There was a time when road trips were not planned. You just jumped into your car and headed out for a particular place. With the world-wide recession in full swing, people all over the world are looking at more cost effective ways of taking a holiday or break, and road trips have become more appealing; only now, a fair degree of planning is advisable.
Which is why I have spent the best part of a month preparing and getting ready for my road trip starting tomorrow, from Johannesburg, South Africa to Cape Town, via the magnificent Karoo; a journey of about 1400 kilometres. I chose to drive, as I had about two half weeks leave time available and only needed to be in Cape Town at the end of the month for the inaugural Free Society Institute conference co-hosted by the International Humanist and Ethical Union. And driving will give me a chance to re-acquaint myself with the most beautiful arid landscapes in South Africa, which I can barely remember from the last time I went through this way, more than 10 years ago.
Preparing, however has been pretty costly; getting my 4-year old French car into shape for a long trip has busted the bank somewhat. Full service, new clutch kit, new brake pads, new tyres and replacement of cracked windscreen. Then there were the other important bits like the new back-up memory card for my Nikon DSLR camera, new DVD discs for my handy-cam, new Gorillapod, and new maps for my Garmin GPS. And not to mention the many hours on-line looking for interesting places to visit along the way, over-night accommodation and mapping out a route.
I feel like an excited little boy again, about to take his first trip into the country. Not to mention, that I’m itching to try out some new photographic techniques and my Gorillapod. But most of all, I’m particarly excited about the tour of the little town of Sutherland, the chance to visit SALT (South African Large Telescope, at the observatory) and engage in some stargazing.
Hopefully all this will lead to some sort of photo-essay or journal which I can share on this blog.