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Tosca's Kalaroo Sequel, Roadblocks and Police Raids By: | 2012-06-01
Day 1, Roadblocks and Police raids
I’m baaaaaaackkk!!! And this time I brought my Mom! Haha, you thought you were rid of me, after last year's never ending diatribe of epic adventure, Blue Bullets suffering and all sundry random items! But not so! I am off again! And yes, I am heading back to the Kalahari in the Bullet, with my mom! And she is dangerous, so watch out! Well, actually, I am travelling with my 82 year old, hyperactive, slightly forgetful, broken footed Mom. But who’s keeping score.
Seeing as you know me and Bullet very well, let me introduce you to my Mom. Like I said, 82 years old, with a broken foot. And this is not a recent event. Well, the 82 is, but the broken foot has been coming for a while. She broke this last year, and contrary to doctors orders to sit still for 3 months, with her foot in the air, she was hopping around on the other leg, not with foot in the air and as a result the foot is still slightly broken, and now the other leg is also slightly wonky. O, she also has a slight memory problem, which is not really a problem, as her stories are very funny, so when she tells it twice, thinking it is the first time, it is still very funny. And she has a problem with her teeth. Well, its not really her teeth that’s giving her a problem, seeing as she believes the dentist gave her set of teeth to somebody else, and she is now wearing a random persons set so now somebody elses teeth are giving her a problem. But we are all sure her teeth are very happy somewhere in Llandudno, living the high life of caviar and champers. The set she got had to get used to pea soup, boiled eggs and tuna. No wonder they are giving her some problems.
Apparently she also has no technical sense. This she has now said about 20 times in the last 30 minutes, while trying to make one cup of coffee from those little sealed baggies one gets in restaurants? Ok, fair's fair, I also struggle slightly with opening those little sachets, and that’s with my own teeth!
It was 12 hours I will never get back again! We are currently sitting safely in a chalet outside of Upington, with only 250km left to get to the Kgalagadi, but I tell you, I am not sure how we made it here.
Firstly my Mom nearly had us arrested by the K9 unit. Then we got stuck for an hour and a half in roadworks stop and go places, and not ONCE in the 7 stop and go's, did we get the chance to just go.
Oh, and then I killed 20 Weavers, at once!
Never mind the very creepy taxi next to us in the very scary main road of Upington, where my Mom frantically tried to hide both the money kitty, my camera and her knitting bag under her bum, in a single hand sweep, as she was sure that the taxi driver looked very like somebody she saw on Police File in the 70's!
Backtrack 12 hours. We departed Darling this morning at 6am. This after loading the car with the two very small bags of clothes, then the 500kg of food, and the camera, and very very important, the Padkos. For those of you not in the know, this is the key ingredient to any successful roadtrip that stretches further than 50metres! Padkos, roughly translated, means road food. (well, actually, verbatim, road food). No self respecting motorist family will succumb to the temptation of a Wimpy breakfast, or their magnificent coffee. Oh no, a self respecting motorist family will have a huge Tupperware in the vehicle somewhere, and in that Tupperware will be sandwiches, meatballs, boiled eggs, sometimes fried chicken, or small meat pies and is accompanied by a massive flask of coffee. Home brewed.
And yes, Wimpy brekkie does taste nicer, and Wimpy coffee does go further, but the tradition of the Tupperware sandwich and boiled egg, and meatball, ingested next to the road, at a very neglected and sometimes dirty picnic spot, does taste so much better than Wimpy costs!
We departed with a truck load of padkos, two extra cooler boxes of food (both dry and wet), my camera, and yes, a plastic bag with home remedies, stomach cramp drops, eye drops, lip balm, and even a small pair of scissors (which came in very handy, surprisingly enough, when we had to open a very small packet of fruit chews).
17km later, the first road works appeared. This is something in the line of Roseveldts big plan, or large idea, or save the nation or whatever. You know, where he got everybody jobs, even if it was digging ditches, and then refilling them. So, in South Africa it is called road works. Spread 5 to 10 km apart, are two temporary structures and inside,are two people, communicating by walkie talkies (VHF radio) to two other people in the other structure on the opposite side. Then, on one side the cars must wait, while the other side send through the cars waiting on that side. And once they have passed, the cars on this side can then go again, very complicated, thought through system, and takes lots of training and practice. We went through 7 of them! And each stop and go waiting time is 10 minutes minimum! Thus, we lost just under two hours, standing at stop and go. My mom also now learned to operate the electrical window on her side, so every time we had to stop next to this temp structure, down would come the window, and Mom would start a fat chat with the walkie talkie operator! Luckily, after stop one, she stopped giving away our fruit chews, as 7 stops later, we would have had to restock all again!
The close arrest came about 70 km from home, where the South African Traffic Police, as well as the K9 unit constructed a temporary road block at a truck weighing bridge. So, down comes the electrical window, and out pops Moms head, and in a very clear, loud voice, says “why do they want to weigh your car? And why is the lady police officer in front not doing her job properly?” etc. To the point that I had to wrestle control of said electric window from her, to prevent the K9 unit listening in to her comments, tackling us to the grass, cuffing us, and transporting us in a paddy wagon to Klawer Police station!
Well, the sad bit was a flock of sociable weavers who decided that today would be the day that they will dare each other to take on a Blue bullet, en masse, and unfortunately, a couple of them did not make it past the initial qualifying rounds. Well, they made it to birdie heaven I am sure. I caught Mom inspecting Bullets front grid for weaver carcasses, to save me the trauma later. Luckily, only one sad feather remained, dangling bloody in the wind.
So, all in all a fun day, and I am very sure a great evening for all the residents of Upington wanting to take a bath tonight, as the main water reservoir burst as we were leaving Upington to our lodge outside town. Bullet had to do a little aqua lung, goggle, snorkel driving as the reservoir water was flooding the main exit road! The tide in the road was so strong, if I wanted to open the car doors, the animals would have been approaching in pairs! Well, at least it washed off the blood and gore on Bullets radiator. You know, the doomed Weavers?
And, low and behold, on arrival at our lodge/chalet/ place for the evening, we spotted a black springbok! Trues Bob! Black! Really, Google it, you’ll find results. Black Springbok!
So Day One ended peacefully, with a spectacular sunset and left over Padkos.
Tomorrow, at first chicken fart, we will do the final approach to the Kgalagadi!
TOSCA'S LESSONS LEARNED:
Don’t show your mom how to operate electrical windows, chances are the police will intervene.
Never build a reservoir on top of a hill above a main road, chances are Noah will meander on by.
Weavers don’t play chicken well.