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Kian Barker
Shakabarker Tours

Kian Barker



Australian chivalry, it is alive and well!

During late May we had a large passenger Cruise-liner dock at Richards' Bay from Australia. This ship had the capacity to carry 2000 passengers and 1250 staff to attend to their needs. This area does not get many Australians. In one moment we received more Australians than have ever visited this area in a couple of years. Some had visited this area before, but for most of them it was a first time. The harbour was a buzz with buses, coaches, kombis and game drive vehicles, all transporting guests in a variety of directions.

Since my guests had a one hour drive to the iMfolozi Park, it allowed a little time to get familiar with them, hear about their lives in Australia and what decided them to visit South Africa. With the usual introductions out of the way, we started chatting about all sorts of topics including 4x4. If you own a Land Rover and you find someone that has the same vehicle, it is easy to strike up a lengthy conversation. Often these conversations are interrupted animals and sightings along the way. By the end of the day you usually have new tales of Land Rover ownership.

Well, one charming couple that had spent quite a bit of time traversing the outback in their trusty Discovery (love-hate for most), enjoyed their time together and apart. When apart, his wife was checking river crossings before Jim drove their vehicle through the river. At this moment I said: "Err..., What about the crocs?". He seemed unconcerned and I said: "Australian Chivalry!!" Seemed really strange, but his wife said that she was quite happy to be the depth tester, and would not want anyone else to take her job. "Okay", I thought "Whatever blows your socks off". Although I could see one day he would do it and there would be a croc waiting right there. In fact she was so good at this task that other 4x4 users would be willing to wait for her to clear a river and pass after the crossing was safe and the best route was found. Unless it was a little Darwinian thinking. Either that or - it worked and she had been doing this for a decade or two.

I will never think of a river crossing in the same way again. This is something Land Rover will never be able to reproduce and sell as an optional extra.

Hasta la vista

The Knait Wrydah.

Posted by Kian

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