Thank you Annie B, that was special.
I would like to tell my own Bruce Brydon story so that those on the forum who never met him can get a glimpse of what he was like.
My twin daughters were turning 18. I was really at a loss at what to get them for such a special birthday. When a email arrived offering a spoor tracking course with Bruce Brydon, I was one of the first to jump on. This, I thought was the most perfect gift, one that would last forever.
The day arrived and what followed was a true MM "mis"-adventure.
We had to meet Bruce and the other participants at 2pm sharp
at the Hamilton Library. The intructions were explicit that we would be taken to the camp by an official vehicle.
We left J'burg in good time, but we chose the same day as a major truck accident on the main highway. All roads to Witbank were completely closed until the truck could be moved.
My daughters and I sat in gridlocked traffic until 9am. That gave us very little time to get to Kruger on time. We tried desperately to get someone to alert the organisors of our predicament. A very kind lady told us that she would do her best, but she was not sure if anyone at Kruger was in cell phone range.
With a racing heart, MM sped towards her destination. Due to the panic, she completely missed the 80km signs at Belfast. After another compulsory stop and a R1500 traffic ticket, the race went on.
Eventually we reached Nelspruit. Unfortunately, again a turning was missed and we found ourselves on the route to Kruger, but via the airport. The road was busy being upgraded and my poor little Honda Civic was having to do 4x4 tricks. This was without doubt the scenic route.
We eventually arrived at Skukuza, half an hour late, and pulled in at Hamilton Library. By then there were 3 very shaken and stirred females.
I got out of my car and looked around. I did not see a soul who seemed to be looking out for us. After a minute a very tall gentleman sauntered up to me.
"Are you the people from J'burg who were stuck in a traffic jam?", he asked.
I answered, we were.
"Oh dear", he said, "your group left a few minutes ago".
I was about to burst into tears, but then I saw a twinkle in his eyes... he burst out laughing, gave me a hug and asked me if we were ok.. that was Bruce Brydon.
I got to know that twinkle very well over the next few days. He realised that I was a complete guilable novice and would feed me with the most outragious stories.. and then, as I was standing open mouthed, the twinkle would appear and he would start to laugh. I had been taken in again
To say that this was a trip to remember would be an understatement. It was a turning point in my life as my love for the bush was re-ignited.
Bruce was larger than life. He kept us spell bound as he introduced the bush into our lives. He was a story teller of note and his intelligent understanding of many aspects of the bush and Kruger was greatly appreciated.
At the completion of our weekend, I felt that I had met a giant, someone who had lived life to the full.