Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Baz Bus; Oudtshoorn

The Baz Bus; Oudtshoorn

A bus service called the Baz Bus drives up and down the eastern coast of South Africa, from Cape Town to Johannesburg. It stops in front of hostels and you can get on and off as much as you want. I bought a 2-week pass for a little over $200. The bus is like an airport shuttle and seats 19 people. Your bags go in a little trailer attached to the back of the bus. My destination was a town called Oudtshoorn for a cave tour and ostrich farm tour.

The Crowd:

On the bus there was a cliquish group of 5 Americans in their 20's, a guy in his 50's, a Canadian, a Brit, and the first Israeli I've encountered.

I made it to Oudtshoorn by 4:00, went for a run, and was in bed by 10:00.

The next day, I signed up for the cave tours and ostrich farm. I was to be accompanied by the clique of 5 Americans. (Eventually, they started talking to me and things were fine. At one point, they were discussing an old "45-year-old lady" they worked with. I'm guessing they couldn't tell that I'm 48.)

The Cango Cave tour exceeded expectations. I was expecting the equivalent of a petting zoo filled with rocks. Instead the tour included climbing some very narrow, slippery chutes. (one woman in our group couldn't fit. A tour guide explained that a woman got stuck the previous week for 6 hours. Eventually, they applied lube to her and tugged her out.)

The ostrich farm also exceeded expectations. First, some facts about ostriches.
- 1 ostrich egg is the equivalent of 2.5 dozen chicken eggs.
- the birds can live till 80 years old.
- the males have a large toenail that can evicerate you with one good kick.

To impress us with his bravery, the guide went into a pen with two breeding ostriches and grabbed a baby for us to hold. The ostriches didn't do anything to him. The birds hissed a little, but we didn't get to see any of the guide's internal organs get spilled onto the ground. I guess you have to pay extra to see that.

Tip of Week: How to Ride an Ostrich
- Mount the bird and lean back to where you feel like your about to fall off.
- put your feet under his wings
- grab the wings like a steering wheel.
- fall off
- As my father always says, if life gives you toss, you just have to get back on that ostrich.