 1 hour bus trip out to Aldergrove and then a cab ride to the Zoo. At least the marathon travel put things into perspective for Tess in terms of whether or not she'd be able to commute each day from down town Vancouver each day... errr... NO!

Despite the light overcast conditions when we left town, by the time we arived at the zoo it was snowing which, considering the lack of appropriate clothing I was wearing, wasn't a good sign of things to come. We had a bit of a wander around on our own before hooking up with a mini bus tour (although not my normal style, the heated vehicle was quite an attractive prospect).

The zoo basically consists of a number of gorgeous big cats like a jaguar, black panther, siberian tigers, lions, cougars and lynx; a few baboons; a bunch of deer; a couple of zebra, giraffes and rhino; a group of black bears, arctic wolves and the one Grizzly.

As expected, the harsh conditions meant a majority of the gorgeous beasts were huddled away under shelters out of the cold but after doing the rounds of the zoo on both the bus tour and also our own two feet we did get to see a few good sites. Unfortunately there's no photos to show as the zoo was pretty "photographer unfriendly" with huge tightly chain linked fences between you and the animals.

Anyway, the Zoo is pretty average as far as Zoo's that I have seen around the world go, but granted the weather did nothing to help my evaluation. I'm sure Summer would be a much more appropriate time to visit.

Standing in the driving snow at an unsheltered bustop waiting for a bus that we didn't even know was going to show or not was perhaps my highlight... slightly pipping the exact time that blood returned to my toes - an hour or so after getting home and finally warming up.

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