Blog Post 61
Today was another very long day of driving, in fact 565 kms of driving. Most of it along very straight single lane roads. However, my spirit is not only strong it is good and it is a privilege to be getting around this beautiful country.
After a restless night in very bland surroundings I was grateful to meet up with Loretta Valentine of Build It Jan Kempsdorp. Loretta was fantastic as she certainly had quite a chatterbox with her this morning. A very nice lady all round and we had a good chat about their listing. Unfortunately I missed Rudi Mostert who was out but Loretta was very on the ball and extremely busy with people wanting her time constantly. So many Build It employees must be the hardest workers in South Africa!
I then headed to Hartswater where I met with Richard Mosimanethebe who is a good guy and although pretty busy still found time to sit with me and go through their store’s listing. I left the store feeling upbeat as it was only mid morning and I had completed two visits already. This due to their close proximity and the visits going like clockwork. No getting lost or road works either. Next up was Taung Build It where I met the very friendly Heine Naude who saw me straight away and we had a great meeting with Heine very happy to have his store listed on www.homeimprovement4u.co.za After a third great meeting it was then the long drive to Kimberly to arrive at what must be the biggest and busiest store I have visited so far. It is just enormous and I have never seen such a hustle and bustle. There must have been a few hundred people in the store and so many friendly and alert staff to service them all. What an impressive set up!!
At Kimberley Build It I met with Sales Manager Richard who literally could not have been a nicer more friendly man. We sat in his impressive office and although he must have been the busiest man on the planet he gave me all the time I needed to go through their listing and explain what our website is all about and even helped me at the end on routes to drive to finish off my day. What an awesome store and what a satisfying day. It was now just a long long drive to Welkom where my next stop was.
This turned out to be frustrating for me as after about 150 kms I found to continue my journey according to Google Maps on my phone I would have to drive nearly 60 kms on a very bumpy dust road. I did about a km and then thought no way, as my car as much as I love it just is not built for South African off road conditions. I must have put 5 years onto my car doing KZN’s dusty and rocky roads. So I turned around and opted to take the excruciating 100 km detour to keep me on tar and basically had to skirt around Bloemfontein before heading up north to Welkom.
The long and the short is that after 346 long lonely and desperate kilometres I eventually arrived in Welkom absolutely exhausted. I luckily found a place to stay pretty quickly and lay on my bed at 6 30 pm and did not really get off again except for a few steps to make tea and then brush teeth. It was a long hard day but I got to visit four stores and even tried to find Welkom Build It when I got into town but I think it may have closed down. I will investigate further in the morning.