On a recent tour to the Cape of Good Hope. I sent my two lovely Russian clients off on the walk that I always recommend to people visiting Cape Point. I told them it was an easy walk, shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes, and advised them to not go down to Dias Beach because the walk back up the cliff is exhausting – it’s quite do-able and they’re young enough but I didn’t want them to regret that climb back up, just in case they’re not very fit 🙂
Off I went to drive around and fetch them at the end. 45 minutes later, no sign of them on the peak. I walked around, chatted to other guides and drivers, took photos of tourists, all the time glancing up at the peak waiting for a sign of my clients. They’d be easy to spot because one of them was wearing a white dress.
At some point I did a double take because this awesome car was parked next to mine and the driver was standing next to the car. Nosy as I am, I asked the question: why that word on the plate? It turned out that he is the grandson of Abraham Perold, the man who pioneered the cultivation of pinotage – South Africa’s very own wine cultivar, and which I am rather fond of. Okay, very fond of. We had a lovely chat about pinotage and the wonders of the grape. The story of pinotage can be read here.
Back to my missing clients. 90 minutes later and still no sign of the white mini-dress. Panic. They fell, they turned back, they can’t call me as I have no signal here, a baboon attacked them, a dassie lured them away. This always happens when people dawdle on this walk while I wait at the bottom – I panic. At the very least I’m going to have to climb up and look for them, at the very worst my clients are injured on a clifftop, or at the bottom thereof.
Eventually they appeared – much relief. Except they weren’t on the path. They went bundu-bashing (meaning: bashing your way through the bush, leaving the path; can sometimes be dangerous but not in this case) because they had dawdled and strayed off the path so couldn’t find it again. They were thrilled with their ‘adventure’ so I didn’t have the heart to tell them that we frown upon bundu-bashing in fynbos, for fear of damaging precious little plants. I taught them the word and told them they are free to brag to all their friends.
It was a great day all around and here’s a bonus photo – my client, Jana, and her gorgeous sunglasses that get tongues wagging. She told me that in London and Moscow no-one gives her a second look but in Cape Town they’re a head-turner. Clearly, we’re more conservative than we like to think.