I live in a beautiful part of the country that is super close to some amazing places. 25 minutes from London. 35 minutes from Oxford. 5 minutes from Marlow. It has the perfect mix of countryside and city.
I have lived here for nearly 4 years and I have not been good at getting out and exploring the local area. I tend to just jump onthe first train to London and live it up in the Big City.
One Friday night I sent an excitable text to my amazing friend Cat I had been flicking through things to do in our local area and I came across a wonderful place called Crocodiles of the world. The inner child in me was seriously excited and I wanted a buddy to come explore it with me.
Here starts a pact that we have made. To be adventurers and to get out there and explore what is right on our doorstep (or not too far to drive to). I’m going to suggest we spit into our hands and shake on it to make it super official.
I can’t remember having so much fun. Just jumping in a car with a babe of a friend, singing at the top of our voices to Beyoncé songs and finding new places to have fun in.
So the first adventure was Crocodiles of the world.
I must say right now that I am not a fan of zoos. I would much rather head off for a safari and see animals hunt and run around like free little beasties. I read a lot into Crocodiles of the world to make sure that we wouldn’t be seeing cooped up animals who look sad. It’s not right. However, this is a wonderful place where the Crocs and Gaters have enough room to swim and mate and eat. (The holy trinity to keep a Croc or a human happy).
The keepers are also doing such important work on breeding the Siamese Crocs who are critically endangered- Cambodia believes that here are fewer than 500 left in the wild. They have two Siamese crocs and they are showing signs of preparing to mate. The keepers are in constant communication with the Cambodian government who will get their babies and introduce them back into the wild. The male is called Hugo is a whopper. So big that no photo I took did him justice. He was pure man.
I wouldn’t have gone if it wasn’t very nice. I would never touch an animal that is meant to be out there in the wild. Tiger Kingdom in Thailand literally disgusts me. As do the photos of people lying over majestic animals who should be out hunting prey and living the life of the Jungle Book. I can assure you that this ain’t no Tiger Kingdom.
They have just moved to a new location to give the growing beasts some more room. We arrived just in time to see the young Nile crocodiles being feed and most importantly I got to ask lots of questions to some very patient croc keepers. Small children were asking ridiculous questions but greeting more praise for them than I did. This did not please me.
The beautiful Cat.
We learnt so much about Crocs. We spent about an hour there, running around more excited than the children.
I would recommend it for anyone with children, any animal lovers and any intrepid explores just like ourselves. It is about 15 minutes outside of Oxford.
This meant that we could pop in for a quick browse around the shops and a meal at Bills.
Delicious food. And a beautiful interior. I love the exposed pipes and how open it is. The food ain’t half bad either.
Ravenous after all of our adventuring I forgot to take photos of the food. Bad blogger. But it seems as if there is a Bills popping up in every major city in the UK. I really recommend it for a date with friends. You can sit and chat and get lost in the hustle and bustle of busy waiters and groups of people catching up and sharing good food.
A great first adventure. We left too very tired little explorers indeed.
More adventures to come soon…