ASIS Travel Adventures 2007-08 travel blog

Goofier in real life than you even imagined. You can watch these...

One day old baby Ostrich. Look at those toes.

Ostrich massages aren't that good but they are cheap (cheep)!

Two dozen "hen" eggs or one Ostrich egg, same price.

A power outage early this morning had us searching for breakfast in town. Turns out the entire town was without power. Our plan today included visiting an ostrich farm, a wildlife park and a scenic drive through the Swartberg Pass.

Leaving Oudtshoorn on the R328 we headed north to Prins Albert. The Cango Wildlife Park was our first stop. We started out on a group tour but soon left the group to explore on our own. The Mere cats were cute to watch up close since on safari we only caught a quick glimpse of them. They look like our gophers when they stand up on their hind legs looking for danger. They call out to each other and quickly scamper back into their burrows when they think danger is around.

The rest of the animals were less interesting because we had seen them on safari in the wild. You could pay extra to get close to some of the big cats but we didn't need that experience either.

The next stop along this road was the ostrich farm. Oudtshoorn is famous for their ostrich farms. We received quite an in-depth education about ostrich farming and the history of how ostrich feathers put this little town on the map way back when. The eggs are huge and very strong. We can actually stand on an egg without it cracking! WE were allowed to ride an ostrich is we wanted but I felt this was a cruel thing to do. One of the girls decided she wanted to experience this. Hilarious to watch but not fair to the ostrich! Animal rights would have a hay day with this.

Our drive from here continued north through the spectacular Swartberg Pass where you end up ascending very quickly on steep, narrow, gravel road. The switchbacks gave views of the entire valley. The rock in this area looks twisted so it gives a different view than our rocky mountains with flat rock faces. It looks more like fieldstone or slate. The drive was very slow going but well worth the drive. Just before Prins Albert we turn onto the R407 heading east on paved flat road. This area is home to farmers. We headed right through to Klaarstoom, which is basically a township area. It's here that we headed south through Maringspoort. This pass crosses the same river 25 times! Very scenic and green through another rocky area. We stop and take a short hike to a waterfall at one of the viewpoints before heading to De Rust for a light late lunch. All of these towns are small and quaint.

Back to Oudtshoorn before dark although here people leave their doors open as crime is not an issue. In the grocery store we had a giggle when we found that the egg section included ostrich eggs as well as hen eggs. (1 ostrich egg = 24 hen eggs) We felt quite silly taking a picture in the isle of a grocery store but we will never see these people again anyway. We gave the locals a giggle too! Silly tourists! Great day!

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