Autumn Hike in Injisuthi, Drakensberg..

I can use my limbs again!

Also, what I did not know was that you find little boys shouting out “SWEETS” when you drive past. Apparently, it is quite common in the more rural townships. We had about four boys herding some livestock shouting out for these sweets. We had to stop and wait for the cows to move out of the way. During this time, we had these little 8 year old boys almost climbing in to the car demanding sweets or money to buy said sweets. A friend had an apple to give one of the boys. They can get quite aggressive but at the time, it was hilarious! Little boys having fun.

Woah! Breathtaking experience that I will, I dare say, do it all over and over again!

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I organised this hike to Injisuthi, Drakensberg thinking that it would be a walk in the park. Just a walk to a cave, casually, you know. Little did I know that this trek would take 7 hours just to get there! I may have said some prayers and curses in the last hour as it was dark, I was not feeling too well (altitude, lack of food, exhaustion, hot & cold) and I couldn’t figure out why we could not find this darn cave!

We arrived at the Marble Bath cave SEVEN MINUTES before the heavens opened and it poured. It was so cosy, and absolutely breath-taking! We were completely sheltered from the thunderstorm and fell asleep like a baby with the sounds of rain, wind, river streaming and thunder as my lullaby.

Oh, I was the leader and map master! Ahem…

Here are the photos of this glorious, majestic and well-worth it hike! (Clearly I have not had enough, I am planning a four day hike as we speak…)

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Thank you, Nature! You are one helluva a stunner!

With Love,

x

PS: That water (Marble Baths) was delicious!

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Umthatha Roadtrip with the Family..

One of my sisters is getting married at some point in her life. After the many traditional ceremonies. This is the third ceremony. In case you missed the boat, I am Zulu. My sister is set to wed a Xhosa man. Boy, they are not pleased! This is the third traditional affair because we have hosted the Lobola negotiations, we have had the uMembeso ceremony where the groom brought gifts, livestock and an insanely boozy party, and now, we take gifts to the groom’s family.

We awoke at 3 am to leave Durban at 04:30am. With African Timing, we left at 06:00am.

I drove that long distance in my car (the old girl); with my mum, aunt and all three nephews. I went a little mental. I was yearning for a quiet corner after a couple of hours driving.

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Loads of driving, much more road kill (my aunt and I eventually started a tally), copious amounts of laughter and tons more over-taking trucks. It was a weekend to remember. Needless to say, I came back knackered and fell asleep at 19h00.

To many more road trips, love and laughter.

With Love, x

Weekend Special…Day 241-243

Majestic cannot even describe the weekend I had. I should add on aching limbs, huffing and puffing and one beautiful experience.

"You have reached your destination" *cough cough*
“You have reached your destination” *cough cough*

To be honest, I liked the idea of pretending to be a hobbit trekking to Mordor.

It was my turn to book the accommodation. I’m not quite sure when we said we’d take turns but I kindly obliged. It is fair and makes sense; the same person is not stuck with this laborious task of booking cheap yet decent accommodation. My brain normally has a million ideas and thoughts; I get side tracked quite easily. So, I booked on the morning of our departure. Naturally. Somehow, I managed to secure a 3 bedroom cottage. I have charms and magic powers!

Stoneyhall Farm Castles Cottage.
Stoneyhall Farm Castles Cottage.

A 2 hour 30 minute drive from Durban to Underberg became an over 4 hour drive. Why? It was dark and dangerous. Yes, that’s it! Trucks, winding roads, hunger, all of it. On arrival, it was 2.5 degrees Celsius. In August! I’ve always liked the idea of a cold, dark winter. {Seems like my dreams are slowly becoming a reality, eh?} Anyway, I had to get my shivering booty in a hot shower. We had a fire place! YES! After refusing my handy assistance, Bravo! James for making a cosy fire. (Unfortunately, I do not have photographic evidence).

