Hogsback is known for its amazing nature, walks, waterfalls and forest. We also have “amazing roads” which can be a challenge to locals and visitors alike. With the rainy season setting in, our roads have become even more problematic. The locals have started a road fund to try to mitigate the potholes as we struggle to address our problems with the authorities responsible for the (non) maintenance of our roads.
Then there are the speed maniacs (mostly in white bakkies) who cruise down our already compromised main road, at breakneck speed. You will hear some of the locals say that it is the only way not to feel the potholes.
And there are the visitors who drive at a snail’s pace, trying to avoid the “odd” little hole, zig-zagging across the road, praying not to lose a body or car part. We feel for you, deeply, and show our solidarity with you by sitting on your tail and, finally, roaring past you to show you the way!
Then there are the forestry trucks. They are scary. More than the boomslang and the legendary “slender man”. You do not want to encounter them on the pass, around one of the bends! Make sure that you make yourself really skinny on the side of the road, just in case.
Don’t get a fright if a hog-seller appears, as from nowhere (mostly from thick mist), and presses a raging hog (with or without a missing leg) in front of you. They are some of our mystical mountain characters. A good idea is to buy at least one hog (more are better) and prestik it to your dash, thereby warding off any further hog attacks. This, however, is not a guarantee that you will not be accosted by sudden appearances.
Peak hour traffic is provided by any number of our well loved four-legged friends. Baboons like sitting in the road sunning their rear ends. Do not throw food at them, please. Dogs are very social on the mountain and are always on their way to visit friends. Social distancing means nothing to them. Please do not drive over them. We love them. There will also be the odd horse trotting along. They are there for ambience – drive around them.
The most dangerous of the four-legged road obstacles are the cows. As many a local can attest, they are dan-ge-rous. They come across as docile and slow moving and totally disinterested in you, but then take an unexpected detour straight into your car from an unexpected angle, causing severe damage! Always slow down to a snail’s pace. They can and will jump. When you least expect it.
So, severe road rage is always possible, just as in the picture above. We, therefore, ask everybody to breathe in the cool fresh mountain air and take in the beauty next to the road – the azaleas, the roses, the arum lilies and the colourful masks.
By the way, the speed limit on the main road is 40km, which is way too fast. Slow down and smell the roses (and the rest of the local flowers).