The roads sometimes traveled…

Empty highway
Yet another stretch of highway to be left in a rear-view mirror

Many times my solo travels take me long distances where the boredom of the road is minimalized by keeping my eyes open and my camera on the seat next to me. That being said, I do not drive with one hand on the wheel, while taking images with the other! If I see something that catches my attention, I will sometimes stop to take a picture. In this particular instance, I was a passenger while my daughter and I were on a road trip back to her home in Cape Town. It was strange being chauffeured by the young woman that I had driven EVERYWHERE when she was growing up and even into her Varsity years, as she only got her license well after she had completed her studies. The time that we spent together during those two days on the N1 was very special.

Hanover lies exactly half-way between Johannesburg and Cape Town. I had overnighted here on a road-trip and in the morning, before heading off, I climbed the small hill outside the town to take this image. How many people steam towards their destinations without a thought for the struggling small towns that lie on either side of our N roads. Instead of driving past at speed, turn left or right for a short detour. You might be pleasantly surprised.

If you are doing a road trip in South Africa, especially in the Karoo, then you HAVE to include a windmill in at least one picture. Many years ago on a trip from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg, I stopped at EVERY windmill I saw. At the beginning of the trip, my wife was very helpful and would point them out to me. That excitement soon dissipated as she realised how much time it would add to our trip. So very quickly, her tactic became one of distracting me in order to get me to drive past without stopping.

Rusty car remains always interest me. I wonder why they were abandoned and who left them alongside the road to ‘die’. I wish that I owned a vehicle with a tow hitch and a trailer, as many of these relics would come home to live in our garden. The interesting thing with this particular vehicle was the fact that all the interior chrome was still intact. Door handles, window winders, steering wheel and even part of the dashboard was still in place.

Roadsigns that made me smile…But then again English is a weird language! This was the direction to one of the border posts between South Africa and Botswana. At least it cheered me up after having a small miscommunication with the South African police about the paperwork for my vehicle.

An unexpected hitchhiker…and given his untimely demise, I am sure that he was as surprised as I was when he smacked into the windscreen. I did stop to see if he could be revived, but I have to report that it was too late and I was not able to save him.

Along the roads in South Africa are a plethora of small farm stalls that sell a variety of products produced in the area. This trio of kitchenware caught my attention, so I stopped to take a picture and buy some fruit and vegetables.

At the same farmstall was this discarded car. At least this one was being utilized for display purposes. But, again, I wondered about how it got to be where it was. The farmstall staff were of no help as they had no ideas either.

Small towns across South Africa are slowly dying! I discovered this disused shop in a street in the lower part of Machadodorp. Although parts of this town are still thriving, there are areas that are just being left to fall into disrepair. The closure of a large facility nearby, as well as the re-routing of a major highway, have played a part in the slow but steady decline of this once thriving town.

Early morning looking towards Nelspruit from Kaapsehoop. The mist rolling in added a layer to a wonderful vista.

You never know WHO you are going to meet along the road. I stopped to chat with this duo alongside the road between Upington and Pofadder. The fellow in the wheelchair needed to get to the shops and the youngster was pushing him there. I never did find out how far he had come from or how far he still had to go. But it was a momentary connection that has remained with me for years. You never know who you will find along the way or how their story might (or might not) change your life.

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