Sunday, May 1, 2011

High on an ostrich

Hey, you down there. Join me!

Thanks to a voucher I won for a write up I did on my holiday in Kerala, the NST awarded me a 2D/1N stay at the Thistle Resort and Spa in Port Dickson. So we headed  down south, a mere one and a half hour's drive  to enjoy a short break.

Think PD, short for Port Dickson - what springs to mind? Locals will say sandy beaches, resorts, villas, Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve, Cape Rachado Lighthouse, Army Museum, PD Ostrich. I bet there are little secrets of places, not forgetting local food delights that warrant our attention but haven't reached our ears yet.

We decided that ostriches would be an adventure.That hot noon,  we visited PD Ostrich and we were one of the few visitors. Good thing rain hadn't started yet as the recent thunderstorms send me quivering. Have to say, up close with the ostriches in the enclosures was a great experience. These creatures look tame enough but mind you, they are strong - a kick with their feet can be deadly! My 'high' was  the ride I got on the ostrich. First, the animal was 'caught' by the trainers. Then a blanket was placed on its back. A light netting was slipped over its face. Why? To prevent distractions and the ride will be smoother. The animal was guided to the fence railings. Up I clambered. 'Sit further back. Lean back. Hold on to the cloth. Tuck your legs in.' I did all the right things! The owner shouted out,'Hey, you're a natural!'. Ha! ha! all thanks to the trainers who guided the ostrich. More so to the ostrich who didn't throw a tantrum to run beserk. The drama queen in me  had visions of a heap of me bones  lying below his long, long legs!!

We hear of the ostrich burying its head in the sand when it is afraid ( not true!) . Well, the talk by Lana, the owner didn't 'bury' anything.We were glad it was informative. However she pointed out that talking to kids 10 years ago, there was more general knowledge  among them than those nowadays whom she finds lacking  knowledge and curiosity. Well, I hope the fun they get from  a visit here will  stir interest in searching for knowledge, even if it is to listen and watch the wonders on channels like National Geographic.

Staff getting the ostrich ready for my ride.

Cameras roll, ACTION!

Surprised to get a certificate for the fun I got. Thank you ostrich for not jolting me off!

Staff at  PD Ostrich explaining the feeding habits of the animals.

Easy when you know how! - stretch out your hand, palm very flat and allow the ostrich to tuk, tuk  at the feed. Come close enough the fence so as to avoid the ostrich hurting itself to reach you when overstretching its long neck.

Poor lady! Her feathers are not her crowning beauty as they have fallen during this rainy season. They are more suited to their home, the  dry savannas of Africa.

Much curiosity  about the ostrich's eggs. We held one in the hand - be prepared for a 2kg egg !

A baby chick ready to emerge from the shell.

Tough as they come  -  a newly born chick has to KICK its way out of the shell instead of pecking like other chicks.

Leather does not come cheap from an ostrich.  Can you guess which part of the body this belongs to?

1 bag  = 1 ostrich = $$$$$ . If you own one, especially a branded bag , it's worth its weight in gold!

The owner showing us the skeleton of the ostrich. We were amazed at the small size of the brain.

A first for all of us - ostrich satay which belongs to the meat of a one year old ostrich. Verdict  - the reddish meat is rather dense and tastes quite similar to beef. I like it for the fat I didn't see ! Ostrich meat is low in fat and cholesterol, high in calcium, protein and iron.   

Feel the adrenaline, ride an ostrich. It is the 2nd fastest animal on earth after the cheetah!!  Races are on during weekends. How exciting but we missed that.

The tour of the PD Ostrich got us back to nature in  more ways than one.  The farm is  also home to chickens, fowls, monkeys, turkeys, geese, rabbit and goats. Minah 's 7 month old baby, Gigi suddenly had a change of heart. She stopped suckling  and hopped on to my daughter and then nicely plonked herself on my husband's camera. The obvious attraction was the feed  he had in his hand. How she filled herself up! The cutie stayed awhile and was so much at home, squatted on the Nikon camera very close to my hubby.

Oblivious to our  interest in her, Gigi just stuffed herself  with the goodies!  Extra storage in the cheeks!


  1. This is interesting! I didn't know one can ride an ostrich. I've seen them pecked when we fed them in D'Paradise. No wonder the head is covered. I thought it is very creative of them to come up with such a cert. Clever of you to take a pic on that one. :) May you win more contests.

  2. What a wild ride! That monkey is adorable, sitting right on the camera. Thanks for sharing your grand adventure!!!

  3. I didn't know an ostrich could be ridden either! Those eggs! Congratulations--winning the contest!

  4. Very brave of you to ride on the ostrich!! I might just ride one the next time I visit PD!

    Have a nice day, Keats!

  5. Very interesting post!
    Those birds are huge...I'm not sure I would ride on, not my kind of sport! :)

  6. Oh, this must be a fun adventure, riding an ostrich and having a baby monkey so close by! Very nice to do lah.

  7. Amazing pictures! I like the baby ostrich in shell and the little monkey!

  8. I also agree with these comments...
    What a very interesting post!

  9. Hello, thanks for visiting and commenting.
    I did not realise that one could ride an Ostrich.
    Enjoyed the snow in Amsterdam.

  10. What a lovely post! Sounds like fun!

  11. What a fun and lovely adventure! I would be too afraid to climb on an ostrich! I like the witty certificate and a fun one to display on your wall at home! I'm glad you won the contest!

  12. You make me high too with the ostrich ride, get on! congrats for the contest, you are the lucky one!

  13. I feel rather sorry for the ostriches, Keats! First they ride them, then they skin them, then they eat them. And we call them brainless. Poor dears! I have been pecked by ostriches before. It didn't hurt. Their beaks are blunt. I was feeding them corn from a container and I was wearing a baseball jacket with white buttons. The ostriches thought that the buttons were corn kernels and pecked them off.

  14. What an amazing adventure you've had there, and I would not try the ostrich meat if I see how it was prepared either :-)

    The last photo seals the deal for me! Just adorable..

  15. Keats, looks like you had lots of fun. Good for you:D Keep smiling my friend.

  16. Nice ride lucky the ostrich did not take off haha..btw are they blind folded in a way? Can they still see where they are heading?

  17. Hi Keats,
    Just stopping by again, to wish you
    "Happy Mother's Day"!

  18. Wow! thanks for this info. I want to go to PD when Im back in Malaysia and I am sure my kids will love this, so educational too!

  19. What an awesome experience! I think that would be unforgettable to ride an ostrich!
    I hope you had a good mother's day, too!


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