Sunday, June 20

Paula: The sounds of huge flocks of geese woke us this morning just before sunset. Although we were not able to appreciate it last night, we awoke to find a pretty little pond directly behind our cabin, inhabited by all kinds of water birds. We enjoyed exploring the area around our cabin before heading to the main guest house for breakfast.

This breakfast was certainly a new one for us - scrambled ostrich eggs, ostrich bacon and ostrich sausage! Similar to our experience last night, we found all the ostrich food to be particularly tasty. Now, we wonder if we can buy it at home.

The rest of the morning we spent on an ostrich show farm learning about these very interesting birds. There are over 110,000 ostriches in Oudtshoorn, and Safari Farm is one of four show farms that allow visitors to see and learn about how the ostriches are bred, raised and used commercially. Ostriches fully mature after 11-14 months and are used primarily for meat and leather. Feathers are not profitable like they were in the early 1900's. The female lays about 14 eggs a year in the wild but they can lie as many as 60 on the farms. The eggs are exceptionally heavy (3 pounds) and strong - David and Katie stood on them without them breaking the shells. Each bird produces about 40-50 kilos of meat which sells for about $10 a kilo. It is much more expensive than beef and chicken, but well liked by those South Africans who can afford it.

We also had fun learning about the autonomy of the ostrich and actually got an opportunity to ride these huge birds. The ostriches were blindfolded to allowing us to mount them, and then once their eyes were uncovered off they ran with us holding on tight. The ride lasts only a minute but is exhilarating to say the least. We all had a lot of laughs.

As we left Oudtshoorn we passed by several ostrich farms. We can't get over how strange it is to drive by farms where we see hundreds of ostriches, much as we would see cows grazing at home.
































We left Oudtshoorn and headed back through the mountains and toward the coast again in the afternoon until we reached Knysna. This resort town lies on a lagoon protected from the Indian Ocean by "The Heads", a massive pair of promontories that are visible from the waterfront area. Knysna is considered one of the nicest towns on South Africa's Garden Route, and we're looking forward to relaxing here before heading further east toward Durban.

After arriving at our chalet at the Knysna River Club, we enjoyed oysters at the Knysna Oyster Company located on Thesen's Island. These oysters are famous throughout South Africa, and are farmed here in the lagoon. Finally, we drove to the viewpoint at The Heads to take in the view of Knysna and its impressive shoreline.

Tomorrow we plan on exploring Knysna's waterfront area, and may also venture out on a boat for a cruise or some whale watching.













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