Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ode to the R63 [and the Corsa Utility]

The byways are the new highways - by Nick van der Leek

My job certainly takes me on less travelled roads, and it is surprising to find them in such immaculate condition.  The countries main roads [N1 and N2 for example] are being pounded into potholes and gravel by a continuous stream of trucks.  Driving at night there are more trucks on the road than ordinary vehicles.

On a recent trip I drove around 4000km in the very flexible, and very zippy Chevy Corsa Utility.
This is definitely my kind of vehicle.  Tough, light on the juice, small-ish and flexible for everyday use.  It's a little weak on steep inclines, but it's no slouch on the highway.

The seats are very comfortable and the loading bay canvas very easy to remove and replace.  Your chances of running out of fuel in the utility are also reduced because a petrol light starts flashing when you're running low.

Engine noise is so quiet, when idling you can't always tell if the engine is on or not.  And the sound system is great.

Back to the R63

There is no construction on any of the secondary roads [and none needed] that I covered en route to Namibia.  The same can't be said for the few encounters I had with the N1 and N2.  Even in the 10 metre section where I crossed the N1 heading towards Victoria West the N1 was under construction.  In fact, several large sections between Bloemfontein and Cape Town the N1 has been reduced to 1 lane.  Not so with the R63.

A lovely road, a teeming with wild animals.  At one point I spotted a hare racing towards my headlights with a jackal behind it.  The hare didn't stop running, but the jackal finally pulled over and then dodged off the road.  The number of raptors haunting the R63 is also impressive.

This road starts in PE, goes up across the N1 via Graaf Reinet and then curves via Carnarvon and Williston.  I'm pitching a story of the R63 to a few publications, so hold thumbs.

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