What could possibly go wrong when a group of women go away for a weekend?
Nothing. If you plan well.
If you don’t plan well, it could be a disaster.
T arrived to fetch me. The weekend was a celebration for her birthday.
You got the directions, she asked?
Nope, I said. Thought you’d get them.
Ah, okay. No problem, D will have them.
D didn’t have them. Neither did S or K or J or…
We googled the directions. It took a while.
As we were about to leave I remembered I hadn’t picked up the quiche. My lunch contribution.
Oh please just go via xxx so I can pick up the quiche, I asked.
Shit, T said. I also bought a quiche.
D said she too had a quiche.
Who has breakfast, I asked. Dinner? The second dinner?
Anyway. We finally arrived, albeit a little bit late. Seven women, seventeen bottles of champagne, three quiches, zero flashlights.
We had no idea there wouldn’t be electricity, said all of us.
Which was odd given it’s all over the website, but ANYWAY…
We opened the champagne. We went for a walk up the mountain. We left the kitchen door open. The monkeys got in. We semi sorted out the mess. We swam. We opened more champagne. One of us may have peed in the pool. All of us may have swum naked. We took pics and admired each other’s bodies and showed each other our perfect tits even though they’re not so perfect anymore.
And then we sat under the wild olive trees and sang Happy Birthday. We ate red velvet cake. We licked icing off our fingers.
And off the knife.
And somehow the knife, very very sharp and glinting in the sun, became the talking stick.
And we had one of those conversations where everything comes together. We stopped talking about eye cream and wrinkles and tummy tucks. We stopped talking over one another. We started on the real stuff. About us. Our fears. Our thoughts. Our dreams. And our loves.
We’ve been friends for years, all us girls. We talk. But there are things we leave out. Things that seem too scary to voice. Secrets we keep. Stories we don’t share.
We shared. Somehow the knife, the stick, made us courageous. We were honest. We bared our souls. We shed some tears.
We respected one another’s words. And we trusted.
As the sun went down the light changed. The sky turned a beautiful pink. The air smelled like vanilla. It was perfect. We listened as the crickets started chirping. We listened as the baboon gave their final night calls.
And we listened to each other.
Without judgement, without advice and without agenda.
We just shared and listened.
And then the monkeys came back into the kitchen and there was a bit of pandemonium and it was pitch black and it was funny and we were laughing and we were crying and they got away with the quiches and nobody really cared.
We still had champagne.
We lay on our backs and sipped and it grew quiet and we whispered a little and looked at the stars.
And knew we had love.
Tons of it.
Advice for a girls’ weekend:
Check who’s bringing the toothpaste
Zip up your tents
Buy fruit if it’s on your list
And milk, coffee, tea, sugar, eggs, bacon and chocolate
Talk. It helps.
Remember other people want to talk
And that some people are shy
Talk very quietly if you wake up early
Drink water in between champagne.
And know that you’re all in it together.
Lindani is in The Waterberg. We stayed in the Molope Tented Camp which is divine. It sleeps eight, is self catering although you can order meals, totally private, completely delicious and very well priced. Three and a bit hours out of Johannesburg.