So, who DID we meet? We met well-known Australian (or is it New Zealand? 😊) author Tony Park. And what a nice guy he is!
The Knysna Literary Festival, hosted by Pam Golding, celebrated its 10th year in 2019. Although living around the corner from Knysna I never even knew this festival existed. So, what do you learn? That you are never too old to discover new things. Sounds a bit like travelling to me; you keep on discovering new things.
The two lovely ladies of the Travelbucket team was invited to the event where Tony was speaking at the Knysna Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa on Thesen Island in Knysna. The invite to attend was extended as personal guests of him, even though I only met him the Friday before the event!
Apart from being an author who researches his books extensively he is also very concerned about nature and the conservation thereof. He works closely with various groups in this field and checks and re-cheks his facts with organizations like Rhino Revolution in Hoedspruit Rhino Revolution who knows their stuff and are passionate about what they do. Taking the lead and posing questions were Andrew from the Game Ranger Association, accompanied by his dog Tuli (like in Tuli Madonsela) who, is also a celebrity on her own, in what she contributes to the conservation scene.
Like Tuli there are more canine heroes out there. Did you know that in Skukuza camp in the Kruger National park there is a memorial garden for the hard-working dogs of the Kruger? (Browse the site for more on this).
Even though he is a very successful writer, and has travelled the world, he is very modest and, as he calls it, “always appreciate it when people show up when he speaks”. How can you not show up to listen to this interesting character, doing a Parkrun (ending in third place overall) in the morning, rocking up a few hours later and speaks passionately about a variety of topics ranging from dog breeds to the war in Afghanistan, travelling, a Land Rover and ending up with conservation? On top of that he still thinks of throwing in some tips on writing as well.
This was also the opportunity to obtain a signed copy of the newly released book “The Scent of Fear”. It is Tony’s 16th creation on Africa and its wildlife intermingled with a dog flavor. A lot of the research for the book was done
with the help of Canines for Africa (www.K94A.org). I have to catch up on some reading on my next trip!