Friday, 2 April 2010
Happy Birthday Boytjie
It's my boy's birthday and he is 23 today!! I miss him. He gives the nicest hugs! Thank goodness for technology. Last night, taking into account the difference in our time zones I was able to speak to him and wish him the best birthday ever.
From a very young age I should have known that he would be different. Our family is academic and he is arty. We are sporty and he .... well ... give him a PC and he will play Online games for 48 hours at a stretch. He has taught me so much about thinking outside the box and going from planning everything ahead to doing things on the spur of the moment. Most of my formative and adult life all excursions and holidays were finely planned. He always bemoaned his lot with these planned getaways so for a while we didn't have any. Then one day sitting at work I decided to treat us both, asked my then boss for a long weekend and went home early. He was surprised to see me and even more surprised when I told him to pack a bag for 4 days. He asked where we were going and I said 'I don't know, you decide.' At that stage we lived in a town that is about a 40 minute drive from Cape Town so it's pretty much at the bottom of Africa. He had the choice of going West, North or East. He chose East. Early the next morning we packed the car and left.
The rules of our getaway were:
1. Each day we would go to a town we had not visited before using back roads (we had travelled the Peninsula quite a lot);
2. Each day we would do something we had never done before
3. We would not make any reservations
4. We would travel until we only had enough petrol money to get back home.
It was the first of the best holidays we ever had together.
As we drove along we noticed a sign advertising quad drives through a forest set on a mountain range and so we turned off the road and went quad riding. We drove to the Southernmost point of Africa, threw pebbles into where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet; visited the lighthouse; found a quaint little restaurant and had some lunch.
He asked where we were sleeping that night and I reminded him that I did not know yet. We ended up sleeping at a different Backpackers every night. The next day we drove further up the coast and did our first ever 62metre bungee jump off the Gouritz River Bridge. We visited a maritime museum and an oceanarium and went to the oldest post office (in South Africa) in Mossel Bay.
Day three (a Sunday morning) we woke early so as to catch the low tide and walked in the freezing cold surf in Plettenberg Bay trying to find a pansy shell. We didn't find one but we did sit and watch a group of christians being baptised in the ocean. Later that morning as we walked around the quiet town I found a jeweller shop that had a tiny pansy shell charm in his window. I telephoned the number and told the man our short story. He lived across the road and unbeknown to me was watching us as we spoke. He promptly came down and opened up the shop so I could buy the charm (I also bought a little lighthouse charm). He was charming (pardon the pun) and as we were about to leave he said to 'Wait a minute' and hurried through to the back of his shop. He came back carrying a little gift box which he gave me. When I opened it, low and behold, lying on a bed of soft cotton was the most beautiful, delicate, complete, pansy shell!
Day four we drove further up the coast and into the forests but found no elephants. (There is now an elephant sanctuary which we visited in Feb 2009). That day, around noon we locked ourselves out of the car, with the keys inside still in the ignition. It shouldn't happen but it did. a young man from a petrol station not far away was able to open up the car for us. He was well rewarded! After eating our lunch we sat and counted our money and we only had enough to get home so, sadly, we turned around and drove home. We had done 1200 kms/745 miles.
This might sound crazy but doing this getaway brought us closer together than we had ever been. We only had each other for company, no tv, no mates. We learned a lot about each other. Now you know why I miss him so.