My smokey journey to Johannesburg

Yesterday was a very full day indeed. The new occupants of the apartment we were renting, arrived much earlier than expected. By the time we left,  there was a a mass of furniture and boxes outside on the patio. They were moving from another apartment in the same complex, and wanted to swap out their own stuff for what was already there. We loaded up our car, and were soon heading out of  Umhlanga, away from the beauty of the beach and the Indian Ocean.


It’s a long drive up to Johannesburg, and we expected to be at our daughter’s about 4pm. The roads weren’t too busy, and after stopping for lunch, we were driving through the Free State Province, when we noticed plumes of smoke in the distance.


At the end of a dry winter, the grass is always tinder-dry and veld fires are very common. As we drove towards the smoke, we saw in the distance, many trucks stopped at the side of the road and a traffic cop standing in the middle of the road, waving his arms around. We were told that there had been an accident involving four trucks and several other vehicles, and it would take many hours to clear the road. There was nothing for it but to turn around and drive several kms back to the last junction and take another route down one of the back roads. Why the traffic police couldn’t have had someone there in the first place, to divert the traffic, is a total mystery. We were bombing along this much pot-holed road, quite merrily, when we saw more smoke and vehicles ahead. Once again the road was blocked, and a truck was on fire. There was too much smoke for me to open the window to take this shot, hence the reflection of my arm.


We sat waiting for what seemed like ages, and eventually the road was opened, but from the other direction, and dozens and dozens of trucks came slowly driving through.

After a very long wait, we were once again on our way, and finally were passing the industrial outskirts of Johannesburg, which as you can see, isn’t a very pretty sight.


We battled through the rush hour traffic, and when we arrived at our daughter’s lovely house, the family were all there to greet us, and so was my piano. It was great to see it again. It looked very happy in its new home.  It’s very out of tune after the shaking up it must have suffered on the long  journey up here, but today the piano tuner is coming.


It’s a most gorgeous spring day here, and the garden is looking so pretty.


I’ve been glued to the TV this morning, watching the judgement in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. I really hope that justice will be seen to be done for Reeva and her family.

60 comments on “My smokey journey to Johannesburg

  1. ho seguito con interesse questo tuo viaggio disagiato, ed ora che anche tu conosci la sentenza per Pistorius, credo non ne sarai rimasta pienamente contenta come anche non lo sono stata io…non si adopera la giustizia in modo uguale per tutti i cittadini, purtroppo…capita anche da noi in Italia!!
    I have been following with interest this inconvenient trip, and now that you know the sentence for Pistorius, I believe you are not fully satisfied as well as remains are not been I … do not use justice equally for all citizens, unfortunately … it happens even in Italy!!1

  2. Oh what a journey!! Glad you made it and wish I could hear you play! Tell me , what do you think of the OP verdict. I had a hard time imagining how somewhat could have shot such an exquisitely beautiful woman…

    • Yes it was a very stressful journey, but luckily I wasn’t driving, just giving advice from the passenger seat. 😉 I’m astounded by the Oscar verdict, as are many other people. I’m sure the state will appeal it, after the sentencing. If he serves no jail time at all, it will make such a mockery of our justice system. I feel so sad for Reeva’s family, having to go through all of this.

  3. The only diversions we’ve had here have been bush fires, and it wasn’t badly done, except it was similar to yours, they could have implemented it much sooner down the road. Serious looking accidents, I hope people survived.

  4. What a journey, Sylvia! I think I would have been in tears by the end of the day. Thankfully you made it safely to your daughters house. I don’t believe justice was done for Reeva and her family and I really feel for them 😦

  5. Phew, that was quite a trip – mine is usually negotiating the M25 which is more like a car-park these days than a road 😦 Your daughter’s house looks lovely, which part of Joey does she live in? I spent time in Randburg and Johannesburg North, but it’s not a city I wish to return to. When are you off to Florida?

    • Thanks, Jude. She lives in Douglasdale which is part of Sandton. Gorgeous area. Oh yes, I remember battling along the M25 on our way from Heathrow airport, and also when visiting family in Dagenham. 😯 Our house in Florida is in West Palm Beach.

  6. What a contrast between the dark, smoke-filled photos at the beginning to the light-filled, joyous ones at the end of your daughter’s lovely home and with your beautiful piano safely ensconced, looking perfect in its new home 🙂 The garden too is delightful. You must have been so happy to finally arrive and to be able to breathe in the sweet, fresh air again.
    We caught some of the trial on the news last night, will wait to see what the next verdict will be…
    Have a lovely weekend Sylvia, we are enjoying a beautiful ‘Indian September Summer’ here 🙂 xx

  7. You can never get away from those miserable trucks, one way or the other! Hmmmyes I thought I recognized the piano. Was it easy to find a decent piano tuner?

  8. Awful road accident. I think it was probably best to completely block the road. There might be a chance of explosion, from how it looks like.
    The house looks “neat”!

  9. Not a very nice trip, then, but a wonderful home-coming to the piano and family. There was a power outage after the 11 am court break in my area and I only saw the “not guilty of murder” verdict much later. There’s still a way to go tomorrow and Oscar will still have a sleepless night.

  10. Quite a journey, but arriving to such a lovely setting must have quickly erased its unpleasantness. Notice of the trial verdict just flashed across my screen. I can only imagine the various responses.

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