The Makatini mounts his trusty two-wheeled balancing machine, bends his knees, leans forward, then glides down the road and over the bridge into Spier Farm. His ‘horse’ responds well. With the wind in the adventurer’s hair and a wee draft up his kilt, he sets off into the vineyards.
The panoramic view of the Hottentot Holland Mountains crests the skyline behind the vineyards. The Merlot, Shiraz and Chenin Blanc vines grow in orderly rows and bring back fond memories of his time at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 1998, watching performances by Scottish pipers, drum bands, highland dancers and world class acts. He remembers how they’d stood to attention in neat, precise straight lines while absorbing the crowd’s rapturous applause. Then how the announcer interrupted to thank those who’d attended the show – especially the “Atlantic Endeavour” crew, about to embark on their adventure of a lifetime. Alistair, Scooby and he had exchanged looks as the bright spotlight caressed the crowd and rested upon them. How blessed they were!
The Segway wobbles over a tree root beside the meandering Eerste River which snakes through the farm, giving life to everything it touches, nourishing the juicy berries. The latter are tenderly handpicked at harvest time, in the cool of the night, then transported to a magical place where they are crafted into award-winning wines.
Riding through an indigenous river forest, the Makatini spots a Malachite Sunbird flitting gracefully through the rays of sunlight, like a dancer deftly lifting her toes across two metal blades, in Scotland’s famous Sword Dance.
‘Whoa!’ He leans backwards abruptly, brings the two-wheeled balancing machine to an abrupt halt, and steps off. Raising an arm, he clicks his heels together and salutes none other than the national flower of South Africa: the King Protea.
The Makatini steps back onto his mount, leans forward again and whisks himself away on an exploration of taste.
Author: Rory Taylor
Edited: Marie-Gaye Barton