Wednesday, 28 September 2016

One Sunny Day in Adventure Park

“Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
Hans Christian Andersen

To live a life that is gratifying in most respects requires a good insight, a warm approach to what is at hand, and a clever anticipation of what is yet to come.  But the secret to happiness, as Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes has once said in the past, is learning to appreciate the moment and taking great pleasure in being right where we are, right now, doing what we’re doing.

Just recently, my co-workers and I had gone off to a picnic at Pacific Adventist University (PAU). That day, we also agreed on checking out the Port Moresby’s Adventure Park that was just a walking distance across PAU.

This is the entrance to the Park. That fountain in the middle was not functioning when I took this photo. Later on that day, it was shooting water in every direction. I guess we just came in a little early. While I am not a fan of basking under the sun, those who do will probably drool over the place for getting such a generous serving of sunlight. At 9:00 am, on a clear weather, the heat is still tolerable in Adventure Park but wearing a cap or a brim hat is probably the next important thing to bringing a camera.

Like the trails that I found in Port Moresby Nature Park, most of the trails here are bordered with plants and lofty trees. There are a couple of bench and tables on the sides to which we can sit down and get acclimatized to the surrounding temperature  before going further to other areas around the park.

I love that the leaves form an arc overhead, they remind me of saber arch where the bride and groom shall pass under during a wedding ceremony.

There is a pond with enough water to float a yacht located in the center of the park. These paddle boats moored to the shoal can be rented for a minimal price. I actually thought it would be much easier to get across the other end of the park by way of this boat rather than walking around the pond, but I figured I hadn’t been in a boat since 1999 and I was a bit thalassaphobic.

But I consider myself to be a fairly good swimmer. During my younger days in Cagayan De Oro City, my two older brothers and cousins have enjoyed the liberty of swimming back and forth from the edges of Cagayan De Oro River to a small islet on its center in many occasions. I have swum with them once after getting a good assurance that all of them would save me if I drowned. I managed to have done the same without drowning.

In retrospect, it was worth the try.

 The Cagayan De Oro River. Photo Credits: Kuwentos 

In this picture says, “Tree Kangaro, an icon of PNG.” I’m actually more inclined to think of the Paradise Bird as an iconic representation of PNG but I guess the Tree Kangaroo is a good contender.

Thriving within the large aviaries are the Victoria Crowned Pigeons or the Royal Bird of PNG. These are really big pigeons that looked more like a peacock than a pigeon. The feathers on their heads are formed in such a way that it characterizes a crown.

Going deeper through the densely planted aviaries, I came across these birds that were being fed at that time. These birds are called the Goldie Lorikeets.

These are the Stella Lorikeets. Like the Goldie Lorikeets, these birds are also full of colours but the dominating shade is red. Those wooden boxes attached to the walls serve as their house, which encourage breeding.

Metal arch trellis are mounted on chosen footpaths to encourage the growth of vines and to cast a shadow of comfort to those would walk underneath.

Here’s a resident tree kangaroo munching on his breakfast. Each of these has a dedicated space of more than 20 square meters of fenced ground and a tree to climb.

Here’s a Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo, resting on a branch with its tail dangling down. Let’s assume that this particular kangaroo is a male and in the meantime, let’s pay no attention to other visual factors that might link it to being a female so we can conveniently refer to it as  a cute little “him.”

He was resting obliviously like this when walked past underneath. How many of us would sometimes wish that we were a happy-go-lucky kangaroo like him?

Uhm, how about a panda, anyone?

Here’s how these tree kangaroos are well taken care off. Large roaming space and big tree to hang onto.

In an apparent bid to make the habitat of the denizen birds to be as natural and as comforting to them as possible, the aviaries are built to be large enough to allow such trees to grow inside. These trees get a regular trimming to prevent branches from protruding through the ceiling.

When I was a child, I thought of an ideal Christmas scene as a snow-laden street with various Christmas lights hanging on every corner. This is usually with a presence of someone who is plump enough to dress like Santa Claus who gets munificently compensated to hang around and to greet everyone  with “Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas” in a loud but gleefully modulated voice. Such a scene is not always without a piƱata of one or two reindeers. Now that I think about it, this is the first time that I saw a deer alive.

Here’s a wild flower that I found in the park. They say that our personality is reflected by the kind of flowers we tend to like. Say, for example, if one is more likely to get drawn to the colour of red rose, then one is probably an enthusiastic person and oftentimes the life of the party.

I like pink orchids and I like to sleep.

And here’s a diorama of an epic battle featuring an unfortunate herbivore dinosaur that has fallen prey to the ferocity of blue Velociraptors. The ‘raptors are predatory carnivores that opportunely munch on anything that walks on Earth including the T-Rex if given the chance during the Cretaceous period.  As opposed to what we see in this picture, no one really knows exactly what a dinosaurs’ colors originally were. However, recent studies suggested that the most probable color they might have had, like the T-Rex in particular, was purple.

Barney was the closest to the real thing after all.

Walking around the park during a hot and sunny day is like one of any strenuous activities that may occasionally require the doer a rest and go somewhere less hot; like a bench under a tree, for example. The metal fixtures in this photo are actually garden tables retrofitted with planes on both sides to serve as seats. They looked like floating seats actually.

While kuya Levi is relishing the refreshing outcome of being a benchwarmer sitting in a lackadaisical manner, my thoughts are with the tables. Regular tables have flat and solid surface but I noticed that these ones were crafted with chain-link surfaces, which I find a bit baffling.  When I say baffling, I mean baffling enough to make me think of the following questions in mind.

Was it designed this way to...

... let the leftover foods or breadcrumbs fall down easily and feed any living things below?
... keep bird droppings from piling up on the table tops?
... let us see our legs if they are being bitten by mosquitoes?

The pond is probably the heart of this park, and sitting closely to it feels like I’m part of the picturesque view.

A park is not without a recreational equipment. Here’s a caring dad tending to his kids on a swingset. It’s probably one of the sweetest things a father can do for his children.

Although a picture is not the best way to depict an amusement ride in action such as a spinning Ferris wheel or a rotating carousel, these two were operating nicely when we walked past by. One can go to these rides for a minimal fee. We did not try and board one but I would convince my friends to try these out on our unscheduled next visit.

Positioned near the parking area next to the roadside are these life-sized statues of various animals. In the wild, it is not common to see a panda resting next to a Siberian tiger but perhaps it is for some educational reason that they were placed altogether in one setting.

This fenced area is an orchid garden and a bird sanctuary. From the looks of it, I suppose that a large fraction of the park’s landscaping job is dedicated to this area. If it were not for our protesting tummies, we would have gone there and had a look of what were inside. But it was time to head back home and catch some sleep and check out our favorite TV dramas.

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