The Garden Route, Part Oudtshoorn

5 Dec

Oudtshoorn is an old town which was built up around the Ostrich feather boom prior to World War I. Back then, Ostrich feathers were like gold, but the market for feathers dried up. The town, though not as rich as it once was, is still there, and is still in the Ostrich business, only now the leather, not the feathers, is the most valuable product they export. Just outside of town there are also a few waterfalls, a meerkat ranch, and the Kango Caves. We did our best to see some of what the town had to offer one day by biking a 54 km route past many of the sites.

Dane:  We arrived the night before but only had dinner and signed up for the bike ride. The waterfalls and the meerkats didn’t fit into the bike trip, so they were saved for the following day.

Eric:  The bike ride was cool.

Alan:  It was long. Too long for a cobblestone rode.

Dane:  The seats were also too small.

Eric:  I liked the first part. The top of the mountain where we were actually mountain biking.

Dane:  That’s the part you wiped out on.

Eric:  I was going to leave that bit out.

Alan:  Your favorite part was the part where you messed up the most.

Eric:  I also had a flat tire.

Dane:  That wasn’t your fault, though.

Alan:  It might have been the baboons.

Eric:  I also like the beginning in the mountains because there were baboons.

Dane:  The worst part of the flat tire was that none of us knew how to fix it.

Alan:  And none of us had the app on our phone.

Eric:  Luckily we were near the caves at that point, maybe only two kilometers away, so I was able to walk it there and get help.

Dane:  The staff at the caves were so good at changing that bike tire.

Eric:  They put us to shame.

Alan:  The caves were pretty cool.

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Eric:  They were massive.

Dane:  At least for the tour we were on.

Alan:  Yeah, it would have been interesting to do the long tour and go crawling and climbing through the deeper parts of the cave.

Eric:  Where people get stuck.

Dane:  I thought it was cool that they used to have concerts down in the largest part of the cave and that the acoustics in there were naturally suited for such a thing.

Eric:  Until people started wandering away from the concert to vandalize the cave.

Dane:  People are such idiots.

Alan:  The ostrich farm was also fun. The best part was Dane got to ride one. Or maybe the best part was when the guy pointed to me and Eric and said we were too heavy to ride one.

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Eric:  No, that wasn’t the best part.

Dane:  We all know your favorite part, Eric, when the ostriches gave you a neck massage.

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Eric:  It was relaxing. What can I say? My least favorite part was when an ostrich bit my finger. My favorite part was how much water we got to drink.

Dane:  The bike ride was certainly exhausting. It was nice to stop at the ostrich farm and the Kango Caves as a break.

Alan:  It was a good bike ride, but most of it was on the road. It wasn’t really mountain biking, which is what I had initially pictured it would be.

Dane:  Yeah, the last 20 km of the ride were not that great.

Eric:  Let’s talk about the meerkats.

Dane:  I didn’t go on this little adventure with Alan and Eric because it was too early in the morning and too expensive.

Alan:  They were really cool to see, but we got unlucky with the weather.

Eric:  It was cold and windy, so the meerkats stayed hidden mostly, but it was nice to see them when they finally emerged. I also think it’s cool the way they stand straight up.

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Dane:  Anything else?

Eric:  Nope.

Dane:  Do we need to talk about the waterfall?

Eric:  I don’t think so. It was a waste.

Alan:  It was a long drive out of our way for not that much. I mean the waterfall was nice. It just wasn’t worth it.

Dane:  The bike ride, ostrich farm, and Kango Caves were definitely the highlights. Of course, I would recommend for people to stop there for the day if they get the chance.

Eric:  I agree.

Dane:  After the long detour to the waterfall, we headed down to the coast to a little beach town called Knysna, our next stop on the graden route.

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One Response to “The Garden Route, Part Oudtshoorn”

  1. jproux December 6, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    hahaha, glad you made it to Oudtshoorn. We had many sheep crossing the road back into town when we did the bike ride. Made it feel less road-esque. Still, sorry; now I feel partly responsible for the pain and the puncture. Good luck on the next leg!

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