Wine glasses clinking. Silhouettes against a dramatic sunset. A 73-year-old guest celebrating her first canoeing adventure. First-time sky divers about to take their first leaps. Earthstompers’s Instagram account is an enviable diary of blissful travel and bed-of-roses moments. We chat with the two founders to learn about their very own love story as well as the business of making memories.
Hendrik, Chrissy’s dad was with her on that very fateful tour. Were you nervous about asking her out with him around?
Hendrik (H): He was the least of my worries: he is by nature relaxed and calm. I could tell he really liked me. Plus, I brought him some red wine and biltong, so he was happy. I was, however, nervous about picking Chrissy up for our first date at The Blues in Camps Bay!
Chrissy (C): (laughs) He broke the tour guide’s “code of ethics” of not dating your guests!
Chrissy, what did you see in Hendrik?
C: It’s such a cliché to fall in love with your tour guide, isn’t it? I liked his confidence, his organisational skills, and the vast knowledge he had of all the places we visited. He knows how to take charge and sort problems out. I will say to this day these are still some of his traits that I like.
To others who have never been to the country, they may have pre-conceived notions about South Africa: that she’s unsafe or underdeveloped. What would you say to that?
C: My take on the crimes and political situation is that all countries have their pros and cons. The United States (US) certainly has her own issues as well. South Africa promises a great lifestyle: I love the way locals get together. There’s a braai for every occasion, from graduations to funerals. It’s intimate. In the US, we don’t entertain quite as much — no one takes a whole afternoon to enjoy a barbecue. Natural beauty abounds here as well. You can climb Table Mountain, Signal Hill or Lion’s Head any day. And that’s why I chose to stay in this country. It’s not perfect, but nowhere is.
Giving it all up for love… Was it difficult making the move from the US to Cape Town?
C: The cards just fell into place. I was previously working for an environmental protection agency and prior to the move I emailed a few similar agencies in Cape Town. But I saw that Hendrik needed help with administrative matters, and began assisting with the business’s financial management. I guess the fact that he had a business made it easy — if I had to struggle financially for months on end I would have been unhappy.
Tell us about the wedding.
H: We got married at Myoli Beach, Sedgefield. The place has special significance as it is one of our favourite stops on the Earthstompers’s route. We love the wildness of the pristine beach, stunning sunsets and splendid views from the sand dune. It was also where we had our first kiss! For our wedding, we wanted something different: casual and romantic. Our party of 90 enjoyed bubbly and oysters from Mossel Bay on the sand dune while watching the sun set over the Indian ocean. That evening, we had a fish braai, music, fire dancers and drank till well past midnight!