Almost casually, my Son mentioned to me that he was flying down to Cape Town from Johannesburg to ferry a pick-up truck and drive it to his home in Johannesburg.
Typically, alarm bells went off in my mind. I expressed my concern about him attempting a journey like this on his own. A journey, in this case, which would be traveled mostly at night. The N1 Arterial carries 300,000 vehicles per day and is the second longest road in South Africa, some 1900 kms (1200 miles).
Without giving it thought, I offered to assist with the driving; After a couple of weeks my Son accepted the offer and bought me an airline ticket to Cape Town.
The airline brought me to Cape Town at 11.30 am on a Friday and by 1pm, my Son and I were on the road to Johannesburg!
After the death of my eldest Son to a long-suffering, rare cancer, it was good to spend time with my remaining Boy, however taxing, the drive.
In short, we drove 1400kms (870Mi) in the space of 13 hours, only 4 of those in daylight. Our only stops were for fuel and for take out coffees and toasted sandwiches. I drank 8 cups of coffee along the journey (ordinarily I drink only one cup in the same time frame at home, so my eyes were wide open continually)! I don’t drive at night in the normal course of events, when I’m home, primarily because I am partially blinded by oncoming headlights. But I knew many family members and friends were praying for us as we drove though the dark.
A few years back, I would have considered the trip a nightmare, but this time, I loved every minute. We chatted and laughed a great deal. All the while the South bound traffic was passing us at approximately 120 vehicles per hour consistently, 90 % of which were heavy goods vehicles, to say nothing of the slow-moving vehicles moving Northbound (ahead of us). Finally, we arrived home at 3.30am Sunday morning.
We live in a time where much of the population complains, even violently, about the economic, political and poor governance of our country. Among the many complaints is that of the condition of our roads and behavior of lawless drivers – the list is endless.
In closing let me say that every day I extend my gratitude for everything in my life and that includes the roads and other drivers.
On this trip, I would like to say thank you to our Roads Agency for the excellent road surface on the 1400 kms. of the N1. The clear reflective markings on the road, which made driving a lot safer in what was a very dangerous driving condition. The provision of splits in the road that allowed for the overtaking of slower vehicles.
Thank you to the truckers, who do not have an easy or safe livelihood, for their amazing courtesy (headlamp control, moving over where possible).
Unless it was in the case of great importance, as this journey was, I should not like to do that journey again and I am so grateful to our airline pilots and crew who make flying in our country, safe and comfortable. The airline companies, through their initiative, making flying affordable, enabling me to continue using their services in the future.
“For those who choose to be grateful for that which they have, great is the reward of what will come to them in the future”.
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