I packed the Jimny and left JHB at just before 5am. Three petrol stations later, I found an awake attendant, filled up and was on the N1 South by 5:05 am. One of the things I love doing is driving long distance solo. I was really looking forward to this trip. The road was long, dark and empty, the iPod was on shuffle. I was happy. I am free!

Just as it was getting to around sunrise, I hit heavy fog, somewhere near Kroonstad. It was like driving through a tunnel. The intense sensory deprivation made me feel sometimes like I was driving along roller coaster tracks, diving and twisting up and down and around. I slowed. Even the guy in the huge Pajero slowed… we time travelled through space… The rising sun soon dissipated the fog to reveal that I was nearly in Bloem and doing well!

The KroonVaal Tol Plaza swathed in fog!

A road trip in South Africa doesn’t seem to be complete without road-works. I was doing great until Colesberg. From there, I turned off the N1 to take the N1 to PE…. road-works all the way to Cradock, and beyond. Sitting still in a queue of cars in the desert is always a unique and incongruous way to pass time.

The Riveting view while waiting your turn in roadworks queue

Can anyone tell me how shuffle on an iPod actually works? I’ve hear the theories about BPM and algorithms and shit. But really? It’s tried to play several songs repeatedly, and neglected to play stuff I know is on there and also played songs I know and like and select manually a lot. It was on for 12 hours, you’d think I heard 12 hours worth of different music and bands. No. My iPod has a love affair with Joy Division, Radio Head and Pink Floyd. I skip most of them. I am considering removing some of it from the device!

The trip to PE was more like a precision engagement than a road trip. I stopped only for fuel, loo breaks and road works. From here onwards I shall dawdle more and take more pictures. I am in PE for 3 days. I intend to go to the movies, work on my novel, play my guitar and run down by the beach. I’ll send you some pictures and write about that too. Today’s to do list includes The Avengers. All of you who have seen it better be right! I am in the mood for a GOOD dose of escapism!

Happy Monday everyone!

And here we are in the Karoo... somewhere!