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

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - ALWYN VILJOEN

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.”

PHOTO: HEATHERWATERSMUSIC.COM Win with Wheels

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.

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