Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Travelling mercies granted

Robynne's big move was this past weekend and as with any planned event involving various people, all didn't run exactly according to plan. Firstly, Robynne was expecting her dad to leave on Thursday morning but he didn't, as he had work to finish up and kids and their mom to ferry to and from school and work. He only hit the road at about 1.30pm on Friday afternoon! He and my son travelled right through at a steady pace and stopped at about 1.30am at a service station/rest stop to rest. Dad climbed into the back of the bakkie, locked himself in and fell asleep on a comfy mattress with a blanket covering him and left his son with nothing warm to wear or cover himself with, to sit in the cab and keep watch. He was only supposed to sleep for an hour and then carry on but one and a half hours later, Dael couldn't wake dad up. He would rock the bakkie and dad would stir and then drop off to sleep again. Dael texted me and I ended up phoning dad, who luckily had his cellphone with him, from Kwazulu Natal and with my last 62 cents of airtime and succeeded in waking him up before we were cut off. Dael actually ended up getting sick with a bad cold after catching a chill while waiting for dad to have his sleep. They continued on their journey but only reached Cape Town at 12.30pm on Saturday, a long trip of about 1.500kms.
By this time a very grumpy Robynne had almost given up on them and told me she was going for a nap. By the time they arrived, Dael was also grumpy but all three went for a nap. I would have preferred them to delay their departure until Sunday but the decision was made. After waking, the bakkie was packed with Robynne's belongings, her bunny babies loaded into her little car and Dael climbed into Robynne's little Chevy Spark to travel with her. And the little convoy commenced the journey of the return trip to Gauteng at 19.50pm on Saturday evening. They travelled through, stopping every 100kms or so to rest and eventually stopped to sleep at a place in the Karoo called Leeu-Gamke at about 3.00am, where they stayed until 5.30ish before starting off once again. They continued on and I couldn't rest either until I knew that they had arrived at their destination. They almost ran out of travelling cash quite close to their destination but managed to get to into Gauteng without running out of fuel! I was pleased that they had accomplished a quite amazing and tiring trip in good humour but it was not to be.
They were travelling in the big city of Gauteng, through traffic, about 10 mins away from dad's house when a miscommunication caused dad to lose his cool. When he turned on his emergency lights, Robynne was supposed to flash her lights to let dad know where she was. This was dad's version of the story. He didn't want the kids to get lost because he knew he wouldn't have enough fuel to drive around looking for them. The kids had another version of what they were supposed to do and this confusion was like a spark to a tinderbox for dad. He stopped at the nearest traffic lights, jumped out his bakke like a crazy person and tore strips off the kids. So a rather sad end to a very long, tiring and dramatic trip. But it was all due to being over-tired and over-stressed.
They eventually arrived at their destination at about 21h00 making their travelling time inclusive of stops, more than 24 hours. Not something for the faint hearted to ever think of doing.
I am proud of my kids though for accomplishing such a long road trip with no experience of long distance driving without giving up and falling apart. They finished what they started out doing. And of dad who has a lot of faults but was prepared to sacrifice his rest and push his limits to make sure Robynne got to Gauteng before Monday, 26th October.
Everyone's eyes were red and puffy the next day but Robynne started her new job as arranged and after a quiet first day, is now involved in a major exhibition which is keeping her at work until the late hours of the night but which suits her fantastically as she is a very social person who enjoys being involved, and which is the prime reason for her needing to get up to Gauteng by this week.
So well done family and I'm just grateful that this trip was accomplished without any vehicle breakdowns and with everybody arriving safe and sound!


  1. My word that is A LOT of driving and hours! So glad all ended well with everyone safe. The offer still stands if Robynne needs a friendly face in JHB or if there is ever an emergency.

  2. Tammy - I can't believe they managed to push themselves to drive so far. It's quite amazing what my kids are able to do. Much more than I would ever have had the courage to undertake at that age. Thank you for your offer of held or friendship. I'm sure that Robynne will want to meet you some time when she is settled. She really appreciated your help with the job seeking and I think it gave her confidence to renew her search for the right position. And she is also a cat lover like her mom!

  3. So glad everyone made it safely:) just wanted to drop in and say hello! Smiles to you:)

  4. Wow! I'm also glad everyone arrived safely after SUCH a long trek.

    I wish DAD had more patience, though....and he sleeps too soundly!

    Poor Dael...hope he's all better.

  5. Thanks Kaleena for dropping by. I know that you've also had more than your share of worry and upheaval lately and yes, I'm absolutely relieved that the big trip is over.

    Thank you too Kathryn. Dad is not patient but he has had long trips for the past two weekend and his fuse is very short. He has always been a very sound sleeper and when hes overtired its worse! Dael is a lot better but he developed a fever, runny tummy and cold which he has been battling with this whole week.

  6. Once upon a time I frequently pushed the limits driving...often on too little sleep.

    When I was stationed in Germany I once made the stupid decision to drive the mere 56 miles on the autobahn from Nurenburg to Bayreuth (where I lived) after being awake for over 72 hours.

    I fell asleep shortly after seeing the 1km sign for my exit...going over 100mph on curves. I woke up at the 50m sign. The adrenaline rush and fear kept me awake until I got home from there.

    Now days I plan my trips to include stops. Wisdom comes with age...if you can survive youth.

    Glad your clan made the trip safely.

  7. Hi there...just left a message on your previous post about the school situation.
    LOVE your banner!

  8. J.L. - I too am glad they made it without incident. Their dad has done a lot of long distance driving and I'm glad he was with the kids although they were getting frustrated with his 'slowness'.

    Elenka - Welcome and thanks for the compliment.