Saturday, July 7, 2012

She tastes immortality

When everything around me started to fall apart, I had to get out of there. Kinda like abandoning a crumbling building during an earthquake.

The 3 day bugg trip started just after a 2 week visit with my cousin. I always go through Grabouw on my way up there and both visits were as inspiring as they always are.

The two weeks I was in George I tried to get as much work done as possible, research and even gave Tasha some drawing lessons.

I made my way back to Cape Town because Chloe's dad had set up a court date to reduce his maintenance. So I went. He didn't. The week I spent in Cape Town I knew I would not be returning anytime soon so the things I did were the most important to me.
I took Cynthia into town for tea. We went to a lovely restaurant with cupcakes too pretty to eat. Buts she ate one.
I spent time with my 'bestie' who made sure I was fed good healthy meals
I collected cash for my soon to be ex-boyfriend for some scam that him and his previous landlady had been involved in.
I hung out with Karen. The 2 of us have been friends since high school and as usual I loved it there and so did my pets.

So this is Max, a good 14 years old by this stage. He still enjoyed being wrapped in a blanket and being next to the heater was no longer a luxury, it was something I knew I had to take care of. But the pooch was still as grateful as ever.

I spent an evening with Jonathan, who is admittedly the love of my life. We went to an all night restaurant, ate chips and drank LOTS of wine. Then I proceeded to leave my car keys on the beach. In the sand. And only realised after the 30 minute drive to my car. Jonathan being the PERFECT gentleman he is, took me all the way back to hunt for them in the sand.

Socks had found the water in Karen's toilet
rather apetising and spent a fair amount
of time drinking out of it or just in general
hanging out in it.
My time had expired in Cape Town. It was freezing. My bugg wasn't reacting to the cold very well at all, but dammit it was time to go. I left in the dark by about 5am which was late according to my mental schedule but by daybreak I made it to the bottom of the snow-capped mountains. By this time I couldn't feel my feet and my eyes were as heavy as rocks. I needed to rest before I climbed that mountain and rest I did. There was nothing satisfying about that rest but it was better than nothing.

My cash was super low so I avoided toll gates and took the alternative routes. Heading over the mountain I had no choice but to take it easy. This car had to get me another 1200 odd kms. I was literally driving through a mountain range of snow-capped tops and there were baboons everywhere *surprised face*. Inside I was WISHING for someone to share this experience with because I was mesmerised.

Taking pictures as I drove was not possible so it was kind of cool that I was forced to drive so slowly and take it all in, including the cold, mind you.

I made it! I got across the mountain.

My next major stop was at Three Sisters. I spent a long time here just because even though the ultra-city was in the middle of nowhere, it pretty much had everything. And the big plus was that I was halfway, I deserved this break. Being on the road was hard so any excuse to chill. I gave the cats a lot of ‘alone’ time while Max and I stretched our legs.

It was here that I almost lost both cats. Socks, Chloe’s kitty, snuck out of the car in the dark. When I realised I panicked and started coming up with stories of how I was going to tell my daughter.

"What cat?" was my favourite and I was going to stick to it. Well, needless to say the little bugger pitched up looking a little wild eyed and meowing as though he had seen 'the enemy'.

The weather stone at the 3 Sisters.
This place was actually kinda cool
Finally I got to leaving The Three Sisters and as I filled up the tank, the passenger door opened and Patch, my ferral slipped through the bars of her confines and darted for the bush. My reaction was surprisingly fast and just went to show that I felt it really was time to go, now more buggering around hunting for cats in the middle of the freaking veld. In one swift motion she was back in the car, her escape plan foiled.

Max choosing to drink the green water
over the fresh stuff 
Next stop was Colesburg. Nothing interesting about Colesburg whatsoever except the Steers and that is was Wednesday. Yes! Somebody was answering my prayers! One for Max and one for me. The kitties had their pellets and they were happy too.

Somehow I made it out of Colesburg, I have no clue how. I also have no clue how the forlorn hitchhiker managed. He was going in the opposite direction to me, bumming cash to buy extra cheap coffee at the truckers stop.

I think I could write a book on the people I met on this trip. But quite honestly, I wasn’t in a chatty mood. This was me, the road and my silent travelling companions.

Here Mr Socks got out again. The difference was that this time I knew he'd come back. Or maybe I just hoped. He was chasing birds that were minding their own business and each time one of those triple carriage trucks emerged from the truck stop I watched to make sure the animals were out of their way.

A fountain
How tranquil
Next stop was Welkom, we arrived there late and I knew I needed to stop here. I tried to find a spot where I could rest but it was close to midnight when Max and I emerged from the car to give the kitties some free time to use their litter box. We ordered some chips from the wimpy and shared them while we stretched our legs a little.

