Travel Journal

Strasberg Mountains

(Friday 24 April 2009) by Dopps Family
Garden Route (Prince Albert and Outshoorn):
Yesterday, April 19th, we packed up our bags at the Ostrich Palace and proceeded to travel Strasberg Pass. Strange thing about ostriches here, when we first drove through the West Cape park (which required an entrance fee) we marveled at the ostriches that were few and far between and wondered why the brochure didn’t even mention ostrich as one of the animals to see in the park. Now that we’ve traveled for awhile and further into the country it’s obvious that ostrich are no different than sheep or cattle here. They are raised, herded and slaughtered just like cattle and sheep and are everywhere. In fact, I think there are more ostrich than cattle in SA.
The owner at the B&B told us that our car wouldn’t be able to travel the road down to Die Heel, or “The Hell”, since the road was is very bad shape due to storm and flood damage. However, the gravel/dirt/rut road over the shear mountains of the Strasberg Mountains was about all our Corolla could handle – let alone the road to “The Hell” that turned off it this road on the other side. It’s the kind of road you go up and down in first (sometimes second) gear and requires a bit of negotiation when meeting oncoming traffic for whose going to back up to the nearest pullout. The area reminded us of the Grand Canyon – except this time it seemed we were actually driving in and out of it and the rock layers where horizontal, vertical and in eerie waving patterns that must have been the result of tremendous seismic or volcanic activity long ago.
On the other side of this mountain range is Prince Albert, where we spent the night with the honking of geese waking us between 2 and 3am. It was here I figured out why I saw a man the other day with a 2-liter coke bottle filled with milk. The local dairy here (like others) sells fresh milk and yoghurt as well as refills in just about any container a customer brings in. Again we spent only 1 night here (been doing this for the last several days now) and decided to finally get to Oudtshoorn where we visited the Cango Wildlife Park. For some reason we’ve been lucking out with these parks. During the tour the guide mentioned they would be feeding the lions today and that they only feed them 1 or 2 times per week. We had already seen the cheetah, lions and white tigers and the tour had already finished when Carola and I spotted some workers and then saw them open a gate and drive a truck loaded with animal carcasses towards the lion area. So we went back and watched the show from the safe overhead bridges. Man, what a sight to see these creatures coming running from their cages attack and tear into these carcasses.


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