The second time I visited Pilgrim’s Rest, a quaint restored gold rush town which was declared a Heritage site in 1986, was certainly less traumatic than the first time. The first time round I was about 9 years old and my sisters were respectively 5 and 8 years older than me. Friends of my parents and their children also came along but there wasn’t children in my age group with the result that I tagged along behind my sisters irritating them with my presence and natural charm. Boys in their age group with apparent greater charm and whose presence were preferred above mine also tagged along (I agree what is the world coming to)!
It was in the afternoon and the parents were applying the meaning of the town’s name quite literally as they were taking a siesta. The children were encouraged to get lost (translation: not to be close enough to the parents to wake them up). Thus everybody went exploring and naturally I did not want to loose out. I was initially asked nicely to go back to where we were staying but as that sounded like a boring and dangerous alternative (waking my parents), I respectfully ignored the requests. At a certain point I became the victim of a conspiracy. I was threatened by a high school boy in collaboration with my sisters that if I do not go back they will sell me as a slave. Naturally I ignored this ridiculous notion with the contempt it deserved.
The potential sweetheart of my sister and enemy of mine then picked me up threw me over his shoulder like a bag of potatoes and started shouting: who wants to buy a slave – R5.00. He asked a local man from the area passing by directly if he wanted to buy a slave. The man actually took out a R5.00 note and both us had one hell of a fright. I still remember the sweetheart saying to the man he must tell me to go back otherwise they will sell me but that sentence and him putting me down happened simultaneously.
The whole way back I shouted at the top of my voice “they want to sell me; they want to sell me ∞”. I burst into my parents room and they were eyeing me with bewilderment but by that time the whole community had seized their siesta…
Pelgrim’s Rest is close to the Mpumalanga towns of Graskop and Sabie in the North Eastern part of South Africa and has been restored to create a late 1800s gold rush ambiance.
Inspired by the WordPress weekly photo challenge with the topic Heritage