Have you ever wanted to ride an ostrich a la Swiss Family Robinson? You can, in Willemstad Curacao. But fair warning, it’s a lot harder than it looks.
A few months ago, The Guns and I and some friends took a trip to the Curacao Ostrich Farm. Here we learned how they raise ostriches for meat, eggs, feathers, and really any other products they can get from them (including bones! You know for sculptures and jewelry. Yeah, it’s not weird at all). We got to touch them, feed them, ride them, and then we even ate them (very good, but felt a little weird after getting so up close with them, but hey, the circle of life right?). Fair warning, ostrich riding is a difficult skill that none of us truly mastered. And you will be sore the next day. Or maybe for the next week.
Here are some of my favorite photos from the day.
One day I will put together a video commemorating this experience, for now I just want to explain how this works with the ostriches. So, they’re not exactly cool with you riding them. So these big dudes go and catch one in the pen. Catching one consists of cornering it and throwing a sock on its head and then leading it over to the ridiculous saps that want to live out their ostrich fantasies. They help you get seated on the ostrich, and even though they tell you not to you’ll want to grab the poor bird’s neck. Just think about how you would feel if somebody decided to take you up on a piggyback ride, that you never agreed to, and then grabbed your neck. So they quickly explain that no, grab their wings instead. And then they walk run you up to the end of the road, and you’re about to fall off, but the two dudes make sure you don’t, and THEN they turn you around and take the sock off the ostrich’s head. And then the ostrich runs. Like full speed. And you almost fall off again, and then you get a photo, and then you try really hard to dismount, which is almost as impossible as staying on during the ride and then your inner thighs burn for the next week.
But you should totally do it.
Anybody ever ridden an ostrich?