...seen through a slightly smudged, secondhand pair of rose-tinted glasses

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Gallery - Rewind

I was watching a programme on telly the other night that got me thinking about these photos, and with the Gallery theme being looking back at pictures of old, I thought I'd give them a proper airing.

They were taken on a crazy holiday in South Africa about 15 years ago. Looking at this one here you'd almost think I'd just spotted two naked Irishmen trekking through the wilderness…
Well…funny that…



I'd gone on my own, no plans apart from a few days with a uni friend in Cape Town; free to do as I liked; adventure on my mind. So when some great mates of my friend asked if I wanted to join them on a trip to the Wolfberg Arch in the Cederberg mountains, I said yes. Didn't even hesitate. They were both seasoned travellers, they knew the route and they were a laugh. Why not?

There are some things you just don't think to ask.

It was glorious there: cliffs of red sandstone reaching up into the bright blue sky. We spent the morning climbing a steep dusty path to the ridge, before squeezing through narrow cracks, deep inside the rock - pretty hairy if you're not good in small spaces - so I was mighty relieved when we popped out in what appeared to be another dimension. And it did sort of feel like that; not at all how I'd imagined, but flat as far as the eye could see and dotted with these rock pillars: kind of like prehistoric totem poles. 

Now, I really thought that was going to be the biggest surprise of the day, until I turned round and saw my new best friends stripping off. Everything. Apart from their trainers.

Well. I'm no prude and it wasn't in any way threatening: weird and awkward yes, but not threatening; still, my mind was whirring away - what to do/ say/where to look - in the end I went with pretending to be completely cool about the whole thing. It turned out they did this a lot. They were fully paid up members of the Irish Naturist Association. You do need to be pretty dedicated to walk in the wild Wicklow Hills in the buff. 

It's just no one had thought to tell me.  Anyway it was way too late to do anything other than push on. So I did. At quite a pace. In front.

It was very peaceful, and thankfully deserted. We stopped to look at some of the bushman rock art that's scattered across the Cederberg: perfect setting really for my travelling companions. Apart from the trainers.

All worth it by the time we reached the magnificent Wolfberg Arch. The last bit was tricky enough to negotiate, but nowhere near as tricky as taking the photos. 

Look closely and you'll notice this one's been rather carefully cropped...




Rewinding away with The Gallery!


16 comments:

  1. You spoilsport...why can't we see your friend's willy?

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    1. What are you like!! :)…honestly you'd have needed a powerful magnifying glass...

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  2. That is a hilarious story, Tracey! Of course you wouldn't think to ask if your companions were naturists!! Looks like amazing landscape though - naked companions or not!

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    1. It really is breathtaking - I'd love to go back one day. Such a fun trip too, not at all what I expected (don't just mean this bit!) - probably why it's so memorable!

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  3. Hilarious! Hope they didn't get burnt! #TheGallery

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    1. …tried not to look too hard Mary, but pretty sure they had an all over tan!

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  4. Great story - made me giggle - and fab photos!

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  5. Ha ha, this is hilarious! I wouldn't have known where to look! Did you ever see them again?! I bet it all feels like a dream now!

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    1. it really does! A little envious of the carefree me, would probably over think everything now. Never saw the guys again after the holiday, though I'm sure they're still baring it all in the Wicklow hills and giving unsuspecting hikers something to talk about...

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  6. LOL. LOL. LOL. What a brilliant story, and very, very well told, great descriptions. I don't know how I would have reacted in your situation. Love the cropped photo, and you have a wonderful smile. X

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  7. ..you are far too lovely! So glad you enjoyed it - there are a few more tales from that trip, but they'll keep for another time! x

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  8. They could have told you!! :D That last pic made me laugh, what a great trip! :)

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    1. probably quite a tricky thing to casually drop into a conversation, but my friend knew and thought it would be a laugh not to say! Could have killed him! :)

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