Karin and Rudi

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Karin and Rudi

Karin and Rudi

[three_fifth] [dropcap color=”rosy”]W[/dropcap]e got engaged on the 19th of November last year (2011) and we are getting married in three weeks (!!) on the 8th of December 2012.

My fiancé and I are both very adventurous and we love hiking, camping and experiencing the outdoors. He came up with the idea that we should go hike the Fanie Botha hiking trail in Mpumalanga, near Sabie. I was very keen on the idea, so we decided on a weekend and left that Friday after work. That evening we settled into the hut at the starting point of the route (Graskop) and took to the cold showers in the electricity-free hut. We planned to start hiking at 05:00 the following morning, as we had about 25km to cover that first day. So I went to bed – which was one of those typical triple stacked bunk beds with mattresses covered in a sticky blue plastic-like material. I fell asleep, but woke up a while later and saw in the darkness that Rudi was searching for something in our hiking backpack. I asked him what he was looking for, and he answered: “My wallet.” He quickly made his way over to my bed and lulled me back to sleep. I remember being very hazy and sleepy but as I fell asleep again I thought to myself, ‘what on earth does he need his wallet for? We are in the middle of nowhere, no shops close by, no signal…?’ I awoke again later and saw Rudi sitting on the edge of his bed staring at the floor. I asked him if he was alright, and he said he was fine, he just can’t sleep. So both of us squeezed onto one bunk bed (I was practically lying on the window sill) and dozed in and out of sleep until 04:30, when we decided to get going on the hiking trail. It was a beautiful misty morning with light rain, and we set out on our hike. The landscape was very contrasting: there were fruit tree plantations at the beginning, then rocky climbs, large flat open fields, and leafy areas. We were the only people there and we enjoyed the silence and the sounds of the birds and animals around us. About two hours into our hike, Rudi said there is something in his shoe, and we must just stop so that he can take it out. I took off my backpack and wandered around to see if we are still on track. At this stage, we were in a forest of pine trees, and the smell of wet pine cones was heavy in the air. I made my way back to Rudi, where he was in a type of “kneeling” position with his sock in his one hand, and as I approached him, he whipped out a ring and asked me to marry him! The “thing” in his sock was the ring he had popped in there the previous evening, and that was what he was searching for in his wallet. I was flabbergasted and remember jumping onto him, knocking him off his feet, and there we lay beaming and laughing on the wet pine forest floor.

The ring he made in his workshop from stainless steel, and it served as a “place holder” ring as he knew I would want to design my ring myself and have it manufactured. The rest of the day we spent hiking and enjoying the feeling of being “engaged.” The best part was that for that entire day and half the following day, only the two of us knew that we were engaged, as we couldn’t e-mail, sms, phone, or facebook anyone as we had no signal. I will always remember that day and the happiness and excitement we shared, so far away from the rest of the world.


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