Tag Archives: baden powell

The 2.5 Hour Commute My Life 08 FEB 2013

baden powell drive protestIt wasn’t a particularly enjoyable Monday this week mind you. It started off innocuously enough, with me leaving home at 7am as per the norm and perfectly on time, but that pretty much only lasted until I joined up with the N2 from Sir Lowry, where an accident further down the line had caused a massive back-up of traffic which would happily keep me company for the next 40 minutes or so.

The traffic jam meant that I needed to stop and put in petrol as well, but once we finally made it out of Somerset West, the road opened up in front of me and I gunned it towards my usual off-ramp of choice, Baden Powell Drive.

Except, it turned out that this morning the authorities had closed it due to angry protests blocking the road (burning tyres are difficult to skirt around, so it makes sense to shut the road), meaning that instead I had to do a u-turn and head back on the N2 and into Cape Town to cut across via the M3 or M5. Radio traffic reports were not my friend as we header closer and closer towards Cape Town, happily informing me one after the other of accidents and broken down cars on the highways and the byways, literally damming up just about every conceivable route towards my final destination, and in the end, resulting in a full two and a half hour commute into work!

Two and a half hours! Needless to say, I was not a happy chappy.

Of course, Monday also happened to be the day that the electricians were coming in to install a power meter, which meant that they were waiting on me to power down the server room – which I was naturally now late for, never mind the fact that it took a little while for them to get the installation right, meaning the office was plunged into darkness on more than just one occasion.

And of course the modem server would kick up a problem during the process, the end result being that it was shudown which in turn meant a lovely hour of reconfiguring SMS Tools and the USB modems in order to get it back up and running properly again!

In addition to all of this, and on top of my already hectic workload, we discovered that Steve hadn’t completed any of the Distell work he was meant to do before he left the company at the end of January, meaning that I’ve now got an extra stack of development problems to deal with – which is just wonderful. Oh and some office politics raised its ugly head, which also guaranteed that I didn’t break out into a smile at any point in time.

Finally Tracy and I lost badly to Hypenica’s table tennis team of Ruairi and Tomy, and then to cap off a bad day (at least the drive home was painless apart from the horrible wind), I went and horribly lost pretty much all of my FIFA 13 games against Ryan in the evening.

So no, Monday wasn’t a particular favourite of mine this week as you could probably tell by now…

Burning Tyres and an Oil Spill… My Life 04 OCT 2010

The scenic drive through to Muizenberg from Gordon’s Bay, Baden-Powell Drive (or the coastal road for those of you who prefer that title), turned out not to be particularly friendly to me last Friday, forcing me to travel both to AND from work in Westlake via the N2 on the day – and for two completely different reasons at that!

Friday morning started out pretty much as per usual, with me getting up at 05:30, getting dressed, grabbing a bite to eat and packing my bags, before leaving out the door just after 06:00. Happily travelling along the N2, I took the Baden Powell off-ramp and road slap bang into the tail of the beginning of a queue of cars, curiously held up by a row of flashing blue lights. As I edged forward I could make out that the road was pretty much blocked off and that there was a considerably larger stream of cars coming back towards the N2 than what there normally is so early on in the morning.

And for a change I caught the hint early, did a three-point turn and blasted back down towards the N2, taking the long way into work. Only later did I discover the reason for my beloved scenic route’s closure – turns out that I wasn’t the only active one so early in the morning. The locals of the nearby squatter camp had decided that the early weather was perfect for a good old protest, and so out came the tyres, petrol and matches.

Nice.

As for being diverted the long way around on the way back from work, as I excitedly ran away from the office at the end of the day, hopped into my car parked at the gym and gunned it down towards Muizenburg, my ears picked up on a particular bulletin point presented in the 5FM traffic report. Baden-Powell was closed due to a truck losing its load which resulted in an oil spill blocking the way.

Fantastic.

So another u-turn and back into the traffic as I returned to home via the long N2 road, complete with Friday afternoon traffic (which I must point out seems to be a lot better these day thanks to all the completed roadworks!)

Really. Twice in one day? What did I ever do to you Mr. Baden-Powell drive?

Make the Circles Bigger! My Life 19 MAR 2010

As I write this I sit with my head in my hands experiencing the deepest of shame. Let me tell you where I was around 19:00 on Monday evening: Sitting in McDonalds Tyger Manor, consoling myself with a Quarter Pounder Deluxe meal and speaking to Chantelle on the phone. But hang on a minute, you find yourself ask me – “Aren’t you meant to be at karate practice on a Monday evening, starting 18:30?”.

Why yes, that is exactly where I was meant to be. But let me tell you my story of woe. First, it all started out with simply dreadful traffic trying to escape from Westlake through to Muizenburg. However, this was only the beginning because as I got to the giant circle connecting to Baden Powell, I finally saw what was causing the long delay – a fire engine with its red lights flashing, indicating that the coastal road was now well and truly closed. Bugger.

