Riding the Jaguar

Jaxx the Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is riding the all-electric Jaguar iPace on an all-new seat cover with side panels to protect the rear door upholstery. The Husky, of course, is me, Jaxx. Looking over the front seats, I see The Fossil (aka Desmond) push a button to raise the car’s air-suspension for dirt road driving as we leave his brother Stan’s farm near Delmas in Mpumalanga. While driving he points to the windscreen and I see some numbers floating above the dashboard (you can just about see it in the pic below). “That’s the digital head-up display so I can see the car’s speed without taking my eyes off the road,” he says.

Once we get onto the R24 highway, I see him push the button again. “That’s to lower the air-suspension for optimal aerodynamics,” he says. “Whatever.” I think as he rambles on about the EV’s long list of technical wonders. “This iPace is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds!”, he exclaims. “So what,” I think, “I can too seeing as I’m riding on the back seat. Well, actually being pushed back into the rear seat as he accelerates.”

So, at last we’re off on our #Ride4Huskies road trip! But first we have to stop at  Mystical Pawprints in Benoni to collect a gift from Sharlene (you’ll have to wait ’till tomorrow to see what she gave me). After that, we head for Heidelberg and along the N3 motorway at 11h30 and arrive at our first EV charging station at Sasol N3 East in Vrede.

After plugging the DC cable into the car, The Fossil swipes a charge wallet card against the machine’s digital reader, hauls me out of the rear seat (after attaching my leash, of course), and gives me a bowl of water. I then walked him around the parked cars and into a place called Tanda Tula, so he can have a coffee.

When we walk back to the car an hour later, the charge hasn’t even started! Eventually the station manager arrives and reboots the machine, so we walk around for another hour until the car has reached a charge range for 241 km and we leave there at 16h20.

Our next scheduled stop is in Harrismith, where the car is charged again at GridCars. That’s at the Engin Bergville 1-Stop, where The Fossil has yet another coffee while we wait.

By 18h00, the car has sucked enough energy (81% of capacity) to travel another 300 km, so we drive off and leave the N3 for the R600 heading towards Winterton and, ultimately, our overnight accommodation at the pet-friendly Nyati Valley Berg House.

By now the sun’s setting and the road is really dark. Luckily, the iPace has bright headlights so The Fossil can see, and avoid, the numerous potholes along this stretch of road. There’s very little cell phone reception here, so both the car’s and The Fossil’s GPS’s aren’t working. Then his mobile phone battery goes flat, so we we’re lost!

Despite the car’s bright headlights, The Fossil still manages to miss the Nyati entrance signboard and only realises that he’s missed it when the road we’re travelling along ends at the entrance gate to Monks Cowl National Park, which is locked up for the night. After several about-turns and just after Fernwood Lodge he finally spots the signboard and we arrive at 21h00 – about six hours later than The Fossil had planned for.

The signboard and entrance to Nyati Valley Berg House in daylight.

That’s all for today. I’ll tell you all about Nyati when I take The Fossil for walk around the property on his leash in the morning. Remember, sharing is caring. So, go ahead and click on these HRSA or SPCA donation links to give for my Husky pals (or any other breed of dog or cat).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *