And then it was Tuesday morning and the time had come for me to hit the road. I had a quiet word with the Lord early, before I had even had my first cup of coffee, asking Him to travel with me on my way home and to give me peace on the way. This was his answer: "And you, Jacob my servant, have no fear; despair not, O Israel, says the Lord. For I will bring you back safe from afar." Jeremiah 30 verse 10.
Well what can I say more than that? God does answer me when I pray and in this case he did indeed fulfil what he had said. I got home safe and sound, no doubt about it. Thank you Lord, not only for bringing me home but for allowing me to come into your presence to ask for your favour and encouragement.
It had been my intention to get going at 6am but with the goodbyes and hugs and all those little things that take up so much time at the last minute I was only able to get going at 6.30. First onto the highway headed west and then onto the N1 south. Next stop, Bloemfontein 400km away.
In Southern Africa only the Western Cape has winter rainfall and since this is the Southern Hemisphere we, at this time, are still only just coming out of winter. Snow is rare here, only the mountains really get snow of any worth. The rest of the country just gets very dry and dusty. The interior of South Africa is relatively flat, most of the mountains are closer to the coast, Lesotho and Swaziland are very mountainous.
Traffic was relatively light, mostly trucks with just a few small vehicles. At one point I came across a huge truck lying on it's side burnt out. At first I didn't know what it was, there were no flashing lights or anything just things in the road with a whole lot of vehicles by the side of the road. They waved me through without stopping. I'm one of those people who pass out at the sight of anything that has caused pain so tend to avert my eyes when passing an accident scene. In retrospect, I should have taken a picture but in a way I'm glad I didn't.
Anyway about half an hour later my daughter called me on my cell to warn me that there was a huge accident just a little way before Bloemfontein. I assured her I was OK and that I had already passed it. It is such a blessing to know that your children love you and worry about your safety. I'm a very blessed man to have such loving children and such a fantastic relationship with them, not everyone does.
What they would do is stop all the traffic in one direction and allow the oncoming vehicles to go through and then the process would be reversed. Stops were about ten to twenty minutes at each section and since there were lots of them this probably added 3 hours to the trip but at least there was no time to get too bored and fall asleep.
One thing that I noticed was how on a long trip like this you pick up fellow travellers on the way, there was one car in particular being driven by a woman. I found myself following her for most of the journey which was a blessing because she was a rather good driver. When her husband eventually took over about an hour out of Cape Town I realized just how much better a driver she was, He was an idiot and more than once nearly drove me right off the road. Stupid man, let your wife drive. Anyway it is interesting how you land up with the same people almost all the way.
Going through the Karoo just before Beaufort west was interesting, I could see the mountains that enclose the Western Cape in the distance. I knew that on the other side of those majestic mountains lay home. I also know that it would take hours for me to reach them but there they were.
Well the sun was on it's graceful way towards the horizon and soon I would be reaching those mountains and then through the tunnel and finally the lights of Cape Town would be spread out before me like a welcoming carpet of colour. It had been a good trip and interesting to be driving for such a long time again. I love long drives and find that if I have
someone with me we always manage to form a bond that goes beyond that which is possible in everyday life. Maybe that is one of the reasons my children and I have such a good relationship. We went all over Southern Africa together. From Botswana to Cape Town, from Durban to Pretoria.
This trip however, had been shared with the Lord and He blessed me as He always does. He brought me home safely and for that I'm grateful to say the least. My little car behaved like a princess never a problem and no complaining.
Bless you Lord and once again, thank you.
So there you have it, there isn't really a lot to write about when it comes to a long drive undertaken in one go but at least you now have a map of South Africa so next time I go somewhere you can at least see where on earth I'm talking about. The whole trip took 18 hours and was 1585km in length. (1000 miles).
God bless all of you and I hope you enjoyed this latest portion of Geoff's holiday. All my love, Geoff.