Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And we arrive...

The long haul from Geoge to Alice was just that. I drove straight on through Port Elizabeth, really, nowhere along tha road to stop and fill up, and about 10 k's out of Grahamstown I started to get concerned that this little bug of mine did not have enough fuel to make the last stretch to the next petrol station. Well, she has amazed me many times before and this time was no different.
While the kids slept in the back I carried on thru to Hogsback, straight past Alice, I didn't even stop to ask for directions. The closest I came was slowing down as I entered the town so that I could get a glimpse of my house just across the way. Looking a bit more forlorn than the last time I saw her for sure.
The 35 kilometres up the muntain to the beautiful hogsback was done in second and third gear, no use speeeding when there are cows and sheep meandering around in the road! Speaking of road I was preparing my poor bugg for the roughest ride of her life as the pot-holed tarred road became dirt. For the strangest reason ever, this just didn't happen! Even the pot-holes seemed to have been filled and the road became smoother the further I drove up. Rose bugg got to enjoy our constant speed of around 30.
Turning down to the backpackers where we had booked our accomodation was a little different and even first gear may have been a bit slow for how I was prepared to drive her over the rocks on the way through the gates.
Arriving was sweet relief and we immediatly got a tour of the grounds. Well this backackers is not unknown to me though there were spots including an outdoor bath that were new!! With 2 kids I thought as enticing as that was going to be I was going to have to give it a miss.

It was great to drive around hogsback meeting up with people we had known years ago. It was not me that was recognised but little Chloe who had long since grown up. Her specific features just gave the game away and she was soon circled by hundreds of kids all wanting to play! My little girl actually hadn't a clue who any of these people were, she didn't remember theplace, she didn't remember them.

We jammed about 10 kids into our bug to drive 100 metres off to Chloe's nanny from 4 years ago. The attention she got from everyone at that humble home was so overwhelming for her but she lapped it up. She has ever since referred to Hogsback as 'The place where everyone loves me'. It was here that I left my 2 munchkins while rose bugg and I chugged to and from Alice trying to get a few things sorted out.

My first trip to Alice was fruitful, or so it seemed. I had no papers but meeting the tenants, actually for the first time, they welcomed me and were happy to continue paying me. They apologised for the inconvenience. Soon I met the stick in the mud who decided that it was best to have a meeting with all involved later that evening. In the meantime he had managed to convince the rest of them that paying is not a good idea.

Since this entire trip was all about sorting this silly little problem out I was hell bent on getting some return on my investment. I drove to the department of Public Works in Bhisho, I sat at the police station until someone would do something, well not quite otherwise I would still be there. So I decided to shift my mindset from a total waste to enjoying our time in hogsback and that we most certainly did!

The staff made a good effort to create a decent vibe, They did all kinds of crazy things and Chloe, armed with the camera caught them in a few compromising positions!

I must have been busy on the phone, or getting dressed or something arb and Storm was gone the moment I turned my back. Course I wasn't worried, this place is safe! I went back to the bar because I reckoned she probably would have gravitated towards the buzz. O yes, I found her there! All dressed and ready to party!

Some other visitors to the packpackers took the risk and brought along their 2 year old blondie too. Storm and her new friend took the place by storm (pun definately intended!!) and we managed to get them to sit stil for about a split second to get a decent picture.

I also found Chloe sitting happily at the bar, hapy as a pig in you-know-what. She was doing what she does best, chatting up a hurricane with as many strangers as she could, entertaining them with her whacky out of this world questions, all a clue to just how deep her clock ticks.

Chloe, still armed with the camera went off to make friends. Her knack for pulling faces rubbed off on another stranger, who was also just visiting. A classic shot of note!

Upon leaving my newly appointed co-pilot and I took the time to pin 30 days notice to each door as well as proof that the property belonged to us, and off we went, back to Cape Town via Cousin Jackie and the crew.

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