Monday, September 6, 2010

South Africa 06.28-07.29 - Oodsthorn and JBay

The day after the big game we began our road trip. The plan was to drive up the eastern coast all the way to Kruger National Park, then cut over to Johannesburg and back down to Cape Town to fly home. On our way Oodsthorn, the ostrich farming capital of the world, we stopped in Hermanas in attempts to see some whales. Unfortunately we did not see many whales, we did however, see lots of daasi (rock hyrax).  These little guys quickly became a highlight of the trip because of the ridiculous faces they make.  Here are some examples:
Did you know rock hyrax are the closest living relative to the elephant?? 
They actually don't ever look this mean, we just happened to catch one
eating and enjoyed the funny face!

The abundance of daasi were definitely the highlight of Hermanas as far as animals go.  Not too many whales, despite it being 'the best place on earth for whale watching'. The scenery however was beautiful and the color of the water was much more tropical looking that I would have ever expected.

Next stop, Oodsthorn. The main reason we took the 6hr detour? riding an ostrich. Sounds pretty ridiculous, and it was, but also one of those things you just kind of do to in order to tell your friends. We chose Highgate, one of three ostrich show farms, because it's sign touted 'ostrich rides for all'. The tour included some ostrich history and some info about the feathers and how to differentiate between real and fake ostrich leather. They also had someone make a feather duster in less than 1min! At the end of the first half you could buy some food (dried corn kernels) and feed some of the birds by hand. 

The second half of the tour was for 'activities', the first involving ostrich eggs, and the later involving ostrich rides. We were allowed to stand on the eggs as well as shake and hold on to them all while in the presence of mom and dad! Lastly, we were able to ride the birds.  We were told to sit and hold on like we were riding Harleys (which sounds ridiculous I know)! Dylan was entirely too comfortable on his bird, while Adam had to manhandle his a bit, and I was pretty terrified.  All in all it was a fun experience and I would recommend it!  The whole experience cost a low 60R (less than $10). 

We rounded out the week in Jeffery's Bay (JBay) so that the boys could surf and I could beach comb and read.  We even saw some pro's in the water (mainly Taj Burrow) as the big Billabong contest was quickly approaching.

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