The life of folk-rock musician Heather Waters is like one long roadtrip, so she knows about combis.
After a 6 000 km music tour across SA, Heather Waters calls the latest combi a room on wheels
AWARD-WINNING folk-rock artist Heather Waters is again on a nationwide tour, but this round is not done in the group’s faithful 1975 Volkswagen Kombi.
Instead, Volkswagen is celebrating Heather Waters’ Music with a new Caravelle.
Wheels met up with Waters and her percussionist Briers Coetzee along with their roadies while they performed in Pietermaritzburg, and after praising their new album Castles & Towers, asked pointed questions on how the sixth-generation Caravelle fared on the Pick Daisies tour from Knysna to Mozambique, via KZN to Pretoria and hence to the Free State and back to George.
They told Wheels the fuel consumption was one of the best things about the new engine.
“With the boot fully loaded with the five crew members’ equipment and gear and a trailer packed with sound gear, we averaged 9,6 l/100 km over the four weeks we have been on the road so far. That is over 10 km per litre despite our heavy load!”
Roadtripping is something of a lifestyle for Waters, since the beginning of her career she has not stood still — Waters has performed her folk- rock guitar tunes in villages, towns and cities from Cape Town to Corsica. Therefore, when she speaks on the comforts of a vehicle, it is with the kind of authority that comes with many thousands of kilometres.
And in pointing out the VW’s clever design that seems to cater for her every need, from charging a laptop to warming her butt, she stressed she was not just singing the new kombi’s praises because VW is sponsoring it.
“We have travelled just over 6 000 km and each journey we take, we discover and are more aware of this vehicle’s incredible intelligence,” said Waters. “Features that we really enjoyed while driving were the rainsensing windscreen wipers, the very smart braking system, the seven gears with tiptronic and all that torque! “We are used to crawling up hills at 40 km/h in my 1975 kombi loaded with gear and crew; in the sixth generation we just put on cruise control and it motors up the hills with no effort at all! “As a passenger, the features that have made our 2016 tour stand out are the heated seats, the very comfortable backseats and the easily accessible storage space under the seats. “For long distance roadtripping, this has been like travelling in a hotel room across the country. “I have been able to maintain my online work by using the plug points at the back and keeping my devices charged, all the seats swivel, so I can move them in a way that I can work or sleep very comfortably! “The aircon/heater for the back of the Caravelle can be controlled from the back, which I also found very convenient.”
Used to their iconic 1975 combi, the members of the Heather Waters folk-rock group are impressed by the creature comforts delivered by clever design in the new VW Caravelle they have been roadtripping in. Seen here are (from left) Heather Waters, Briers Coetzee and Simon Emmerich, with André Oosthuizen unwilling to even step outside the combi for a photo.