The Day Barack Obama Stopped our Traffic


The last thing a friend and I anticipated after a 6 hour hike in the mountains overlooking Hout Bay was to be stopped for over an hour waiting for US President Barack Obama and his cavalcade of powerful cars to pass over the scenic Ou Kaapseweg mountain pass.

We were not alone, as rumour has it that all major entry and exit routes to the Peninsula were blocked off for his visit to a charity organisation a stone’s throw from my home in the Noordhoek Valley.

The news that we would be stuck in a gridlock for who knows how long was met with mixed reactions.  Resignedly, I switched the engine off and dug deep into my backpack for my zoom lens.  Conversely, two bikers dropped multiple f-bombs and then headed for Constantia Nek hoping to take an alternative route, while others like the lady below couldn’t contain herself.

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She caused a traffic jam in the opposite direction telling passing cars what was going on!

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Other locals seemed oblivious and carried on with everyday life.

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Then we sat and waited.  And waited some more.

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Finally the heavies came down the last stretch, flashing lights of every colour.  And then the Presidential cars with the American and South African flags fluttering rounded the bend.

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And within minutes it was all over and we went about our day as if nothing had happened.  I did spare several thoughts though for those with real emergencies caught up in this massive gridlock.

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4 thoughts on “The Day Barack Obama Stopped our Traffic

  1. Ha ha! This reminds me of the time my husband was heading for the airport in Cyprus to return to London when the Pope arrived for a ‘flying visit’. No-one was allowed access to the airport so hubby was taken back to his hotel where he had to sit and wait until the all clear was given! At least he was able to sup a few G&Ts in the sunshine 🙂 unlike you.

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