Archive | 8:50 pm

Roadtrip no. 1

13 Dec

In between¬†all the domesticity, we have travelled to Port Elizabeth to see John’s dad. We wanted to make this first trip before silly season started – national holidays begin around the 15th December, everywhere shuts down until mid-January and the roads become a nightmare of note. We’ll no doubt have to brave this at some point ¬†as we will probably spend some time at PE over Christmas/New Year but hey, we’ll deal with that as and when.

John’s no. 1 son, TJ, took on all the driving – he was keen to try out his 1966 Mercedes Benz 230s on a run. Last year, he and John spent time transplanting a Toyota turbo diesel engine (to replace the thirsty petrol original) which he knows works fine around town but this was to be the long distance test. Fingers crossed then…

Conrad, no 2 son, was on leave from his anti-poaching unit up at Bela Bela so also came along – he hadn’t seen his Granddad for a while and was also a good opportunity to catch up with his dear old dad.

TJ is a good driver and the car performed wonderfully well. It drops a little oil, now and then, and it is essential to carry water for the odd top-up, but other than than I can’t fault it. OK, so it’s a bit rusty. We travelled the 500 miles along the Garden Route (N2 – a major national road) in red leather luxury that is reminiscent of another age when cars were individual, had their own character and had quarter lights (my favourite) where you can flick you cigarette ash. This really is a treasure for the smokers among us – especially in this age of human rights, PC and ridiculous proposals to ban smoking in your own car.

The Benzie ate up the miles ( it’s a full days driving), leaving me to soak up the stunning scenery as I attempted a few potshots for the old album.

We visited a penguin sanctuary – SAMREC – (South Africa Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre), which was fascinating, various museums including the old Station at Uitenhage and the VW auto pavillion, where we had fun playing racing/rally driver. Most enjoyable. Then we generally hung about in and around John’s Dad’s place. Being on the river estuary, it’s a very nice place to be. And close to the beach too. And it has a bath. Lucky me.

John’s dad is great. 85 years old and as fit as a fiddle. And still sailing.

We found some interesting wildlife in the garden and a snakeskin that had been shed. Good food (Conrad is a super cook and TJ is a braai master) and plenty to drink, naturally.

The minkeys that plagued John’s Dad have gone – probably due to Flash the dog attacking one of the troup. She’s a good guard dog (part Doberman, part Rotty) but also a real fusspot.

It wont let me load the videos ( or maybe it’s me) of the giant earthworm and driving along the seafront at PE.

Maybe I’ll try again another time.

I’m going to call it a day for now and take a drink to absent friends.

Happy birthday Peter.