A long hot drive and an unsuccessful quest

02 February 2013

This afternoon (it being Saturday, 2 February 2013), my hosts invited me to join them on a bit of a drive to the South Peninsula. Reggie explained that they wanted to visit a nursery in Noordhoek, where they were hoping to purchase some large half-cut wine barrels to replace the ones in their garden that have fallen apart after years of use as large herb pots.

Of course, I was very keen to tag along: it would be my very first drive in Cape Town! She even allowed me to sit in the passenger seat with her, so that I could see everything.

 Look! That's Devil's Peak up ahead!
Look! That’s Devil’s Peak up ahead!

I got my very first glimpse of Devil’s Peak, that triangular mountain peak in the famous silhouette of Cape Town, to the left of Table Mountain. It was heavily covered in clouds, because it was a very windy day. Strangely, it was also a very hot day at the same time.

A while later, Reggie told me that we were now on the M3, a big road that hugs the side of the mountain all the way from town to the Steenberg Mountains. And that is where we were going.

Here we are zooming up the steep Wynberg Hill - look at how fast the trees are racing past!
Here we are zooming up the steep Wynberg Hill – look at how fast the trees are racing past!

Eventually, we came to the end of the M3, at the foot of the Steenberg or Silvermine Mountains.

There is a very lovely, scenic road that crosses these mountains, and that is where we were going. It is called the Ou Kaapse Weg (the Old Cape Road) and I will tell you more about that in a moment.

The Old Cape Road crosses those mountains up ahead
The Old Cape Road crosses those mountains up ahead

After lunch at the Noordhoek Garden Emporium, we drove home with a bit of a detour.

It was soooo hot in the car. I’m not used to such high temperatures, you know. It’s still winter where I come from, for goodness’ sake.

Reggie apologised to me that the aircon wasn’t working, because it needed to be re-gassed. Noticing that I was starting to wilt and droop in the heat, Richard insisted that he would try to find a suitable vehicle service centre.

“We can’t have Flat Kathy getting a heat stroke, we really must re-gas the aircon,” he declared. It was after 1pm on Saturday, however, and it seemed that the service centres were already closed for the weekend.

Oh dear.

I love riding in the car with my hosts - there is sooo much to see!
I love riding in the car with my hosts – there is sooo much to see!

We went driving around and around and after a while, I got the distinct impression, judging from the heated discussions in the car, that my hosts had gotten themselves a bit lost in some rather grotty and semi-industrial areas.

But I didn’t really mind – because I want to see everything, not just the nice areas of Cape Town where all the tourists go!

There were all these people selling things at the traffic lights: car chargers for cellphones, paintings, magazines, works of art made from wire, foldable sunscreens for the car, and colourful caps and t-shirts and flags of sports teams… It was all so vibrant and it all looked so interesting, that I wanted to stick my head out of the window and smile and wave at them!

But it was sooo warm in the car, that I must admit I was very relieved when we were back home again, and I could dangle my feet in the refreshingly cool waters of the pool.

Ahhh, yes, that is the life…

On the N2 highway, heading home
On the N2 highway, heading home

6 thoughts on “A long hot drive and an unsuccessful quest

  1. Hi Flat Kathy, Welcome to Cape Town. When I first arrived in the Cape 30+ years ago, we used to comment about it being hot enough to fry eggs on the pavement! I think the weather has been pretty mild since then …and now it is catching up for lost time. Hope you enjoy your stay in Cape Town and get a chance to dip your toes in the sea. Regards
    Glynnis (from Pinelands)

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    1. Oh thank you, KerryBek2012! It is so nice to hear from a resident of Cape Town – and a Pinelander to boot! Perhaps we could go for a walk by the seaside sometime? It would be lovely to meet you.

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  2. How very bizarre that everyone has had so much fun with FK (excepting of course the one who had too much fun with her…) I would swear you people think she’s “real”.

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