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January 22, 2013
Sketchcrawl by bus
Those for whom taking a bus is an everyday, common event may not understand our excitement at a new sightseeing bus service that started in Johannesburg on the 15th January 2013. Buses here are generally unreliable, irregular and mysterious as to where they go and at what time, so when I found out about this new open-top tourist bus around the city, that was 'it' for the 38th Worldwide Sketchcrawl.
After a week of hot sunshine, the weather forecast for Saturday was 80 - 100% chance of rain, and sadly, two of our sketchers got lost in a confusing and nerve-wracking search for the bus stop - but four found our way there and got on the lovely new red bus.
Trying to sketch was a novel and bumpily fruitless exercise, but it was wonderful to see the city from this different viewpoint. I wish we could have got the driver to stop here and there for 15 minutes or so - so many interesting, sketchable sights. The weather held out and we got to Gold Reef City, where we got off to do some more stable sketching. A happy hour at a café drawing the mine headworks, the tame peacocks and some replicas of old corrugated iron Johannesburg mine buildings, then we went off to find some action around the rides.
A few minutes after I'd got the main shapes down of the scary Giant Anaconda - John managed a lot more, complete with brave people flying round the big loop (left) - drops of rain started plopping down onto our paper, then we had to run for cover as it seriously pelted down for the rest of the afternoon. So not very much sketching, but a great new experience, thanks to the quest for urban sketching - we will be back!