TO BADPLAAS AND BACK AGAIN

A friend of mine owns a 1931 Model A Ford which has been beautifully restored to concourse condition. For the past three years the car has been standing idle at a small motor museum near Badplaas in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. During the Easter week-end he had to go and fetch it and I accompanied him on the trip so I could drive his usual transport home. It’s about a four-hour drive to Badplaas so on this day we’d be spending at least eight hours on the road. An early start would be advised and we left home at about 6 a.m. in cold, rainy conditions.

A view of Johannesburg from the M2 East motorway.
Johannesburg, aprox. 6 a.m.

Conditions along the way didn’t improve much but we made good time in spite of the inclement weather. The shot below shows an illuminated sign just outside a filling station en route.

An illuminated sign offering advice to motorists.
"BE SAFE!" The text on the sign will change to alert motorists of road conditions ahead.

At one point, about 50 kilomtres from our destination the mist got quite thick. It amazes me in conditions like this how many vehicles you see with no lights on. No wonder South Africa has one of the highest road death rates in the world.

hazardous road conditions
Hazardous road conditions yet you will still encounter many vehicles with no lights switched on.

On the road between Machadadorp and Badplaas, a beautiful stretch of scenery.

the road between badplaas and machadadorp
I love this part of the world.

We finally arrived at our destination at about 10 a.m. Below are a few pictures I snapped while there, while Chris tinkered with the Model A to get it humming as sweetly  as possible for the journey back home.

The place has had extensive renovations since my last visit a few years ago.

A rock containing amethyst

Shortly after 11.a.m we were ready to make the return journey, with Chris driving the Model A and me following behind in slightly more modern transport. The homeward bound leg was fairly uneventful, with an apparent water leak in the “A” not causing any problems.

The Model A on the road.
At one of the fuel stops along the way there is a mini game farm which even has a rhino.
The Kendel power station in late afternoon light.
There is a 70-year age difference between these Fords, 2001 Ikon and 1931 Model A.
A great way to end the day, although we still had about 100 kms to travel.

© 2011. All images copyright Grahame Hall and may not be used without the written permission of the copyright owner. Please respect the rights of others.

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