It was a dark and beautiful night. The moon hadn’t risen, but an excitement brightened the air.
A singular scent heralded Spring: jasmine.
We were crossing a river by bicycle – a balmy, pitch-dark paradise – myself up-front, Boo in her bike seat at the back.
And so we sang together, Boo and I. An expression of our whoop.
I was showing this two-year-old girl the joy of cycling down dirt roads at night.
That the dark is our friend, too.
I opened a beer, mid-river. What a simply perfect way to spend Friday night.
The next day, we headed off to Stellenbosch. To cycle along another river and feast on French macaroons for breakfast. Obviously.
Beth ordered me to turn around mid-Dorp Street. She’d spotted a flock of balloons, tied to a tree, outside a boutique.
The owner kindly gave Boo one.
Clutching her new toy, floating above her head, we pedalled off down the street, beneath the oaks.
We’ve done this 100 times. And we never tire of it.
Like Zorba the Greek.
His mate woke up one morning, hearing the old man Zorba screaming.
He ran down to the beach and saw Zorba in the waves – whooping with delight!
He asked Zorba: “What is it? What are you yelling about so wildly?” – or words to that effect.
Zorba replied: “Look at this place – it’s amazing.”
His friend replied: “But Zorba, we’ve been on this island for six months.”
And Zorba replied: “So?”
Splashing in the ocean waves for the 100th time made it no less amazing…
Just like cycling down Dorp Street, or across our river…
Boo and my next set of adventures are going to be camping, in our 4×4.
I was inspired by a man named Kenneth Jones, who we met in the desert, last year.
He rolled into Luderitz, Namibia, in an old Land Rover Defender TD5 double-cab.
A vastly experienced local explorer, he wore a scarf around his head, for protection from the desert sun, Arab-style.
And with Mr Jones was a Desert Rose. Allegra was just seven-years-old, and wore the gorgeous dark curls of her Italian mother.
But Italian Mom wasn’t hugely excited about camping or adventuring, we learned.
So, since little Allegra was very young, she and her Dad had become partners in adventure.
Cruising through the achingly beautiful desolate splendour of the Namib Desert, she clambered up on to the Landy’s roof on-the-move with seamless ease.
She preferred the views, riding up top, while Dad piloted the Defender below.
She looked more at home in her rooftop tent than most girls do in their Barbie bedrooms.
The outdoor world was in her blood – for life – and she was loving every second of it.
Maybe, when she was a little girl, Mr Jones gave her a little Land Rover, instead of a doll.
So that’s what Boo got too – thanks to an outdoor-junkie girl and guy we know. (Thanks, KBGB.)
Whether Boo and I are out riding or roof-top-tenting – or just shooting the breeze outside on a Spring eve – hopefully Boo’ll grow up seeing the world as a place of endless amazement, exploration, awesomeness and wonder.
As Pitbull sings: “Ziga-ziga ziga-ziga ziga-ziga zow – Who’s got the keys to the world, now!”