I enjoy driving. You probably already know this. Twenty years ago, I was just a kid and driving was something my parents did in our old blue Toyota Corolla. I knew that one day, when I was big, I would drive but that would be multiple lifetimes away. One of the simplest yet most joyous of pleasures was after a long day spent at the beach or visiting cousins, we’d return home in the dark and I would fall asleep on the backseat with my siblings and once home; my parents scooped us up, carried us into the house and tucked us into bed. As the years ticked on, it became cooler to stay up whilst my two younger siblings fell asleep and had to be taken into the house whilst I stood tall and made my way in all by myself. As a child, you never really realise that, although you’re displaying this brave independence, you let go of simple pleasures that can never be relived.
Anyway, so where does Jozi really end? Is it actually a mentality more than something that resides within physical borders? Well no – it is bordered pretty well. If you are from Krugersdorp or Springs, you cannot say that you are from Jozi. Anyway, I’ve been making several trips up North to Lephalale of recent and on the absolute outskirts of Gauteng is Total Petroport Panorama that stretches across the N1. It’s very much like the Caltex at New Road in Midrand except this one is not spread over 10 lanes and enveloped by a newly commercial hub. It is placed such that you can take some pictures of the cars using a very slow shutter speed.
By some freak act of nature, I got to the garage just before sunset. Next to the pumps is open veld. Nature takes over from here. It’s absolutely stunning. It’s humbling. As the sun tucked itself in for the night, I, instead, absorbed the magnificence and felt a new joy – a joy six year old me probably would not have truly understood. We go through life always thinking back to simpler times of our adolescence and childhood. Yet age brings so much more…
When to go: If it’s a weekend, leave Jozi about an hour and a half before sunset to ensure you get there in time. Actually, you really should only go here if you’re driving back or to Polokwane on the N1.
How to get there: The Total Garage is just after the Pumulani Toll Plaza and N4 Rustenburg split
Cost: Petrol Money
Anything Else: You will get some beautiful pictures here so don’t forget your tripod. If you do want some slow shutter speed car shots, take a good SLR. You will love yourself to bits when you process the shots. Don’t worry about taking your smile along. At sunset, it will find you.