Wild spirits fly off route

I have not yet travelled the world. I do not know the secrets of the universe, or even why I prefer letters to numbers. I do not know why the moon has an amber colour when it rises, but I know its beauty when it does.

And I am beginning to understand the wonders of South Africa.

Last week, on Valentine’s Day I started a journey along the famous Garden Route Coast of Western Cape. Unfortunately I did not have a lot of time since I had to be back in town six days later when my mom and her friend, who is like an extra mother to me, would arrive.

But that was then. On the journey, it was all about the Now.

In Buffalo Bay, outside Knysna I stayed at a backpacker’s right on the beach. There, I took long walks on the beach, swam naked in the ocean, read books, played some pool, partied with other fellow travellers, shared life stories and a couple of Captain Morgan’s and finished the night introducing a young South African boy to the Swedish music of José GonzalesTingsek and Tiger Lou

The next day I continued on my travel to Nature’s Valley where I found a sanctuary called the Wild Spirit Lodge This is a place where you know immediately, you will not want to leave.

The energy of this place wraps around you like the blanket that keeps you warm under the stars you sleep. It washes over you like the hidden waterfall you find in the forest and it amazes you like the moon that rises over the tree tops.

I met some wonderful people there and time really held its breath for a moment, allowing us to open up and absorb the atmosphere. I had just come back from an after noon swim in the waterfall when a young woman faced me on the footpath. She had a dream catcher earring and there was a feather that dangled from it. I had taken out my Ipod to listen to a song. She was in tune with nature. I was wearing a funky designed hoodie. She wore a cotton netted top.

She spoke of Earth and elements.

I spoke too much of nonsense.

The next day we went kayaking together and while cruising down the river we got to know pieces and glimpses of each other, and of ourselves.

I was sad to leave Wild Spirit but boosted with good energy. Also, the adrenaline from jumping the World’s highest Bridge Bungee Jump of course, which I did in Storm’s River. What was so great about the experience was that I did not hesitate for a moment. I knew when I signed up I was going to do it.

I smiled all the way along the ramp, to the middle of the bridge, up to the edge and down the 216 meters fall.

I think the moment when I left ground was the coolest. It was like being sucked into a vacuum. I could feel the force of gravity and even though everything flashed by so quickly and mountains and green trees and the river below all blended into one, there was a moment when I bounced up almost to my feet and stood in open air and the sun hit my face.

I was still smiling when they pulled me back up.

Jeffreys Bay. The Surfer’s Mecka of South Africa, known for supertube waves and Backpackers. And…let’s see, nothing else. I came on an overcast rainy day. There were two surfers in the ocean. I had 12 hours to kill. There was a lot of hanging around that day. But just before I left the sky gave me a present in red and gold and I left the place with love in my heart.

I flew back to Cape Town from Port Elizabeth in the morning. It was only an hour’s flight so I landed at the airport two hours before my mom and her friend. Waiting for them at the arrivals was a beautiful display of hugs, kisses and tears, homecomings and excited first visitors. I sat and watched with tears of joy, imagining stories of what had brought these people here, how long they had been gone or for how long they would stay. What type of traveller they were. By the time my mom and Inger came smiling around the bend I was wound up and emotional.

They were the excited first visitors. I was the homecoming type.