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Mar 21 2014

On my own … part 2

Up early the following morning, I faced a long day of driving to reach Hermanus. Before setting off from Bun Clody in Hanover, I gave a guided tour of the vehicle to my wonderful hosts and my new friend Mfundiso – all of whom were interested and fascinated by our home on wheels. I do love sharing the story of our adventure.

Having taken all the obligatory photos and exchanged contact details, I was back on the road. I was in for an enormous surprise. The road down to Cape Town had lots of roadworks going on, and I stopped at 12 of the infamous “Stop-Go”s. With each one adding 10 minute wait, my journey dragged on and on.

I stuck to the habit I had established the previous day: regular stops. Every 2 hours or so, I would find a service station or coffee shop or “ultracity” to have some food, a drink and a leg stretch. It helped give my brain a break and combat tiredness … to a point.

But the driving and scenery was beautiful. My favourite vistas for the day were in Hex River Valley, a spectacular fertile green valley. Worth a visit – but on this journey I was on a timeline.

When I reached Worcester I was beginning to doubt I’d make it to Hermanus. I was feeling tired, and not quite sure how far I had left for the day. I even considered calling my aunt and uncle and asking them to come and fetch me and drive me to Hermanus. Fortunately, though, the last stretch was shorter than anticipated and I rolled into Hermanus 11 hours after leaving Hannover. It was a journey I do not wish to repeat on my own again.

I cast my mind back almost a year to the day when we had collected the vehicle after shipping from Senegal. At that time, the weather closely resembled that of the UK: pouring rain, gusting wind, and cold. This time, I enjoyed glorious sunshine and long evenings.

My time was brief, but I had enough time to visit with my dear grandmother, who celebrates her 95th birthday this year. She is an astounding woman, and I am grateful for yet another chance to spend time with her. I also enjoyed the hospitality of my aunt and uncle again, and gave them a brief synopsis of the adventure.

I had arranged to ship the vehicle through African Overlanders. After the stress involved in shipping the vehicle from Senegal to South Africa, I was glad to “outsource” the logistics to Duncan. It was very sad to park the vehicle at his backpackers near Stellenbosch and hand over the keys. I felt like I was losing a body part.

Tim and Margie were on hand again – every generous with their time. After taking us to the container yard a year previously to unload the container and take possession of the vehicle, they were at the other end of the adventure, and picked me up after separating myself from the vehicle. I remain immensely grateful for their help. We had a few hours together catching up – so special. And then it was off to the airport for me.

A week or so after, the vehicle with its new found friends were loaded jointly into a container back to the UK.


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