AN UNEXPECTED BUS TOUR


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I decided to catch Cape Town’s MyCiti bus into town, to attend the Open Book Festival, held in the CBD. After all, I have my pre-loaded bus card, so why not?  Fighting city traffic and hunting for a parking never appeals to me. The bus had to be the better option.

All went according to plan from my local stop, to the City terminus. What a good idea this was! Now all I had to do was find out where to catch the last  bus  to take me to the Festival venue at the Atholl Fugard Theatre. So I approached the nearest MyCiti official and asked which bus I should take to the District Six Museum, knowing that it was around the corner from the Fugard.

I know I said District Six Museum but what the official heard was only the first part.  She told me there was a District Six stop. So: I boarded. The bus ploughed up Adderley Street, into Darling Street, past the Castle, and up the hill to Cape Town Tech. At which point I had a nasty sinking feeling. I knew that my intended destination now lay half a kilometre behind me, but the bus forged on. Sure enough, there was a District Six stop, but it wasn’t where I needed to alight! By now, we were too far advanced for me to jump off and  walk quickly to the theatre. Sometimes you just gotta relax, and admire the view. Which I did, for the next half hour.

The higher we ascended, the more  spectacular the views. First the narrow streets of Woodstock, gentrified cottages and  pricey eateries; then the hodge-podge of shabby Salt River shops and backyard dwellings.

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Ahead were the narrow, narrow streets of Walmer Estate, which our bus driver tackled with verve , causing me  to feverishly repeat my mantra. Up and round and round, to the  windy heights  of University Estate, a fantastic view of the harbour far below – vessels, oil rigs, cranes, and the Atlantic.

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Down, down we plunged at breakneck speed towards the maelstrom of Salt River  traffic circle which is a crazy roundabout of trucks, bakkies, cars, motorbikes all converging on a mammoth traffic circle – I clung onto my seat grimly as our Lewis Hamilton-wannabe driver charged round the circle,  back up into Salt River Main Road which I knew  would ultimately lead us  back to the City terminus.  But not before we’d missed several cars by a whisker in Salt River, and had an altercation at the bottom end of Adderley Street, where the road narrowed down to one lane and a cheeky white Corsa thought it would nip smartly in front of our bus … The Corsa lost out, defeated by a storm of angry hooting from our driver.

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I think I used up my day’s allocation of adrenalin, but I loved seeing the flower sellers in Trafalgar Square, loved the cypresses and green grass of the upper mountain slopes, the harbour views, the tatty peeling charm of Salt River – and miraculous to report, I boarded another bus, got off at the correct stop, dashed up Harrington Street and made it to the venue in time. Phew!Blommemeisie-5_380_430_80

 

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7 Comments

Filed under PRESENT & FUTURE, TRAVEL

7 responses to “AN UNEXPECTED BUS TOUR

  1. Charlotte

    Lovely description! Thank you for taking us with you. Detours often provide our most memorable adventures of discovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great writing! Get those books published!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brenda Payne

    Oh Alison what a joy it was reading of your bus experience. I too was misdirected when I visited the archives in Cape Town, but also managed to see such a fancy bus station with mosaic benches. Quite stunning! So pleased you made it back in one piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lindsey van Heerden

    Nice detour and lovely pics!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brilliantly, spell-bindingly written, Alison! Had me on the edge of my seat! So glad to hear you made it to the theatre safely in the end. Yeah, those MyCiti bus drivers – I’m pretty sure they’re all ex-minibus-taxi-drivers…! I do a lot of mantra-ing when I’m on the road too.

    Like

  6. Great writing and gorgeous pictures, Alison!

    Like

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