This Is How We Roll With - Pat Pugh-Parry
Interview of South African Parents who love to spend quality time together. ThingsToDoWithKids is all about making family time fun- for adults too! Find out how some South African parents spend quality time together as a family and how they juggle it all.
Tell us more about yourself
Name and where are you from?
My name is Pat Pughe-Parry and I am from Broederstroom.
Describe your day in the life of Pat Pugh-Parry
I am a grandmother so I don't have children living at home. I currently manage a river rafting company called Paddle Power near Hartbeespoort Dam. I live on the beautiful treed property which has magnificent river frontage as it is now September it is the start of our high season and I work 7 days a week. I love my job because I meet people from all over South Africa and lots of international tourists too. My day starts with replying to all the inquiries that come in via our website which I also manage. Our first rafting trip is at 9 am and our river guides and I have coffee together, and while they inflate and load the rafts onto the trailer, I meet the clients and give them an introduction about what they are going to experience. I usually drive the clients and the rafts on our truck to the launch site in the nature reserve and take pictures as they shoot the first weir. While they are on the river I am back in the office doing admin (not my favourite) taking calls and bookings and doing marketing. The clients return after a couple of hours and I check all is well and that they have had a good time. The boats, life jackets and helmets are all washed by the guides in readiness for the next trip. By 5 pm I am ready for a glass of wine, a shower, dinner cooked by my wonderful husband and then bed.
As a child- did your parents travel local and what is your favourite childhood holiday memory?
Sunday afternoon drives and picnics were a regular feature of my childhood. Growing up in a large family of 6 daughters in Durban in the 50s/60s we would pile into our enormous old Black Plymouth motor car that my father had to crank start (gosh I feel ancient) and we would travel up the North Coast to my grandparents sugar farm in Zululand, down the South Coast to family near Scottburgh or inland to the Midlands and Valley of a Thousand Hills for a wonderful picnic wherever my parents fancied. Actual holidays were quite rare but we did a wonderful trip to Lesotho and got to ride Lesotho ponies. I inherited the wanderlust of my parents and have traveled all over South Africa.
Here are some picnic spots in Cape Town
Have you ever revisited the North Coast or Lesotho as an adult?
Yes, I love to travel and re-visit wonderful places.
Tell us about your family
My husband Dave and I have been married 10 years. It is 2nd time around for both of us. I have 2 married adult sons and he has a son and daughter both married. Between us, we have 6 grandchildren.
Dave and Pat Pughe-Parry
What is your favourite free local family activity?
Durban born and bred and having lived in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, I love the sea. The Durban beachfront which extends from uShaka to Blue Lagoon is magnificent for kids and adults. Walk, cycle, swim, and build sandcastles it is all free.
Here are some outdoor kids activities in Durban.
Has the traveling bug got you too, have a look at what's up along the West Coast
Where is your favourite local family-friendly hangout?
I have to say Paddle Power. We take children as young as 3 in the rafts and people in their 80s. We also have an on-site restaurant with a beautiful deck overlooking the river.
Do you read to your kids? If so, what?
When the grandkids visit I read to them and I always read to my own children. We are all voracious readers and read anything and everything.
Your favourite mobile app for kids?
Uber, is my favourite app for the kids.
Help a parent out
If you could share one TIP you use to make free time with family fun- what will it be?
Family fun time doesn't have to cost money. Laugh, be silly and make use of what you have.
Where can people find you online?
You can find me at:
What legacy would you like to leave your kids?
I would like for my kids to be curious, interested, non-judgemental, not afraid of failure.