So forced back towards the M5 direction as were the rest of the evening’s commuters, I discovered that my detour route that would take me around the closed off section of Baden Powell was also blocked thanks to a pedestrian that had been run over earlier, his body still lying under the tarpaulin and the cops cordoning off the area. Double bugger.

Right, no problem though, I reckon if I just head up to the M5 and connect on to the N2 it will take me home, though I’ll most likely miss karate now thanks to the heavy traffic flow. So out came the TomTom GPS and I sat back frustrated, listening to the radio in the hopes that someone on air could cheer me up. Nobody did.

But it gets worse you see. Confident in my own navigation abilities (you see the mistake I made there?) and realising that the TomTom will charge better if I turn it off, I flicked the switch on the GPS and turned over to manual mode, happily cruising along the fairly traffic-free M5 until I found myself happily driving down the… N1.

Yup, I’d forgotten to crossover onto the N2, meaning I was now well and truly on one hell of a detour. Cursing my bad sense of direction and memory, I whipped out the TomTom and calculated that the quickest way to recover from my error would be to do a u-turn via the Sable Road offramp at Century City and then head back towards the M5 and hop onto the N2.

No problem, I took the offramp, did the turn and headed back along the N1 towards the M5 turnoff only to be stopped dead in my tracks in a long line of cars that literally seemed destined to be stuck in that lane forever. Cursing my luck (and bad sense of judgement), I pulled out of the M5 turnoff lane and headed up higher in the hopes to work my way back down towards the N2, only to die of shock when I realised that the offramp I took was one that took me towards Paarden Island, in other words the complete opposite direction of where I wanted to be!

And TomTom wasn’t helping either. At this stage the GPS was trying to force me to turn left in a right-only lane road, meaning I was now well and truly stuck, driving to Milnerton along the coast. Bugger it! By this time I was nearly in tears and so decided Fuck it, I’ll just take the bloody N1 and drive it all the way through Bellville and then head back home that way, which I did, but not before the route to get back on the N1 took me all the way up towards Cape Town again.

And so, running out of fuel, feeling very sorry for myself (never mind furious at my own ineptitude), I pulled off into Bellville, put in fuel, gave a woman begging at the side of the road with her baby R20 in an attempt to make me feel better about myself and then pulled a pitstop maneuver at Tyger Manor, where I chowed my sorrows at McDonalds while listening to Chantelle laugh hysterically to herself as I recounted my shameful tale to her.

I tell you, not even good old Creme Soda could cheer me up.

Oh, and to top it all off, I was forced to come to a screeching halt by slamming on my breaks in order to stop for a lost Rottweiler that decided to cross the road in front of me. Needless to say, I was not impressed when I finally walked into our pad just after 20:00 the evening!

Sigh. I really am the world’s worst when it comes to sense of direction, aren’t I?

Even with one of these, I'm still lost! :(

*sniff* *sniff*

Baden Powell Closed My Life 18 DEC 2009

sandstormAnd now I know.

You know, in the just over a year that I’ve been working here at Touchwork in Westlake, I had yet to experience the inconvenience and bugger up that a closed Baden Powell route into Muizenburg brings – until Monday morning that is.

Up until now, I’ve been pretty lucky in hindsight. Many people have gone on and on about how frequently that last section of Baden Powell into Muizenburg (the beach section essentially) gets shut down, be it due to sand on the road or just plain heavy wind conditions, but up until Monday I had never actually experienced it closed for myself – and man, what a pain now that I have!

Baden Powell is the most economical and sensible way to get to Westlake from Gordon’s Bay, meaning that I travel along this very picturesque coastal road every weekday morning and afternoon of my life. The road is pretty remote, not all that busy and drives straight from the N2 into Muizenburg without any detours, making it perfect for my purposes in other words.

But it does have one little flaw. The last section into Muizenburg is laid literally slap bang in the middle of the beach, meaning that while you have surf and sand to the one side of you, you now also have sand dunes on the other – and needless to say, the constant wind is always shifting sand from one side of the road to the other.

Now I have no idea what possessed the road planners to place a road in the middle of the beach, but unfortunately the consequences of having done so are very real, because when the weather conditions become just a little bit too unsafe, the traffic cops come out in full and that poor little road needs to be locked down post haste – leaving very little alternative routes into Muizenberg open!

Which is of course why I found myself diverted into extremely heavy traffic towards Strandfontein, not exactly the nicest area around, for a journey that lasted in total well over a hour and three quarters in time, quite a couple of wasted kilometers extra, and which naturally led to a rather frustrated Craig finally making his way to the office – late for a change.

*sigh*, I guess it really was just a matter of time until my luck ran out! :(