The Journey

The journey to (or from) Agulhas used to take 2 hours and 40 minutes. Every time. Exactly. You could set your watch by it.
Those days are gone now. Yesterday was close on 4 hours as the outrageous slings and arrows of roadworks, accidents and traffic made life about 1 hour and 20 minutes more difficult than it needed to be.

Once down past Napier though, it’s a whole new world. Open roads, open fields, and wildlife galore. Ostriches, including chicks, storks, baboons, grysbok and even a speedy caracal racing across the road in front of us. And the large evening light, bathing everything in watery primrose yellow.

I should have stopped so we could see and share these things (the caracal was long gone though, sorry), but every time, the destination takes precedent over the trip down here. It’s sad, because I think we miss a lot that way, but we either want to get here, or we don’t want to leave here, meaning that we have limited time to get back: stopping is not a favourable option.

Thus, what’s needed is a week here, and a planned slow drive down. Taking 8 hours to get here when you have fewer than 48 hours before you’re due home – ready to resume normal, stressful life – seems ridiculously wasteful. But 8 hours of different experiences to begin a week of relaxation seems to make complete sense.

So now all I need is a week off work. One that I’m not spending elsewhere, doing other exciting things, that is.

Sadly, that’s not happening anytime soon, but hey, we shouldn’t complain about such #FirstWorldProblems, right?

More average speed cameras coming for Cape Town?

UPDATE: 6th October – this is now CONFIRMED

Eagle-eyed motorists will have noticed some new cameras going up on the N2 and the M3 in Cape Town. They’re on the footbridge at the Searle Street junction of the Nelson Mandela Boulevard in Woodstock, and then, heading further out of town, the footbridge on the M3 at UCT and the Main Road bridge over the Settlers Way bit of the N2.

I’m no expert in speed enforcement camera technology, but this has got ASOD written all over it:
Average Speed Over Distance.
What that means is that your number plate will be read by the camera and your journey from Woodstock to UCT (or Mowbray on the N2) and vice versa is going to be timed. Once they know how long it took you to get from A to B, it’s a simple matter to calculate how fast you were going. Since the speed limit on these bits of road is 80kph, if you average more than that, you’re going to be in trouble.

These schemes have already been used (successfully, we’re told) on the M5, the R27 and the infamous R61 near Beaufort West – the longest ASOD in the world at 72km.

Transport MEC Robin Carlisle’s office said: “Prior to the initial implementation on the R61 stretch from Beaufort West to Aberdeen, there had been a reported 509 crashes in total, 75 of which being fatal crashes resulting in the loss of 149 lives – this over the previous 12 years.
Since the implementation of Asod on the R61 stretch, we have received no reports of any fatal crashes on that stretch.”

And we were also told that this bit of road was one that they were going to be targeting in the future.

I don’t think that the rush hour traffic will be affected by this – you’re lucky if you can get up to 20kph, let alone 80. But that nice long hill down into town down Nelson Mandela Boulevard and the equally tempting dash down Hospital Bend on the way out are going to make this a big money spinner for the authorities out of hours.

Not that I’m saying that speeding motorists shouldn’t be prosecuted. Of course they should: they’re a danger to everyone around them. But given this quote from Carlisle:

“We’ll have a nice nanny state,” he said. “It’s going to be a pleasure to drive in the Western Cape once we’ve got these roads covered.”

I just wish that it wasn’t being done by such a smug twat.

Gabrielskloof

Here’s somewhere we’ve driven past on many occasions and finally managed to drop in on: Gabrielskloof

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Just outside Bot Rivier on the N2 – beyond the Hermanus turn, but before the over-rated Dassiesfontein – it’s a wine and olive estate, has viewz for dayz and serves up some pretty amazing food, by all accounts.

It was a bit early for lunch,  so I had the food pairing with some of their red wines and Mrs 6000 did the wine and chocolate pairing, R70 & R60 respectively. Both were superb.

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I’ll put the full details of what was what on here once I’m back in Cape Town (taking a photo being easier than documenting the tasting menu any other way).
UPDATE: Here it is

We had a quick look at the restaurant: fairly kid friendly and the food looked fantastic; we’ll give it a go next time.

Cape Party in Sense Of Humour Shock

We’ve had “a few” run ins with the Cape Party over the years here on 6000.co.za.

We suggested that they wanted to turn the Cape into France:

Normandy is a bit out of proportion, but that Southern coast looks dangerously familiar.

We questioned where they got their logo from:

Did all three of them sit down and have a meeting about it? Was it a rough doodle? Or was there some other source?

And then we roundly mocked them when they did badly in the 2011 elections:

It’s not just me, it’s the entirety of the Western Cape that thinks your idea is a bad idea.

But fair play to the Cape Party, when the wicked weather over the Eastern Cape effectively removed a large chunk of the N2, they stepped in with this comment:

 

Nice try, guys. Nice try.
Keep dreaming.

Heading South (again)

What to do with a few days off? Head South (again).

There’s actually not much further south than Cape Town, unless you’re into swimming and penguins, but if you hit the N2 through to Caledon and head down the R316, you can drive on winding roads through rolling countryside filled with blue cranes, storks, ostriches and the odd springbok.

This time, we’ll be taking our time to get to where we’re going, so instead of the farmland flying by at 120kph, I hope to stop and get a few photos en route. These are photos which I won’t be able to share immediately, due to the lack of internet at the cottage, but rest assured, you’ll be the first to see them upon our return.

Normal service (such as it is) will continue on this site, although comment moderation may be a little delayed.

Have a great weekend.