Saturday, December 14, 2013

South Africa Part 1: Arrival and Oudtshoorn

On November 19 we arrived in Cape Town, South Africa.

Beautiful! Hello, country #23!

After a couple days in Cape Town, we left for a tour of the Garden Route. Yes, I know, everyone says to rent a car and drive on your own but we have gotten a bit lazy. We did end up renting a car later in our stay but it was nice to have someone show us around for a few days.

Our first stop was a winery. Sure it was only 10am but that didn't stop us.

Graham Beck makes the sparkling wine that was served at President Nelson Mandela's and President Obama's inaugurations!

We had lunch at a lovely place in Montagu. Jacarandas are my new favorite tree.

Paul is enjoying the view before we head to the ostrich farm

I got to feed one

And hug one

It is strong!

Look at its feet

They are quite flexible


Messily eating


Ostrich chick

This male is high society

Weird looking birds


Mama ostrich and her chicks

This female ostrich has pretty eyelashes

This guy is strutting around like he owns the place


Another ostrich chick

Yes - ostrich riding! At my own risk...

They look a little angry

They have to be blindfolded so they don't freak out when you get on top of them

Mounting the bird

I didn't fall off despite what this picture looks like

To watch the video of me riding this beast, click here.

Ring around its nose

The jockey showed us how it is done

There was one that was really mean and chasing all the others around

Real angry birds!

From this angle, he's a little scary looking 

Adolescent ostriches


Paul doesn't really enjoy being a volunteer in these situations

Ha ha ha ha

But I always enjoy taking photos

Messy birds

This shot makes it look like the ostrich is vomiting

Paul loves it


They want more


Two heads are better than one

Ostrich eggs are the largest of any living bird and also quite strong...

See, I'm standing on them...don't worry they don't have chicks in them!

One hour old baby ostrich

More baby ostriches preparing to hatch

It takes about 14-16 hours for them to come out

Nice nail

After our visit to Cango Ostrich Ranch, we headed to Oue Werf Country House & Manor to check in and relax. It was a beautiful and peaceful place to stay.

I never know what he's looking for


King George at the Guest House

It was really a lovely place to stay - too bad it was only for one night!

It was our favorite along the Garden Route

I was pretending to be a kudu after a delicious dinner & a bottle of Graham Beck cabernet

The next morning on November 22, we headed to the Cango Caves located in the precambrian limestones near the foothills of the Swartberg mountain range. These caves were discovered in 1780 and have amazing halls and limestone formations.

They put these signs up because someone got stuck in one for almost 12 hours...

What's up there, Paul?

Being funny

Amazing formations

This is called the Weeping Willow and is estimated to be 1.5 million years old

"Like a Rhinestone Cowboy..."

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