Carl Neumann, a civil engineer, goes to South Africa to join his fellow-engineer friend in building a bridge in the Garden Route – on the southern edge of the African continent.
He meets a Tour-Guide, Adeline Sutherland, whom he marries in Johannesburg. They settle in Nature's Valley from where she receives tourists from all over the world, showing them the Garden Route and the Tsitsikamma region. On one of her tours a dreadful accident occurs in torrents of rain. Her minibus is swept into the river and gets washed into the sea by the deluge. There are no survivors. On a regular basis Carl goes and puts her beloved Protea Cynaroides flowers at a large rock where a plaque had been secured with all the tourists' names who had succumbed – Adeline's name being one of them as she had been the driver of the little bus. When visiting his parents again for the first time in fifteen years, there is a skiing accident on their property in Saig in the Black Forest and because of it he meets Sonja Hansen who works in a hotel across the border in Basel. This is the story of how Sonja Hansen becomes part of his life on the Garden Route.