Wide Wide Wildblood World

Monday, February 02, 2009

After Barber Shops Closed for the Year

As midnight approached on the last evening of 2008. Heide Meyer, hostess at Haus Enzian in Brackenfell, a suburb of Cape Town, decided Alan was too much of a longbrow and begged to trim his facial hair. This was just one of the many services of the versatile Austrian national born in Czechia and her local-native husband, Emil, who served as barbecue chef and valet unparker. Now Alan was enabled to start 2009 with a tickle-free upper lip and an unobscured view of the must-see sites of southern Africa.

Five Flags Over Enzian

Before our arrival from the distant winter, Emil hastily hoisted four flags to represent his guests'nativity and complement his own country's emblem at the top of his pole. The wind from the South Atlantic responded on cue and unfurled the five cloth symbols long enough for a glorious combination of the colors of three continents to be captured and digitized. You are invited to study and admire the harmonious juxtaposition.

And Six Peoples Unfurled

We lined up vertically according to our original allegiance in the same order, Emil at the top for South Africa, then Belgian-from-birth Guy Penninck, followed by Polish-born sisters Maria and Ela née Stempak. Next is ex-Yank Alan Wildblood, and at the very bottom to flesh out Germany, Heid, of Sudentenland roots, obliging the architect of this page and relinquishing her schnitzel-and-edelweiss extraction for the length of the pose. The hostess was always eminently accommodating, and the Protea Heights B&B is highly and unreservedly recommended to travelers incarnating any and all colors.

Abdul Braked for All the Animals

Now, with no bushes to block my vision, I am out in the bush on a nocturnal game tour in Kruger National Park. I wasn't that enthused initially about traveling to South Africa and oogling the animals, but I changed my mind when I was acquainted with the wildebeests and various other wildbloods out on the range. Here I show the ranger who guided our tour a creature I have spotted. Although I asked several people several times, I never got the name of the ranger, one of only three females in the outfit. When we stopped to stretch our legs, only the male tourists emptied their bladders by the side of the road. Driver Abdul had his rifle at the ready in case anybody strayed too far. The photographer was Belgian bankerAndré Nysen, nephew-in-law, who made many a kill on the photo safari. Despite the January heat, I was ordered to wear long pants to avoid insect bites, but the the little beasts weren't biting that night.