Thursday, April 07, 2016

Exploding eyes and escarpment edges

The first cold front of the winter arrived in Cape Town the night before I left. It rode into town like an unknown hooded outlaw galloping with gusto into a dry and dusty frontier town. A desperately-needed dump of moisture that soothed nerves and senses, that turned tar roads glassy, oily, as if they'd been sprayed by a massive can of hairspray. That left them reeking awesomely of, well, wetness. A most welcome and deep-reaching wetness.

That and the lurch in temperature were most welcome after the extreme and drought-ridden roasting of the still lingering (as it does in the deep south) Cape summer. Worldwide temperature highs for the first three months of 2016 smashed records by a long shot. Climate change. The slow turning up of the heat as the frogs in the pot sunbathe and turn a blind eye. Eyes that are close to exploding.

That was Friday, 18 March when the mercury, like a freezing penis and foreskin, shrunk into itself.

The next day I was gone, with a dramatically increased carbon footprint, on a flight to Johannesburg, then a bus to the land of the rising sun. Mpumalanga. To the very edge of the Middleveld to be exact. Where the days may be hot, at times brutal, sometimes humid, but where the nights are always cool. The mountain air always clean. The Milkyway always pristine.

I was going 'home', leaving behind the neat and prissy vineyards and fields of the Cape. Also the little Europe of Cape Town. For veld and acacia trees, red-rich soil country roads crisis-crossing a verdant landscape still luminous from the late-arriving rains.

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