08 November 2007

Cango, Cango, Kango!

Guess what we had for breakfast? Guess! Guess!

Hah... scrambled ostrich egg! :-D With cheese, tomato, and toast. Yoghurt, cereal, juice and coffee (or tea) was also included in the breakfast. Yum!

Ostrich egg is quite interesting, with a richer flavor and texture that was nothing like chicken eggs at all. I really enjoyed it. Ostrich eggs are supposed to be the most unhealthy thing from an ostrich you can eat because of the high cholesterol level. Otherwise, ostrich meat is very lean and healthy. And tasty :-)

Cango Caves! We had been looking forward to this for quite some time. And of course we were going to do the adventure tour!

The adventure tour involves a lot of crawling in very narrow passages, climbing up “chimneys,” and sliding through “postbox slots.” The caves are warm (18-20 C) and very humid, so you get very sweaty, and it can be somewhat problematic if you're asthmatic, so if you are asthmatic and want to do the tour, it would be a good idea to take your inhaler. Be sure you wear lightweight clothes that you can climb in, especially when the humidity and sweat make the clothes stick to your body, good shoes, a headlamp if you have one, and keep stuff to a minimum – no big camera bags like boyfriend of feitpingvin and I had. (It went OK, but it was rather annoying.) You'll crawl around on the cave floors and sometimes it will be wet, but you won't get very dirty. We were surprised over this...

Alvin going through "The Postbox"

The only time I had a little bit of trouble was when I climbed up the chimney, because of my shoulder injury. Fortunately, I managed...

I'm glad I didn't get my fat ass stuck in the narrow passages. But people getting their fat asses stuck in the narrow passages has happened; early this year, this woman went on the adventure tour. Despite being warned not to. She got stuck in “lover's lane.” For 10 hours. Other people were trapped because of this. I can only imagine how badly it sucked for them...

We had actually talked about this with our hostess and her family in King William's Town, when we mentioned we were planning on going to Cango Caves. They said “she was enormous!” and even gestured to indicate a very wide girth. We also asked some of the people working in the information booths at Cango Caves, and they were all like “well, you know, she was warned...” and generally kind of polite about it. Our guide, a petite and fit young woman, was not very diplomatic about discussing that particular incident. She mentioned that rescue workers brought food to the people who were trapped by this woman, and that as they were passing the food along, the woman asked for a muffin, and everyone was screaming "what?! You want a muffin?! The last thing you need..."

So now there's soap and Vaseline readily available to the guides hahaha...

And there is now a disclaimer in the information pamphlet for Cango Caves – you have to be lean and fit to do the adventure tour. I don't see the disclaimer on the Website though... weird...

The caves themselves are very beautiful and fascinating. You have to see it to believe it...

Cango Wildlife Ranch
Our next stop was the Cango Wildlife Ranch. We were quite hungry, so we had lunch first. We went to a restaurant called "Turtles" - there was an enclosure with a pair of tortoises nearby. I photographed some swallows that were darting about the dining area, and then we sat down and ordered lunch. I ordered the crocodile filet, and boyfriend of feitpingvin ordered the crocodile ribs. It's not every day you get to eat crocodile!

While we were waiting for our food, I noticed something going on in the tortoise enclosure. So I went to have a closer look, and... well... the big tortoise was up on top of the other smaller tortoise. He was humping along, and making this really strange noise. I snapped a few shots and went back to the table; we could hear him from the table. They went on for quite some time, and the tortoise underneath kept trying to get away. We later learned that both tortoises are male, and that the big one is named Bonk and he likes to bonk everything ;-)

bonking Bonk

Anyway, our food arrived, and as usual in this country, everything looked great and the portion was enormous! And the taste – YUM! Crocodile is neutral like chicken, though with a “fishier” taste. This crocodile was very tender, and marinated with a very nice flavor. It was served with rice, vegetables, and salad.

crocodile filet

The ribs, which I got to sample, were quite different from the filet, which comes from the tail. The ribs had a more “meaty” flavor and different texture. They were still quite delicious ;-)

crocodile ribs

After lunch, we had a guided tour of the ranch. There were way too many people on it. Other than that, it was nice. We saw lots of birds, some crocodiles (including one that jumped up from the water to grab some meat from this guy's hand), lemurs (including one with a baby), meerkats, large cats, and other cool creatures.

Kango Winery
After our visit to the ranch, we headed back into town so that we could do a tasting at the Kango Winery before they closed. The winery is within walking distance of Backpacker's Paradise, and as we weren't in a hurry, we stopped by a few shops to find a hat for boyfriend of feitpingvin, to replace the one the monkeys stole from him at Moholoholo. He managed to find three ;-)

Hmm, I just realized I didn't tell that story. The quick and easy version was that boyfriend of feitpingvin left his hat in the car when we went into Moholoholo. The window was open slightly, and it was apparently just enough for the monkeys to get in, take the hat, and take off again. So when we returned to the car, no hat. It was unlikely someone in the area would have stolen it. Just the darn cheeky monkeys...

OK, back to the wine. Wow, for a little winery in a semi-desert region, they make some really nice wines! Mini Wolfgang was having a good time – the friendly staff made sure his tasting glass was never empty! The white wines were very nice and refreshing, and the reds were brilliant, especially that blend we had with our dinner at Jemima's. We bought a bottle to take home to Norway, as well as a bottle of Swartberg Pinotage Reserve.

Mini Wolfgang visits Kango Winery!

On our way back from the winery, we stopped in this one fancyish shop that sold ostrich leather products and big, fluffy boas. I bought myself a beautiful white boa, with brown flecks. “Au naturel” - boas come from the wings of female ostriches and that is the natural coloring. It is absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to use it!

We ate dinner at Paljas Restaurant. We each ordered ostrich liver paté as a starter; this was very nice. I had the Moroccan chicken with lemon, garlic and chili for my main course, and boyfriend of feitpingvin had the Cape Malay chicken curry (“Bo Kaap-style”).

ostrich liver paté at Paljas Restaurant

Moroccan chicken at Palja's

Cape Malay-style chicken curry at Palja's

Our wine was the Porcupine Ridge Sauvignon blanc 2007
color: too dark to see
nose: gooseberries, hint of grapefruit peel
palate: dry and refreshing with flavors of gooseberries and citrus fruits. OK with spicy food, but not the best choice. Otherwise a very lovely wine.
grade: :-)+

Hahaha, we're sitting in the outdoor area, and there's this stage out here for shows and whatnot... one can only imagine... ;-)

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