Wildside Backpackers

  1. It's early days at Wildside Backpackers in Buffalo Bay, Knysna but work starts in earnest. Simon, Amanda, Ted, friends and family begin the Wildside adventure with lots of ideas but equal amounts of hard graft and the occasional hangover. There's lots to do before the Wildside magic becomes a reality.

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  2. The guts of a week into the build and it seems the madness has already started. Amanda is fast running out of clothes that don't have yellow paint on them, Simon struggles on with the roofing prep (even though SA are doing badly in the cricket) and Ted seems to have lost the plot completely. To make matters worse Brett is in danger of being killed for driving Ted mad and the dogs are up to all sorts of stuff. Amongst all that there's amazing sunsets, whale sightings and a heap of good work getting done to take Wildside another step along the way to becoming SA's best backpackers!

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  3. The work is taking it's toll on Ted's state of mind (well whatever small level of sanity he had in the first place!) Public health announcements and strange goings on are aplenty but the work still hasn't slowed. Brett clearly survived the end of Episode II intact but his work ethic still seems to involve a wet suit and a body board. Simon, the quiet man of the group, soldiers on regardless pouring concrete, laying floors and keeping the lid on all the crazy goings on. Amanda is still painting things and Wildside continues to deliver sights and sounds that only a magical place can conjure.

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  4. Into the third week and there’s just about enough time to eat, drink, play cricket, swim, braii and sleep between shifts. With a growing workload and a to do list as long as Ted’s medical prescriptions, most of Knysna now seems to have been drafted into help. Friends, family and unsuspecting backpackers are all mucking in alongside the regular crew. Ted is worryingly using the word sexy all to regularly and now has 14 different accents, Brett is clearly trapped in his wetsuit and the dogs have had just about enough of the beach after 3 straight weeks. Wildside for its part continues to throw up sunsets that take your breath away.

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  5. The work rate is already at breaking point and there’s no hours left in the day - only one thing for it - nightshifts. All appropriate safety precautions are in place but the team still have to avoid poisonings, deal with skillsaws that rotate at 3 million miles an hour, achingly annoying CD players and a full moon. It’s taking its toll on the minds of our intrepid workers - Ted was already lost to madness but soon Jim and Mairi are dragged toward the Dark Side. Carrying on regardless beds and bunks are getting knocked together, rooms are forming and Wildside serves up what would become the most memorable sunset of all.

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Wildside Backpackers

Gary 'Ted' Sargent

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