Ostrich eggs are not in season in June in South Africa and the backpackers/hostel that we were staying at only served up ostrich eggs for breakfast when they were in season. I was with two friends of mine, Tim and Bryan, who I picked up at the airport a couple days ago in Cape Town and we came to Oudtshoorn - the ostrich capital of the world - to indulge in everything ostrich.
|Grocery shopping for breakfast: ostrich eggs and|
"Do you have any ostrich eggs?" The owner of the backpackers was on the phone calling around to grocery stores in the area to find one with ostrich eggs in stock. "How much? Forty rand. Okay, thanks."
He gave us directions to the store and we took off to buy two ostrich eggs and some ostrich sausage so we could make ourselves some breakfast in the morning. We made it back by 6:30pm so we could join in the ostrich steak braai that the backpackers was having that night. The lean medium rare ostrich steak was enjoyed by all. Before going to bed the owner told us to come and get one of the women in front in the morning to show us how to open the ostrich egg because he wasn't going to be around.
|Tim making scrambled ostrich eggs|
Julia came into the kitchen with a small rock in the morning and began hammering a hole in the top tip of the egg. After making a hole in the shell she took a knife to pierce the membrane and began to shake the contents of the egg - equivalent to 24 chicken eggs - into a bowl. We made scrambled eggs and omelets out of roughly a third of the egg and the three of us could not eat any more. We were told that frying an ostrich egg didn't work very well because aside from the difficulty of flipping the egg the white of the egg didn't solidify like that of a chicken. We tried it anyway and result wasn't anything appetizing.
Done with the steak and eggs, we wanted to settle our wagers on the ostriches themselves. It was raining that morning and we were told that the farms wouldn't allow people to ride the ostriches when the ground was went because the ostriches would slip in the mud. So we continued on along the southern Coast of South Africa and came back to Oudtshoorn a couple days later when it was hot and dry. We stopped at a few ostrich farms before finding one that would let us take the ostriches out on our own. This was a negotiation involving endless explanations of why tourists are not allowed to race the ostriches followed by an agreement that if we would "work something out" with the guides and jockeys we could race the ostriches.
|Bryan and I ostrich racing|
After a few minutes getting used to the awkward balancing act of riding an ostrich around in the corral we headed over to the racetrack. I raced the ostrich jockeys twice. I won the first time with a little help - a head start and a guy running behind me to ensure I didn't fall off. The second time against the jockeys I didn't have any help - I came in last. Now it was time for the big race against my friend Bryan. Offers for helmets and "assistance" were refused. We mounted our respective birds, the gate swung open and the race was on. Bryan was in the lead early on and near the half way point the gap between us was getting larger. It looked like Bryan was going to win the ostrich race wager - until the turn came up... and he fell off his ostrich.