Figured I wouldn’t bore you with a km by km break down, pretty sure you already know how pretty the scenery is travelling through the Eastern Cape and Free State, and it really is beautiful, at times I am reminded of Natal or even the UK.
What I am going to bore you with are a couple of incidents that either amused us greatly or scared the living habdabs out of us.
Our first stop was PE where we shacked up with a friend (thanks again Mark and Viv) and waxed lyrical till the cows came home, had an awesome steak braai and the early hours of the morning found me playing like a dolphin in the pool, (just so you know this was neither the amusing or scary incident although the mental picture of me cavorting like a dolphin might have misled you). We did rather foolishly go shopping at a local mall which in hindsight was flippen stupid, ( but not scary) Xmas eve and we go shopping, are we nuts?
All good road trips need spontaneity which is how we found ourselves the next night at the Graham Hotel in Grahamstown, we were going to stay in PE another night but our host being on standby got the dreaded call so we fired up the Internet and found ourselves a room at an inn ( or in this case a very respectable hotel which we highly recommend).
I however have to interrupt this portion of my tale and tell you about a high speed car chase, there we were minding our own business slowly making our way to the front of a queue of cars trying to get passed a truck when a taxi driver got impatient and figured sod this I’m just going to nip passed him on a solid white line. He’d have got away with it but for one small (‘k nothing about any of them was small but still) problem, as we drove passed the two cop cars there was the one policewoman hurtling towards her car bum and tits flying in all directions grinning like a banshee, little while later a BMW lights and sirens blaring came whizzing passed us and yup, two minutes later we passed a somewhat contrite taxi driver being towered over by a man twice his size, dude if I was stopped by this policeman I’d be more than just contrite (this is of course the amusing story and not the scary one, confusing I know).
Back to Grahamstown, neither of us have been there before and I’m not sure why but I had a totally different image of the place. It’s dirty, as in rubbish and litter strewn all over the show, but the churches were magnificent and the pub we had supper at was nice, food was variable, Wouter’s chorizo sausage starter was excellent but the steak and calamari platter we shared was average at best.
Oh, another break in the narrative, on the way to Grahamstown we came across Bathhurst, a fascinating little place with a very artistic bent, it was here where we found a little bric-a-brac shop filled with a very eclectic mix of treasures and let’s face it downright rubbish but I did find a cute salt and pepper set for my brother, love it when that happens, how you can be browsing through a shop and discover a little treasure that makes your heart sing.
Finally I am coming to the end of part one of this trip, if you’re still reading here comes the scary part, a good story should always have the reader on the edge of their seats, so if you would scoot up I’d appreciate it. The R26, the road to Ficksburg is fraught with danger around every turn and even on the straight, I’m talking potholes, but not those namby pamby potholes you sometimes come across in your travels, I’m talking I could hide a body and still have space left over size holes, it was truly nerve wracking cos it wasn’t just one in the road it was dozens at a time, throw in lightning, rain and we felt like it was Armageddon, just a few days late.