Africa

Road Trip Day 11: Underberg – Centurion

— 07 Oct 2011 —

It was time to leave Underberg with *L. I didn’t want him to experience the horrid transport system like last time so I offered to take him along with me on  my way to Centurion. He was going to  Soweto, so it was on the way. Plus it would be good to have company that wasn’t in the form of food (Flings and Cheerios will only keep you sane so far into a journey). We said good-bye to *S, *L, *T and the animals before setting off early.

The Journey


Point A: Underberg
Point B: Harrismith
Point C: Soweto
Point D: Centurion
Distance: 705km (initial 685km)

We were travelling through 3 provinces today, a trip that would take nearly 9 hours by the time I get to Centurion. I didn’t know how this was going to work out because I haven’t had human company since I started my road trip. Plus it was someone I’d only known for 3 days. My only major concern was he wasn’t one of those people who flicked through radio channels.

The trip wasn’t without its ups and downs though. First stop at the fuel station, I noticed the tyres were a tad flat. Pumping them, they only lasted till the second stop. This was where I had some guys change to the spare for me and point me in the right direction to purchase a new tyre. The guys at the service station were so helpful (I had the damsel-in-distress look).

Rolling into the town where the guys pointed me towards, I noticed it was a dead beat town. A lot of the stores were run down and no longer operating. The streets were filthy and littered with loiterers. Luckily, I found a good soul at the fuel station who led me to the car tyre centre.

At the tyre centre, the expert suggested I purchase a new tyre. Just my thoughts exactly. However we found that the tyres were not the usual size (of course they had to be the sports version!) and it was going to cost me around R1,300 for one tyre! I just didn’t have that money on me. So we put back the original and drove onwards to Joburg. It was just another odd 200kms.

Assured by *L that he didn’t mind this at all and it was better than sitting in a bus full of people, we drove through the Free State stopping only once to get a BIG coffee. Good thing we got the coffees because the landscape was harsh and barren, and the ray and heat reflections off the road were making me sleepy. Lucky *L had a chance to snooze before we made our way into Soweto.

Dropping *L off in Soweto and wishing me safe journeys ahead, I headed home (only getting lost twice) to see *R and *M. We had a nice relaxed dinner and I told them all about my adventures.

Looking back and writing about it all now, I feel sorry for *L as he didn’t know what he got himself with me. All I can say is I was greatful he was there with me as I would’ve survived the stress the tyres caused me! Also it was a great experience to share with someone, not a packet of chips.

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