Ben Oostdam's


November 18 to December 5

Part 4: November 21, 2008
TYGERBERG to Montagu

much abbreviated and expurgated -
especially where original was illegible
I had breakfast at 08:00 with two middle aged widows from George, and learned the useful Georgian term for "oysters" : "bedomkrabbers" or "creatures that turn over the bed..."(presumably hinting at alleged aphrodisiac effects of Ostrea sp.)
I called some people in Paarl to arrange meeting them to-morrow, Saturday (Andre), and Sunday (Nicolette) about our Main Street house.
At 09:45, Desre arrived on her scooter at the same time Annemarie Port got there, who is the owner of the B and B and Carel's aunt. Desre told me that two of her friends would come along to-day, and they arrived at 10:30: Bernadette, Charles' wife - who I knew already - and a pleasant plump nineteen year old girl named "Mershu" which she pronounced the same way as my wife's name, Mercia. It was no till hours later on our way back from Montagu that I ended up in the backseat with M. and asked if her mother knew she was going on this tour. She laughed shyly and said yes, you may ask her, pointing at Bern who was driving at that time! Big Surprise!!
An interesting sociological situation soon developed while I headed towards Table Mountain. I put the road map on Desre's lap and said she was the navigator. She asked if I knew how to go, and I said, yes, to route N-2.... a mini panic ensued and she turned back to consult with Bern. They objected and said I had to take route N-1 to go to N-2, but I said that was not necessary. Bern decided to call Charles on her cellphone and Desre called Jack,,,I must have been heading for disaster and even though I knew it would be only a few more miles (or kilometers here) to intersect Route N-2, I made a 180 degree turn and followed their advice to go to N1 first. Of course, I was annoyed, and only now that I am recording this and produced the map below do I get "it"... By the time I turned we must have been on N7 near Langa, and the following three settlements are Guguletu, Nyanga and Khayelitsha (all just south of N-2) which white ladies usually avoid and give a wide berth. How wide exactly I do no recell, because I just followed their telephoned instructions and remember a stretch of N-1, then a side road leading to a messy van Riebeek Road and dusty Somerset West where we joined N-2, finally (I would say a few kms from where I had executed my 180 degree turn!)

We made a stop at one of the giant wayside petrol stations, and I had a hard time identifying "my girls" from the dozens flocking together. After seeing the sign to Bredasdorp - where M and I went for honeymoon and which we revitited last Februari with Barb and Harry - we turned north just before Caledon and crossed the beautiful Riviersonderendberge (River without end Mountains) and in the late afternoon entered surprising Montagu.

Satellite Map showing our route from
Caledon (bottom left) to Montagu (top right)

By that time I was exhausted and suggested we book in a local hotel. Notwithstanding the presence of two chaperones, the idea was rejected and instead I was essentially car-jacked as soon as we had spread Sanny's ashes along the Kingnariver: Bern took the wheel, Desre the navigator's seat where she worsened matters lighting two cigs, and I was entrusted to M in the backseat doing puzzles while I faintly protested their way-too-fast driving which succeeded in getting us back to Parow by dinner time! Charles had been summoned to collect the three beauties at the Guesthouse and that was the end. With only a beer and a can of sardines for dinner I soon slept like a log!.

Satellite Map of Montagu with Kingnariver and tunnel

BLO fecit 20090227
Contents of SA 2008-2 Journey