Sunday, September 21, 2014

Memories were only a bus ride away.

 
This posting is dedicated to my wonderful daughter Jayne.
I was recently able to spend a few days with her in Cape Town
in order to join her in celebrating her 30th birthday.
The Origami heart she is holding was from a production that she wrote and directed
called Kardiavale.
It lives in a notebook in my camera bag,
but I felt that it was apt that she hold it.
This song will forever remind me of her:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmC3rJR7E98


And what did we do?
We ate French toast  for breakfast...
At not one hotel, but two!


We admired the fortitude of the trees on the Atlantic seaboard.
They are able to bend with the wind and not break.


Our Lego moment...


I traveled to Cape Town on a Greyhound bus
One of the towns I passed through.
I think it was Beaufort West.


It could be the USA...or Australia
But it is our very own Karoo


Laingsburg...
On January 25, 1981 it became the scene of South Africa's biggest natural disaster to date.
To find out more:
http://www.infolaingsburg.co.za/flood.html



There HAS to be a windmill...


We discovered this in the wardrobe at the Cape Milner Hotel.
Most relaxing after all the walking that we did together


Thanks to the GM, Jeremy, at the Cape Milner
for organizing this special breakfast treat.
And a wonderful dinner!


We went on a walk through Kalk Bay.
I found this in one of the antique shops that is attached to a restaurant.
Or is it the other way round?
Either way, we did not use their "facility".


And to think that this used to be on every dressing table.


Right next door is this very colourful and quirky nursery.


Jayne took me to walk in the Newlands Forest.
A beautiful green lung area that we sadly lack in Johannesburg.
We spent a wonderful time walking and chatting


She also wanted to climb Table Mountain.
Unfortunately, the weather did not play along,
and we only had time to scale Lions Head.
And almost to the summit...but we got close.
This was our view out over Sea Point.


We tried to figure out why this part of the mountain has barbed wire fences.
This was where we ended our time together,
sitting on the rocks overlooking Cape Town and its environs,
and discussing our lives...special father/daughter time


On the bus trip back to Johannesburg.
Got to love the way the locals build.


In stark contrast are these abandoned houses just outside Johannesburg


Some of the signs that caught my eye...
Difficult to capture through the tinted window of a moving bus.



I would not have missed it for the world!
Jayne came to my 60th, and perhaps, I might even make it to hers.
But for now I am so blessed and grateful to have spent this very special occasion with her.
And I know that she likes this song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWXqmukiD3U

Helping to make these memories were:


My return trip to Cape Town was with Greyhound Luxury Bus Service
www.greyhound.co.za


We were hosted at
the recently refurbished Cape Milner Hotel.
www.capemilner.com


And,
the eclectic Pepper Club in Loop Street.
www.pepperclub.co.za


Thanks for two days of car hire.
 www.carmania.co.za


"Travel & Things" was an entrant in this competition.
Not a winner, but one of 24 travel Blogs that entered

         
www.sablogawards.com

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Back on the bus. Greyhound Luxury bus service back to Johannesburg


After sharing a "crazy" running , jumping and standing still
 30th Birthday weekend with my daughter,
it was time to get back on the bus and head back to Johannesburg
A sad and tearful moment for us both...
"Parting is such sweet sorrow".


The bus terminus in Cape Town is in stark contrast to its counterpart at Park Station.
This is a new facility (open about four years),
 is out in the open and spotlessly clean!
Park Station could (and should learn from this)
Especially if tourism by bus is going to be promoted.


The check-in area was clean and well controlled.
Plenty of seating, but NOT enough rubbish bins.


4A...my business class seat homeward.
There are 12 seats available in this class,
which is situated downstairs
These seats are more comfortable than airplane seating,
AND they have a plug point underneath that will recharge your phones.
Perhaps the next addition might be (free) Wi-Fi?



Considering the size of the Volvo B450R,
the "business end" seems uncomplicated.
There is a comfortable sleeping area behind the driver's seat.
It has a proper full size mattress, so that drivers can get a proper nap between shifts.


The mirrors have always fascinated me.


Upstairs is "coach" class.
This can accommodate 48 passengers.


After a couple of overcast and rainy days, the weather finally cleared.
As we left...


On my trip to Cape Town, I had not thought to carefully about food.
I did not make the same mistake on this leg.
Tea, coffee and biscuits are supplied.
Snacks (crisps and chocolate) are on sale.
A question though.
A packet of crisps on the Johannesburg-Cape Town leg =R5.00
Cape Town - Johannesburg, the same packet costs R6.00.
Just asking.


The mountains that surround Paarl


Leaving the Paarl Valley and heading towards Ceres


Snow on the mountains,
and wild flowers on the side of the road.
THIS is why I love Africa.
And, seeing that I am normally the driver,
being a passenger allows me to appreciate the beauty that our country offers


More snow and flowers...
as the sun heads towards the horizon


I am so glad that these are still found along the highway,
and they are in good repair.


A small graveyard, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.


The iconic symbol of the Karoo.


Prince Albert Road.
When I was here five years ago, the then hotel owner was rebuilding after a fire.
He told me that they were going to be building the largest truck park in SA.
All sorts of amenities were going to be offered to long distance drivers.
But, to date, nothing has come to fruition.
This siding is now in a sad state of disrepair


Sunset...


A midnight diesel stop, smoke break and snack shopping all rolled into one.
These breaks are kept to a very tight schedule, usually 10 minutes.
How much did the bus take?
On this fill up, 197,88L at a cost of R2768.35!


Mining head gear is to Gauteng what windmills are to the Karoo


The cold and miserable that greeted me in Cape Town,
was waiting for me in Johannesburg.
Many thanks to all the Greyhound staff that I interacted with.
I might not have agreed with your choice of on board DVD's,
but yo were all a pleasure to deal with.
Especially Thasnine in reservations...for putting up with my seat change requests.
www.greyhound.co.za



I was hosted at these two hotels:
The recently refurbished Cape Milner Hotel.
www.capemilner.com


And, the eclectic Pepper Club in Loop Street.
www.pepperclub.co.za


Many thanks to Lance,the owner of this company,
for not only fetching me from the bus terminus,
but also giving me two days of car hire...
Here are their details, please support when you are next in Cape Town:
Carmania Car Hire
337B Main Road Observatory 7925
Cape Town South Africa
(Opposite the Groote Schuur Hospital
on the M4 (top main road)
Tel: +27 21 4473001
Fax: +27 21 4473009
E-mail: reservations@carmania.co.za
Website: www.carmania.co.za
Mobile: 083 261 9834 / 082 437 5842



"Travel & Things" was an entrant in this competition.
Not a winner, but one of 24 travel Blogs that entered

         
www.sablogawards.com

All images are the copyright property of  and may not be used without permission
Follow me on Twitter: @davidbatzofin
Visit my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/david.batzofin
Travel & Things has it's own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/travelandthings