Thursday, May 31, 2007

Spontaneous Adventure Thursday #2

Yes, that's right - another Thursday has come an gone. Can you believe it? And we certainly didn't let it go to waste! After our TopTots play group in George in the morning, we drove through the Outeniqua Mountains to Oudtshoorn, once again. This time it was just me & the baby, and our plan was to head out to the Cango Wildlife Ranch... before it's too late! :-)

It only took us about an hour to reach our destination, even with me stopping a couple times for some amazing photos. No matter how often we drive on these passes, it seems we have to stop for photos and a some of that clean, crisp, mountain air. In fact, the drive itself usually rivals whatever we've planned on doing for the day. I'm going to so miss this place!

Anyhoo, we spent a few hours at the Cango Wildlife Ranch, which they could have just as easily named "Zoo of the Klein Karoo" - or "Oudtshoorn Zoo". That's not to say that the animals aren't treated well, they are, but some are in fairly small spaces (like the birds of prey and crocs), and I just couldn't stand to see the Knysna Loeries confined to a small greenhouse-type enclosure. Those birds are just too beautiful for captivity. In the same enclosure though, as if on cue, a couple of dainty little blue duikers (a type of fawn) came tiptoeing out from behind the bush, right up to my very fingers for a quick sniff. It was the first (and it may be the only) time I have ever seen a duiker, and they are so cute!

Other animals that we saw include wallabies (Lukas got a real kick out of them), pygmy hippos (also a favorite!), cheetah, leopards, tigers, lions, meerkats, turtles, tortoises, various fish and bird-life, snakes, and your typical petting-farm animals (sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, and chickens). I don't think Lukas could have possibly enjoyed it any more, and it was small enough that we could easily see everything before he got too cranky and tired.

The ride home couldn't have been any more perfect. The moon, which was full, was peeking out from behind the mountains, mirroring into the rivers and creeks, and, as if competing with one another, the sun was showing off to our right, leaving traces of her signature colors as she dipped behind the rolling hills. In the midst of all of this, my camera battery died, leaving me with no choice but to silently enjoy this once-in a lifetime show, committing it to only my memory. For music, we started on a high note with Dan Zanes, but decided to switch to India.Arie for a more memorable trip. As we drove over Robertson's Pass, and India sang...
There's hope - It doesn't cost a thing to smile - You don't have to pay to laugh - You better thank God for that
...the fog approached. By the light of the moon, we could easily see it, rolling over the mountains in thick sheets so typical of this area. I really love seeing that (far more than I enjoy driving in it).

It was another special day, in a very special country.

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