A Travellerspoint blog

No ostrich for me, thank you

The town of Oudtshoorn definitely centers around ostriches. There are several ranches that offer tours, at least one where you can ride an ostrich, every restaurant seems to feature ostrich on the menu, and there are items made from feathers and ostrich leather everywhere. We bucked the trend and did not tour a farm or eat any ostrich. We did visit the Cango Caves and took a tour - outstanding! And we toured the Cango Wildlife Ranch...not as outstanding.

The wildlife ranch bills itself as a conservation center, but Baylie and I were both a little confused about the explanation of their cheetah breeding program that really just seemed to feed their "cheetah encounter" photographs that you could pay extra for. The meerkats and the crocodiles seemed perfectly content, but neither of us really like the concept of zoos and we left feeling a little skeptical about their "mission".
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Posted by Pelham Family 11:28 Archived in South Africa Comments (1)

SEVEN HOURS!

Just stare at this picture for seven hours...don't look away...keep staring...it will be just like you were on the drive with us!
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At least I had the gale force winds trying to blow me off the highway the whole time to keep me sharp!
We did make it Oudtshoorn and found the Earthbound Bed and Breakfast, which is another heavenly little place in our winning streak of places to stay. Tomorrow we are going to check out the Canga Caves.

Posted by Pelham Family 10:42 Archived in South Africa Comments (1)

Treasure Hunting in the Diamond Mines

Enjoyed not driving today, but tomorrow we continue toward the coast. Not sure where we will stop, but plan to put in about six hours on the road. We are aiming for Oudtshoorn - "the ostrich capital of the world". Guess we'll take a tour of an ostrich farm, but not sure an ostrich steak really sounds very appealing.

Today we toured the Big Hole of the Kimberley diamond mine. It was an interesting tour and a nice little walk around the restored historical town from the 1800's. We also ate at McDonald's, which we do more often when we travel than we ever do at home. To our credit, we did try to eat at a local restaurant called The Lemon Tree, but it is closed on Sunday. I have to say that Big Mac was amazing.
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Posted by Pelham Family 08:07 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Life is A Highway...

The real scoop on driving here

So in my last post I talked about the crazy potholes and the adventure of driving. We were coming down from the mountains on some back roads and through some very small towns and the road did get a little nuts in places. However, when you hit the main freeways they are mostly toll roads and they are PRISTINE! The road signs are awesome, the lines on the road are so perfect and detailed that driving on the left is absolutely no problem at all, there is virtually no trash on the sides of the roadway, and every other driver is doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing. Driving through Johannesburg the freeways are five lanes across in both directions with a small fraction of the traffic you would have in LA, everyone is driving the speed limit, and it is virtually stress free. Also, you aren't allowed to pump your own gas and I have to say I am getting spoiled by the full service gas stations! Despite a few potholes, this country is designed for road trips!

We bit off a huge chunk of driving today and went for about six hours straight on a stretch of highway that looked exactly like Interstate 5 between Bakersfield and Sacramento, so not too exciting. We made it to the historical diamond mining town of Kimberley. Tomorrow we are going to check out the main attraction called "The Big Hole". I understand it is a really big hole...pictures to follow :) We're staying at another great bed and breakfast called the 75 On Milner. The room is gigantic, the owner is super friendly, and there is a huge bath tub - perfect after the long day of driving.

Posted by Pelham Family 09:23 Archived in South Africa Comments (1)

Potholes!

Driving here is an adventure

So today we drove from Graskop to Pretoria. Up and down misty mountains, past the stunning Blyde Canyon, through green pine forests and thick wet jungle. We also bounced, crashed, swerved, bumped, and fell in and around a thousand potholes that would have swallowed us in a smaller car. We stopped half way at one of the many great highway rest stops and actually had the best food we have eaten since we got here at a fast food place called Nando's. It was a spicy bowl of rice, shredded chicken, and vegetables with some kind of magic sauce - SO GOOD! We eventually made it to the wonderful Bed and Breakfast in Hatfield and are now trying to figure out exactly where we go from here. There were devastating fires several days ago in at least two of the towns along what is known as the Garden Route along the coast to Cape Town. The road is reopened, but I'm sure there are areas that will not be back up and running for quite a while. The towns of Knysna and Port Elizabeth got the worst of it I think, but I'm sure the resources in the other nearby towns are being effected. Not sure if tourists should be driving through or not.

In other news, I have finally uploaded some of the animal shots from Kruger, so I'm moving on from the safari photos. Of course there are a million more, some of them actually pretty great, so maybe I will hold my family captive when I get back and make them look at all of them :)

Onward to Cape Town!

Posted by Pelham Family 08:09 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

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