Lesley Cox

Guardian Angels speak?

I was tired; there was a buzzing in my head.  I have been driving for four days now – away from the lunatic asylum of Zimbabwe, to the asylum of South Africa.  I had had loo and petrol breaks and overnight stops to rest the animal and myself, and it was now time to find a rest stop for the night, where I could stretch my aching limbs, back and neck, tense from hours at the steering wheel.  Somewhere where I could walk little Heidi, let her run free from the confined space of her basket on the front seat, where she lay curled in sleep, hour after hour, kilometre after kilometre.  A place where I could release Pippin the cat from her basket, give her space to stretch her lithe body.

We had passed several dorps in the Three Sisters area, not very hospitable and definitely not inviting.  The light was fading –  I have terrible night vision and I felt panic rising as the sky darkened. To the left I saw a brown accommodation sign flash by  –  “Rondawels” spelt out with the Afrikaans “W”, not the English “V”.  I drove cautiously on along the motorway, not seeing any buildings or turning signs.

I had just switched the headlights on when I heard a distinctly male voice say “Turn right, here”.  Bewildered, I slowed down and then I saw an untarred farm road to the right of the road. Obediently, I swung my car and trailer across the highway, praying that no oncoming traffic would appear around the blind bend.

The headlights of the car picked out a rough, pot-holed farm road. I drove along gingerly, peering into the darkness, not certain where it was leading me.  The road meandered and turned for quite a distance, before a well-lit farmhouse with several Border Collies romping nearby came into view.   Before I had come to a stop, a young farmer, in his early thirties, came out and pointed to a rondavel to the right of the house. He walked beside the car until I came to a stop in front of a delightful little round cottage, with roses climbing over the door.    He greeted me in jovial English, saying “Welcome to South Africa, I see from your registration plates that you are from Zimbabwe!”  I could have wept with relief.

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