Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Bio Park Adventure

The Albuquerque Bio Park consists of
The Albuquerque Botanic Gardens and Aquarium,
which is on one property to the north,
the Albuquerque Zoo, which is to the south,
and Tingley Beach in between.
The smaller blue sections on this map
show the man-made ponds of Tingley Beach.

The most direct path between the Botanic Garden and the Zoo
is the Rio Line Train!
The Rio Line is a 3/4 scale train transporting guests
between both sites.
On this map, there is a gray loop with marks through it
toward the north end of the Botanic Garden.
This is the train line, which runs under Central (Route 66)
and along the Tingley Beach Property into the Zoo.

The map of the Botanic Garden shows the train line
through its property.

The train station labeled "Asia" by the elephants,
at the north end of the Zoo property
is the station for the Rio Line.

The train station labeled "Africa"
and most of the train tracks throughout
the Zoo are for the train that runs just through the Zoo.

Now that the maps have been explained,
off we go on a train ride!

I arrived 45 minutes before the first train left the Botanic Garden,
so I walked around for awhile.

The Botanic Garden

The Garden Scale Model Trains

The Greenhouse

Heritage Farm

I realized that I did not know where the train station was
and it was close to the time it was scheduled to depart.
After asking directions, I quickly walked to the station,
thinking that I would be late and miss the train.

When I arrived, the train was still at the station.
A woman with two children were at the station.

After some conversation and making some connections,
I realized that the train was in need of repair and was not running.
It had run into a large rock on the track and then run into the platform.
The other woman with the children had witnessed it.

This was not good news!
I went to the Botanic Garden specifically to ride the train.
I figured one loop around, and I'd go home
A shuttle van arrived to take us to the zoo,
so I decided to go and hope that the train would be fixed
by the time I returned.

The Rio Grande Zoo

I hung out at the zoo waiting for the train to be repaired.

First, time to re-hydrate and cool off! 

The polar bears were nearby.

The polar bears were wrestling under water!

I also watched them above the water.

 The polar bears were in the pool at the top of their enclosure,
which had window access to viewing the pools from under the water.

Time to keep walking...

The Thunderbird Express is a passenger train
that provides a guided tour within the zoo.
Its station is in the area labeled "Africa".

 I wondered if it was time to head back to the Rio Line station.

After waiting several hours to ride the train,
it was time to go to the station to see if the train would be running.

The Thunderbird Express passed by on the tracks.

The shuttle van had arrived to pick up guests
to take them to the Botanic Garden,
but the driver stated that the Rio Line would arrive in about 20 minutes.

And this is why elephants are marked on the map as being near the station.
The back of the elephant yard is directly across from the station.

Finally...THE TRAIN!!!!

Despite the heat,
I chose an open car in order to take better pictures.

This is an arroyo along the Rio Grande.

Tingley Drive

Tingley Beach-
The Man-Made Fishing Ponds

The "Train Conductor" I chatted with
while he stood on the edge of the caboose.

Back into the Botanic Gardens,
and around the loop through Heritage Farm

Back to the Station!
I sat in this corner in the green car
for our trip back.

Got My Train Ride!!!!


  1. Lovely photo's, I'm glad you finally got your train ride :D

  2. Great photos. Love the polar bears under water. Glad you got to ride the train.