The Panoramic Beauty of the Drakensbergs
Trip Start Aug 22, 2012
63Trip End Jun 16, 2013
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A highlight of this week as we located ourselves in the southern, central and the northern regions of the Drakensbergs was the day trip up the Sani Pass into the small country of Lesotho. Our entertaining and knowledgeable guide Matt Chaplin, kept us intrigued throughout the day. His obvious love of the area - its geology, history, scenery and the people - translated immediately to our group as he handled that Land Rover on those, at times, almost vertical gravel roads. Once on 'the roof of Africa’ we explored the snow-kissed wide open terrain, watched angora goats being sheared, tasted some homemade bread from a cast iron pot and the locally made sorghum beer (not good!) as we sat in a rondavel (round house) in a village
The 8-hour Blindman’s Corner hike we did in the central region was gruelling for me with my hurting knees although the views were incredible. There wasn’t much wildlife other than baboons, a few antelope-type animals and birds. Becoming fatigued, my walking pace slowed down and I always get more wobbly at this stage of our hikes. Jim had travelled on ahead of me when I tripped, tumbling over so that I was clutching onto the long grass with my head pointing down the steep slope. I was so shocked I just made some guttural panic sounds which Jim heard thinking they were perhaps the baboons. Luckily, he recognized my voice somewhere in that crazy sound I was making and came running to my rescue. We had a good chuckle over that scene after my feet were on terra firma!
We continue to be treated to gorgeous sunny days and cool nights. Fall is a fantastic time to be hiking here, never getting overheated yet trusting the nice weather will stay with us. Coming from Halifax, we have never seen a 3-day forecast that predicts '0% precipitation'. It's going to be hard returning to our work lives in Canada, staying indoors most of the day and squeaking in a bit of physical activity if we are lucky. Thankfully it will be springtime, with the promise of warm summer evenings just around the corner.