Did you know that SA has a huge Ostrich industry? I did not.
One of the main reasons we wanted to come to Oudtshoorn was to see one (of the MANY) ostrich farms that exist in the area.
Ostriches are just cool, and with the prospect of RIDING one, I couldn’t turn it down. We stopped off at the Cango Ostrich Farm, which was a blast! The first thing we see (after a nice lecture on the history of the ostrich industry and facts about these crazy birds) was baby ostriches! Sooo cute! I got to hold one.
We then go feed a dwarf ostrich, which just happens to be quite short. Then I hugged one, and interesting experience. Then we head towards the riding arena.
Yes, you CAN ride an ostrich! They first had the kids pose for pictures on the ostrich, then they ask for a volunteer to take the first ride. What are PCVs good at if not volunteering? I hop up and awkwardly mount my ostrich (with a little bit of nervousness).
As soon as I am on well, they tear the blindfold off my ostrich and back him out of the stall. He immediately RUNS towards the solid wood fence! I start to freak out until I realize the wranglers are steering him a bit. He runs in a circle and I almost make it to the starting point before I slide (gracefully, oddly enough) off. Oh my goodness! What a THRILL! I smelled like ostrich for the rest of the day and had feathers in odd places, but it was way worth it.
From there we headed to the Cango Caves. I had decided previously that I wanted to do the standard tour, not the adventure tour.
The standard tour is a normal, easy cave tour where you stop to take a ton of pictures. The adventure tour has you climbing through “love tunnels” where a woman got stuck for 11 hours, up a 3m long chimney where you have to pull yourself through slippery wormholes, and sliding down a 15cm wide hole….but I changed my mind at the last minute! I went spelunking. It was crazy, and I still have bruises days later. I was so sore the next few days, but it was a lot of fun. Not at all for the faint of heart or the claustrophobic, as you get really close to the rocks, and occasionally your tour buddies. But it was a really neat twist on a normal cave tour!
Oudtshoorn was a surprising pile of adventures.