Goats at the One Stop
Assuming this was to entertain kids and families on the road.
It was somewhat amusing to me.
I entertained myself a little in Welkom by checking out the Shell Ultra City and the One Stop.

Between the two they had an aviary filled with dry twigs (o yes and birds), some goats, a fountain and other farm animals. Had I not already spent 2 nights on the long road between the coast and the platteland, maybe I would have paid more attention.

This was going to be my last day on the road. My financial issues were alleviated slightly and with some extra cash I stopped off at the very next Steers I could find (yes, again!!). No, this was not Wednesday, but again Max and I each had a burger and the kitties shared a chicken breast. We did good.  *smirk*

I made it to the Gauteng border where suddenly the toll gates were springing up in abundance. The prices seemed to be seriously out of hand and while I had some extra cash the quick calculations I did in my head told me that I would spend far less on fuel if I took the detour. Wasn’t I delighted when I found the detour was going to lead me through Parys!!

I had a good chat buddy that lived in Parys at the time. We had been chatting online for a few years by this stage and still not met. I gave him a quick call and it was set.

The little snake that belonged to someone else
  got 'lost'
Parys was a lot more quaint than I expected it to me and in many ways I wished I could have stuckaround a bit. I told myself, another day and other circumstances. I met Leon’s family and they were great, of course! His sister had a bit of a wild streak and she was busy cuddling a little green snake. Not quite my thing but I got close enough to take a couple of pictures.

Leon's sister with her pet chicken
The chicken that ran around the yard was not for eating. That was also for cuddling. I grabbed a shot of the little girl doing just that with my tacky Samsung u700.

Their hospitality amazed me. They had a space for me to sleep and they were ready to fatten me up. The only thing stopping me from laying down my weary head and resting my crampy body was the fact that Cynthia had been waiting for me and worrying about me practically non-stop for almost 3 full days now. And I was almost there. Well, that was what I thought.

What I did not realise is that Parys is to the south west of Jo'burg and springs is all the way out on the east. No no, I knew that. But what I didn't realise was how massive the city was and how far the suburbs stretched and just how far I would need to travel to get there.

Thinking back, I believe it took me 3 hours of mostly driving in the dark. I honestly believed I had enough fuel, but I was still keeping an eye out for a fuel station SOMEWHERE on the road. Can you flipping believe the last one was near Vereeniging?

I did get desperate and realised that I’d need to turn off. It was dark and I was in a very foreign but busy part of the world and getting lost wasn’t on my list of things to do.

By now my bug is not very happy, she wants to cut out badly and I know I have let her run for too long without giving her a chance to cool down, but I keep on going. I am close, I am frozen to the bone, so much so that the skin on my hands is sticking to the steering wheel, but I am close dammit.

My cellphone battery is also about to die but I log on to mxit to let Cynthia know that I am close. She has given me directions and I had checked it out on the map while I was at Leon's place. I was pretty sure I knew what to do. As I log on the entire world is bombarding me with questions and just wanting confirmation that I am safe. The timing was terrible, but I kept my cool.

I managed to get lost in Jo'burg at an intersection of 3 major highways. What a big surprise! Just because I managed to retrace my steps must be proof enough that I am a sheer genius.

The story ends with a warm bed but most importantly it taught me one very important thing about myself. The truth is that I am invincible. I must be! Mission complete!

I silently challenged everyone everywhere to do what I had done and, since no one took me up on my offer I smirked as the sandman took me away.

Here's the Q and A. This is the part where I assume your questions and just give a lot of different answers until you believe in my immortality...

Q: How did I do it:

A: I stopped at every single shell ultra-city. Even though it was usually every 4 hours.

A: When I needed fuel, I asked.

A: When I needed to let the cats do their business I set up the litter tray on the driver’s seat and with all the doors closed I let the cat out of her cage giving them free reign of the car while I spent some time in the sun with Max, letting him get on with the business of cleaning his own bowels.

A: When I needed rest, I did the best I could. Though the concept of real sleep was non-existent.

A: I stayed in touch on mxit

A: Every morning I made sure that I had access to a bathroom where I could wash my face and apply fresh make up. Despite it all, I made sure to look my best. I had a rustic 'wash' and always sprayed perfume. I was the classiest road dog there was.

1 comment:

  1. And i was very relieved when you arrived .. it was three days of worrying about you.. i think i got several more grey hairs in the bargain.. its good that you have 'imortalised' the story your children and future grand children will appreciate reading about your journey.