Saturday, 27 October 2012

From Snow To Sunshine And Sea In One Day - August 2012



Every year everyone including myself says "This is the coldest Winter we have ever had" Well this past Winter was definitely the coldest I have ever experienced. It snowed in Joburg, but more importantly it snowed where we live and work. We have never had snow at our house and I have never seen snow until this year. Did I miss out? Was I deprived? No to both answers!!! Snow is over rated. It is wet, cold and miserable. Give me sunshine and heat any day.

It snowed during the week of 6 August to 9 August 2012. My blog posts are so delayed, I cannot even remember the exact day it snowed, but I think it was on the Tuesday (7 August 2012). We did not have much, but it was real snow. Flurries of white icy cold stuff came out of the sky to the excitement of everyone. Mark loved it, he was like a kid in a candy store. Shame poor Chad was at home alone - not entirely alone, Rabie and Sheila were at home as well, but it couldn't have been much fun on his own without anyone to share the excitement of seeing snow for the first time. It was also one of those hectic, busy, everything goes wrong, days at work. Bad weather does that. Mark had fetched Chad from school, because I was busy and also did not want to drive in the bad weather. If I had known it was going to snow properly at our house, I would have stayed at home just to share the excitement with him.

We had planned to go down to Ballito that weekend, more of a working weekend than for fun and relaxation. The roads were closed, people were stuck in their cars and we were not sure if we would be going or not. We heard that the roads would be open on the Thursday morning, but travelling over night was not advisable - in fact the authorities warned not to travel over night. We left at 5 am on Thursday morning. I bought the dogs extra blankets, because although Sheila would be looking after them and they would still be sleeping in the house, they would not have us to cuddle up with for extra body heat - except Jingles who slept with Sheila in her bed - Sheila's dog.
Snug As A Bug In A Rug At 5AM Thursday  9 August 2012
It was freezing cold when we left, but the roads were clear - of snow; rain and even cars. It just got colder and colder and very misty in parts. As we neared Warden, we could see snow on the Horizon  there were reports of black ice on the road to Durban, but we thought it was "old news". There was no sign of ice or snow. Until we hit Harrismith. There was just so much snow, but the roads were clear. We stopped on the side of the road, so Mark, yes Mark could play in the snow. Chad's friend John went with us and him and Mark enjoyed the snow. Chad was tired; cold and miserable and was not interested in the snow. Staying up until after 12 and then waking up at 4.30, does not bode well with him, but he knows better than his nagging mom.

Mark & John Playing In The Snow - First Stop
John Sinking In Snow In Harrismith


Chad & John Outside Harrismith

Chad Being Silly
Chad Being Silly





















As we got closer to Harrismith, it became a Winter Wonderland.  I have to admit it was very pretty and the town below the road looked like a story book picture, but still snow is over rated and once in a life time is enough for me. The cars were driving at a snail's pace and everyone was taking pictures as we drove down to the hill.







There was just so much snow and wet sludge at the Fuel Station were we stopped and it was freezing cold. As we drove along there were reports that the roads were closed further down at Mooi river, because of black ice on the roads. We went on the back roads and although the traffic was hectic, like peak hour Joburg traffic, there were police showing people which way to go. It was actually so much better than driving on the freeway. Although there were idiots overtaking and speeding on a narrow road, with lots of cows; goats; chickens and people walking along the road. We even had the pleasure of seeing a herd of Zebra crossing at one stage. It took us 10 hours to get down to Ballito. It took some people 22 hours - those that stayed on the freeway. There were people complaining that they were stuck in their cars with babies and dogs, blaming the authorities. Come on you were warned that is all I can say. How come some of us knew and heard that the road was full of black ice and that we had to detour - don't make it the authorities fault, because you knew better.

We arrived in Ballito at around 3pm or just before, looking like idiotic snowmen in Winter clothes. We went to the shops first to buy some groceries then went to the apartment we were renting. It was right on the beach and so beautiful.
View From Balcony Thursday Evening
View From Balcony



The Sea




Stairs To The Parking Area


To The Beach

Stairs To The Beach
From The Beach 
View Of Mark Sitting On The Balcony





















On Friday morning it was a bit nippy, we went to work and then shopping. Friday night we had a braai at the apartment with friends. On Saturday Mark went to work, the boys messed around on the beach. We went to buy more stuff that they needed at work and then we just relaxed. The boys were so bored on Saturday night and there was no TV in the apartment. I think it was good that they had a break from PlayStation and TV. Then they went down to the beach and watched people lighting Chinese lanterns over the sea. Very pretty, but extremely dangerous for the environment and sea creatures. What goes up must come down and where does it land when it comes down - into the already polluted sea.




We left for home on Sunday at around 10, went the back roads again and when we joined up with the freeway, the traffic and rest stops were jam packed with people. At one stage we just sat for over an hour with the cars barely moving. Apparently it was a massive road block causing a traffic jam for hours. Yes I am all for visible policing, but not a road block that causes tired frustrated and impatient motorists. We saw about 100 cops when they were finished with the road block. Now if all those police had been driving around instead of all in one place, there would have been far less accidents and idiots on the road. Going away over a long weekend is really not worth it. You are more stressed and tired than before you leave.
Going Home

Traffic






















And that was another update - 3 months later



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