December 8th, 2005

krazy koati

She ain't no lady

Since this was my guest's last day in town naturally he was getting a bit sick. So we resolved to do something not requiring a lot of walking, going to Sentosa Island's Volcanoland -- which has added a Dinosaur Park, and is, clearly, a ``must experience.'' The slightly animated robot dinosaurs are under a year old though some of the rubber skins are wearing thin. The signs say they're owned by ``Canada International'' but aren't limited to Canadian species -- they have the hadrosaur, diplodocus, the whole mix of dinosaurs you might expect. Plus they have the robot dinosaur Fred, pet of the Zarn, obnoxious alien made of Chroma-keyed sparkling lights from the second and third seasons of Land of the Lost.

But the centerpiece of Volcanoland is the tour of a Volcano, allegedly following the 1911 trail of Professor Hugo II, who set out to find his way to the interior of the Earth and hasn't been heard from since. This includes a lot of dimly lit sets to evoke the Lost City and dust-covered camping gear with Ovaltine boxes from 1910 and the like. But perhaps the tone is best set by Professor Hugo II's handy sidekick, the robot IGO NOGO -- short for ``I Go Where No Man Can Go'' -- an old prop of which was unceremoniously tossed outside. (They're renovating.) Hugo and Igo have a relationship that certainly seems to be out of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon, but we couldn't finger just which exactly. It's all very elaborate and deserves its own separate entry, so I'll save that for a fresh day.

After that we figured we hadn't walked enough, so we got down to the dragon trail nature walk. It's guarded by a dragon who, the plaques explain, came out of hiding as the best way to deal with human encroachment on their natural lands. Plus, hey, everybody likes gazebos. They try to pretend there's a mythology of dragons living here, and things like a skeleton with the speculation that the dragon population was decimated by the pirates that took up life in the straits in the 13th century and haven't left yet. The far end is guarded by a pair of dragons who similarly came out of hiding. And from there we went to the beach, and walked along the mythology trail all along to the visitor's centre, circling about half the island so that my cold-weakened guest and I walked maybe 72,948 kilometers today.

Trivia: Guests wishing to bring their own Kodak camera to the Columbian Expo of 1893 had to pay two dollars for a permit. Source: The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson.

Currently Reading: Pogo Romances Recaptured, Walt Kelly.