November 7: Schoemans Poort Gorge to Cango Caves

The weather has finally turned. Sun and clear skies welcome the group as they rise. The air is a little cool but there is no rain in the forecast and the smoke and fire from days past are long in the distance. The rains have helped control the fires from spreading, so it is a "go" day with a full itinerary ahead.

First is a drive through the Schoemans Poort Gorge and up into the hilltops to the Cango Caves. The caves themselves are over 100 million years old only discovered accidentally in the late 1800s. Several large chambers are open to the public with a vast majority either not open to the public because of safely or not explored to the fullest at this stage. The exploration of the caves also included a rare and wonderful experience of the guide singing very quietly and clearly "Ave Maria" in one of the chambers to demonstrate the fantastic acoustical features of this natural wonder.

This area is also known as the Ostrich Capital of the World. The environment is ideal for ostrich thus a proliferation of ostrich farms dot the countryside. The animal is bred primarily now for its meat, but at one time there was in big demand for its feathers. In the 1800s and early 1900s it was very fashionable to wear the feathers either on hats or boas. The invention of the car change all that because the hats and boas would blow off the person wearing them thus creating a less than desirable ride.

Natural Beauty

Cango Caves Chamber #1

Cango Caves Chamber #2

Cango Cave Chambers #3

The Vista Around the Caves

Margaret Welcoming Everyone To the Ostrich Sanctuary

Becky (with Hat), Sonja Arriving At Sanctuary

Sonja, Our Guide!

CJ Arriving For Lunch

Chris Coming to Lunch At Ostrich Sanctuary

Pygmy Ostrich

Jackie Feeding the Little One

Becky and Her New Friend

Kit: "Okay, I Won't Hurt You!"

Jackie: "I Want One!"

Sue: "Almost Tall Enough To Pet!"

Adam, 24 Years Young

Adam's Foster Child

Becky Getting a Neck Massage

Chris Getting One Too!

Jackie Not Sure She Likes It

Margaret Loving It!

Becky: "Look I am Standing on The Eggs and They Aren't Breaking!"

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