Trip Start Jun 25, 2006
127Trip End Aug 01, 2007
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In heading through the Garden Route and Klein Karoo regions we really began to feel like tourists. The economies for most of these towns are built around tourism with all the infrastructure, guided tours, souvenir shops, and "must sees" that come along with it. It is certainly the most tourist-oriented place we've been since Egypt. Not to say it is unpleasant, in fact the range of accommodations and activities available is pretty amazing. It is just that we happened to be here during the absolute busiest time of the year, as the kids are off school for their summer/Christmas holiday, and lots of parents have their vacation planned to coincide, so everywhere in the region is packed with South African families.
One of the most visited tourist destinations in the area is the limestone Cango Caves
Near the caves, the town of Oudtshoorn promotes itself as, "The Ostrich Capital of the World"
After a stop for the night in the town of Swellendam we are heading back to Cape Town tomorrow to get everything ready for the arrival of Katie's parents, sister, and soon to be brother-in-law
Todd pretty much covered everything here, but one quick note on the ostriches...they have fingers. Under their wing, they have two long fingers that each has its very own claw. When you ride an ostrich, you sit on their back, rest their wings/arms on your legs and hold on to the upper part of their wings like handles. But what you aren't expecting are the long talons digging into your legs when the bird takes off running! Hence, the loud shrieking and embarrassment I made of myself.
On our way back to Cape Town, we spent the night in the town of Swellendam along the Garden Route. Several of the brochures I had acquired over the previous week mentioned a place called the Fairy Garden there, yet never really mentioned any details about what the place actually was other than saying that it was "magical." I was finally able to talk Todd into taking me there. When we pulled up to the place, it was a house in a residential neighborhood completely surrounded by a tall fence with a ivy growing all over it, so you still couldn't tell what it was. He really didn't want to go in, and said that it was just going to be a garden with a bunch of tacky fairy statues all around. I protested, and said that we had to go in, particularly it was supposed to be magical, right? Well...it was exactly as he thought... a garden with little statues of fairies, Harry Potter characters, as well as the Seven Dwarfs and little benches in the shape of mushrooms. The couple that owns the place has been running it for 15 years!! And they dress up like fairies everyday, and when you leave they wish fairy hugs, kisses, and protection on you.
Other than that, I am really looking forward to my family arriving!!! It will be so great to see them and get a taste of home!