Monday, 13 October 2008

Road Trip to the Mother City #10: The Long Road Home

Sunday was our drive home…
We set off again in the early hours and managed to arrive in Laingsburg just as the sun was rising and about to blind us.
By the time we arrived in Three Sisters Ulricha and I were both exhausted. We had already driven for just shy of 5 and a half hours, and knew the longest stretch of rode was still to come. Already the temperature was starting to reach toward the 30 degree mark – and that was at 9 o’clock, as we enjoyed breakfast in an air conditioned greasy spoon.

We decided to take an alternative route home – hoping to avoid the 6 sets of road works that are currently under way on the N1 motor way between Three Sisters and Springfontein. Instead, we opted for the alternative route through Kimberley, a route we had not tried before. We set off, Ulricha at the wheel, toward Kimberley.

The road itself to Kimberley is in good order, but the scenary is slightly different. As Ulricha said, “This is truly the Karoo” Mile after lonely mile the road stretched, like a piece of liquorice draped over a dry and thirsty earth. There was much less traffic and often we would find ourselves the only car on the road – with no companion vehicles as far as the eye could see.

By the time we had reached Kimberley, our illusions of having selected a more convenient route had been shattered, by a more than useful family member who informed me that there were no less than 5 sets of road works on the N12 motorway. My spirits sank, but fortunately, I negotiated all 5 with only a delay of 7 minutes where we had to wait for the oncoming traffic.

The quality of the road surface had deteriorated though, the yellow line hard shoulder had all but disappeared, and the driving on the streth from Warrenton to Klerksdorp was very sapping and exhausting. Once again we swapped the driver, and Ulricha “brought us home”.

By this stage we were all but exhausted. The type of exhaustion that deflates you, when your spirit is so low, and all you want to do is get home. It was then that the N12 served up its trump card – traffic lights and stop streets!

It was a good experience, and cheaper than paying for the 3 toll roads through the Free State – but exhausting, and more stressful.

But we got home. We arrived safe and sound.
We had a fantastic week in Cape Town. We enjoyed ourselves tremendously. We took nearly 1,000 photographs in that time! (I apologise that this has perhaps been more of a PHOTO BLOG in the last week than anything else – but when you are surrounded by beauty, you simply have to share it!)

But as much as we enjoyed ourselves, we were just happy to once more be home.


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