Off again. More musings from the road.

Somewhere between here and there
Another lonely stretch of road for a single traveler

With the Willie Nelson song, ‘On the road again’ playing on my radio, it was once again time to hit the road. This time heading North to a game reserve. The reason that I stopped to take this picture was the cloud cover over the distant mountain range. It looked similar to that that Cape Town gets to experience when Table Mountain gets draped in white. Up to this point in my journey, the weather had been very pleasant, but it cooled down so quickly within a couple of kilometres that I thought that there might be rain. The weather held and even improved as I got closer to my destination.

I have driven past this abandoned shop on previous occasions without stopping. But, knowing that the camp was not too far away, I decided to take a moment and capture this for posterity. Who knows, in a while, this shell may be totally destroyed. I suppose that once the N4 became the main highway, the owner of this establishment might have seen a drop in passing trade, forcing closure. But I am merely speculating.

On the road to Pafuri Gate, Kruger National Park. Baobab and donkeys…both of which are abundant in this area.

Dead straight and seemingly endless, yet another road for another journey! Certainly not one of the main highways that lead to and from major destinations in and around South Africa. But it is often on these secondary roads that hidden gems are discovered and often unexpected friendships are made.

As a child, I remember stopping at something similar, a concrete table and bench seats. It was here that hard-boiled eggs and sandwiches would be consumed…rather than eating in the car. Usually, these were dotted along the side of the road, under shady trees. Most of them have fallen into a state of disrepair. The areas surrounding those that have survived are often covered in the discarded rubbish of travellers who have been there previously. These were well used before the major petrol companies starting adding coffee shops and fast food outlets on their properties.

With the speed at which the current South African government and local authorities are trying to get rid of those pre-1994 names, I am amazed that these tunnels have not been re-named. How these have remained ‘below-the-radar’ is beyond me, but I have no doubt on a trip in the not too distant future, I will pass through these and discover a new name on this monument.

Sometimes referred to as an Upside Down Tree, these two Baobab trees are just two of the many that can be found on the road to Pafuri gate in the far northern Kruger National Park. If they could talk, I wonder what stories they would share, given the fact that the larger ones can be hundreds of years old! My complaint is with those passers-by who insist on carving their names in the trunk. Will they ever return? If they have placed their names inside a heart, are they still together? Why do they feel the need to announce that they were here? It is a sad state of affairs when humans enjoy desecrating rocks and trees seemingly to leave a legacy.

Standing alone in the middle of a piece of cultivated ground. Is it still being used? If not, what was it used for? If it is still used, what purpose does it currently serve? My roadside stops often leave me with more questions than answers…

A Martial Eagle being dive-bombed by a pair of Ried Crows. Even though this is the largest of the South African eagles, it was no match for the persistent and pesky crows. I watched for about 20 minutes as it tried to fight them off, with no success. Eventually, having to admit defeat, the eagle left…no doubt to find a perch that was less noisy or irritating.

The fading sun as seen through the weeds on the side of the road into Kaapsehoop. This windy 12km stretch of road produced some wonderful photographic opportunities. Just a pity that there were none of the wild horses that this quaint town is famous for close by.

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