The N2 is the longest road in South Africa. It starts near the docks in Cape Town, roughly follows the eastern seaboard, then bends inland to end at the town of Ermelo in the province of Mpumalanga. It’s 2,241 kilometres long. Can you do it justice in 2,241 words? Without straying from the tarmac or the hard shoulder? That’s what Hedley Twidle, winner last year of the inaugural Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize, sets out to do in today’s Financial Times.