Driving in Cars with Girls

Olivia took a trip to Cape Town this weekend to meet a fellow Landy Owner. blogger and friend of Favourite Man.

Going there was easy. The South-Easter was behind us, and the petrol guage barely moved. Sun was up, day was lovely, and off we went puttering along at her happy speed of 60km/hr.

Got there, had a super time.

Coming home was a very different story. Firstly - night. Late enough night (ie, after 10pm) for someone my age to say "should be in bed already". I'm not at all fond of driving at night, especially when it comes to my contact lenses drying out constantly and me not being able to see too well. I'm bad at judging night distance, and don't relax into the driver's seat at all from start to finish. The smallest distractions set me on edge even more.

And then, 15 minutes into the trip home, we came across a huge traffic jam. Caused by a fresh accident - which in turn was caused by some serious over-speeding.

Half-way across the oncoming lane opposite Grand West Casino was what was left of a Toyota. The engine was lying a ways down the road... The occupant/s were very much dead. On the other side of the road was a reasonably new Jaguar. That guy was trapped and about to be cut out with the jaws of life as we passed, but otherwise was concious and OK. I refused to look into either car as I drove by, as I know how images stick in your head. But it was a very very bad one. And you can be sure it had me on full alert for the rest of the trip home.

Of course one can only do one's best on the roads - and sometimes it's the other idiots that are the problem. Those that drive drunk or speed or generally are stupid. And we were passed by a good few while we pottered along.

Or rather, struggled. On the way back we were going into the wind in a vehicle that has all the aerodynamics of a block of flats. Every gust has an effect. Every blast pushes against all those straight up and down bits, catches in the roofrack, drags at the aerials. I had such a grip on the constantly moving steering wheel to keep us going straight that by half way home my right shoulder had cramped up completely. Being Olivia, it was eyes on guages all the way, as well as watching the bonnet (which came loose again the other day as I got to work, and could do so again at any time). My body feeling every vibration, hearing every sound to detect anything out of the ordinary - and eyes still straining to see. It was a slow, hard trip home - and the fuel guage dropped like a stone as we burnt up petrol against the gale.

But we made it home safely. We pulled in to the parking bay in one piece, and for that I am very grateful. There are others who didn't...