Monday, June 21, 2010

My beautiful mountain

We arrived in Cape Town, not at all tired, but ecstatically happy to finally be here after a 9 day drive.  There is something about that mountain, Table Mountain, that grabs you and draws you in.  The minute I set eyes on it as I came out of the Du Toitskloof Pass Tunnel, I could feel tears in my eyes.  I was home.

Our drive down was fantastic.  We took our time, averaging between 500-600km a day, never arriving at a destination later than 7pm, so avoided night time driving.  Siobhan hogged the big camera and took some amazing shots.  When she got bored, she took artistic shots of the inside of her mouth, eyeball etc.  I think this trip was good for our relationship.  She does drive me mad as teenagers do, and I probably ignore her more than I should.  On this trip, as she was sitting next to me all the way, it was hard to ignore her and I discovered that she does actually have a sense of humour and is quite entertaining.

My anticipated problems entering the South African border with a foreign registered car dissipated like a silent fart, leaving one wondering why all that energy was wasted getting all anxious about it.  Everywhere on the internet said I needed this highly expensive carnet de passage only obtainable from the AA in South Africa.  Other people who'd driven to South Africa said I needed it.  Getting it while living in Moshi, Tanzania proved a mission I had no time for, so I decided to chance my luck and bullshit my way across the border.  My bullshit wasn't needed.  The customs guy at the Pioneer Gate border post leaned back in his chair, stroked his beard, scratched his bum, and stamped my gate pass without looking at it.  So, I guess he never noticed that I had a foreign registed vehicle.  Of course now, as my vehicle has not been tempraily imported into South Africa, it might prove to be a hassle getting it out again.  But I'll cross that bridge in a month's time when I go through the whole thing again.

On our way back, I've decided to go back through Zimbabwe and Malawi and avoid Mozambique.  The police were so nasty in Mozambique when we were there two years ago, and I want to see the Zimbabwe Ruins again and have never been to Malawi.  Luckily, to visit those two countries, we have a Comesa which is recognised there, making it easy to drive our car across their borders and in their country.

I was going to type each days' traveling in this blog, Day 1, Day 2, etc, but we only had internet access on two of the days.  However, I've kept copious notes of keywords of interesting adventures, how much fuel, distances and so on.  Siobhan's taken heaps of photos along the way and kept a video diary.  So, I figure a book is called for.  I mean, how many single mothers with a 14 year old daughter drive 9 days alone from Kilimanjaro to Table Mountain?  Also, we found the guide book we had on Zambia a little inaccurate, distances between towns weren't given, and then of course the issue of toilets along the way.  Most guide books don't pay any attention to toilets, because guide books are written by men who just jump out of the car, stand with their back to the car, haul out their little member and point it at the nearest bush.  Women don't have that luxury.  We require a toilet, and I have made a note of our toilet adventures as well.  On the way down, I designed the book cover in my head and know exactly what it's going to look like.  I also came up with quite a few ideas for other books, I guess nine days in a car does that to you!  I just don't know where I'll find the time to do all I want to do.  I'll have to compartmentalize my life a little more to fit it all in.

Anyway, I'm going to call the book The Great MOUNTAIN to MOUNTAIN Safari.  The title will be in cursive with MOUNTAIN in thick bold letters, with a drawing of Kilimanjaro and Table Mountain above the M's.  I can't wait to do a mock up of it, and put it on my blog for feedback.  I'm quite excited about this book.  The first half will be the way down, second half will be the way up, and I think it'll be a great resource for other travelers wanting to do a similar trip.  All the talk about being dangerous was a lot of crap, to put it mildly.  We never once found ourselves to be in any danger, people all the way down in all the countries were extremely friendly and helpful.  And if there was any danger, I did have the Tazer Mobile Phone!  Seriously, more people should think about doing overland trips like this, as it's definitely a way to see Africa.  Unfortunately, the camera's battery is dead, so I have to recharge it first before I can add some photos.  So, hold your horses, some photos of our trip will be on here in a day or two.

Have a great week ahead!  I need to find a friendly mechanic to service my car.  Think she needs some love after this trip.  Geez, some of those roads...



Nicole said...

sounds like some exciting ideas are being created on the trip

Cindy Vine said...

Nicole, it's amazing what you can come up with when you have a long endless road in front of you and your teenager is asleep!