We were running behind schedule. I think that African timing rubs off on people quite easily. Teehee!
Saturday.
Hike Day.
The road leading to Sani Pass border control was an absolute nightmare. Gravel. With rocks the size of a head! Angular heads! Approximately 15 km of this. After cursing ad sweating bullets, we made it sans punctured tyres. I am sending in my CV to become the stig. There!
I was not mentally prepared for this. I knew it would be strenuous but I didn’t think it would be as challenging. I have my reasons as to why it was so difficult. Not excuses, reasons. šŸ™‚ I will not dwell in to those though.

It took 2 and a half hours to reach the summit. The destination. I said a little silent prayer as we made it to the Lesotho border control. I also really appreciated the school kids giving us a round of applause for making it to the top. I think my “I think I am about to cry because I am so happy and proud of myself” face deserved that kind gesture. We met up with two friends that were dirt road biking. They were camping in -10 degree weather like Vikings. Mental.

I cannot describe the hike. Here are some of the photos:

After that awful drive, there is still a bright smile on my face..
After that awful drive, there is still a bright smile on my face..
Mmmm, take it all in.
Mmmm, take it all in.

The Drakensberg

It was that cold.
It was that cold.
"Marvel at the general splendour"
“Marvel at the general splendour”
one. step. at. a. time.
one. step. at. a. time.
"Mamma, I made it!"
“Mamma, I made it!”
There. The Border. I crossed it.
There. The Border. I crossed it.

We walked back down after lunch. Much quicker. We realised how steep the hike was on the way down. Rolling off the little pebbles and trying to not fall flat on our bottoms. We couldn’t run down as we had hoped. We were in a rush as we had two hours to reach the SA border pass before the gates closed.

Say, "Aaaah"
Say, “Aaaah”

If that was not enough for the weekend. We went on another mission on Sunday morning. My last day at the berg. A trek to find the Bushman rock art.

Map. Snacks. Walking shoes. We were set.

We did not find the art work. We both definitely know how to read a map. However:

To Three Pools We Go..."If I take one more step, it'll be the furthest from home I've ever been."
To Three Pools We Go…”If I take one more step, it’ll be the furthest from home I’ve ever been.”
Let's go back..
Let’s go back..

Somehow, the drive back was not as long. I was back in Durban by 18:00. Ready to pass out. This weekend has by far been one of the best this year. To many more marvelous weekends. Cheers!

 

Love & Light

x

Day 26

A most perfect day. A day cast in perfection, maybe.

I hope that I dream about rainbows, hot air balloons, candy floss and sunny markets. It’ll just complete the day. Haha..a girl can dream!

Started off by waking up and looking out the window — a damn beautifully fantastic sunny day. Hot. Durban Summer. Sweet. Market day is going down well. As usual, I was late and forgot to tell the friend I was meeting up with (JP) that he could possibly stall a little. He was mellow, didn’t get lost. Got there in a flash (under the speed limit, šŸ˜‰ ). Hmm, maybe I am sweating a littleĀ but it’s so good to be out. First things first, food. Everyone knowsĀ that markets are all about food. Good food. Found a shady spot and spoke for hours with anĀ ice coffee in hand. Bliss. JP had a thought (some would say it’s a New Years Resolution) and decided to be more fun this year. Do everything and anything that is awesome. So, this was one of the fun excursions. We will be taking more of these trips. Chris, a friend and ex, also joined in the fun. It was splendid. We just had so much to talk about. Thank G-d the boys got along. I was a tad worried about that. They got to talk about gaming and other random stuff that guys talk about. But, I cannot get over how lovely today has been. Sinking my feet in the sand, getting a natural scrub..

After the market, we all decided we needed a drink. Just one. We drove up further north to Umdloti (I could be mistaken). Followed Chris on his motor cycle. I was a little worried about that — he looked a little wobbly on it. JP trusts my driving as he left his car in Umhlanga (Where theĀ Wonder market was)Ā so we could drive up together. A mini road trip I’d say. JP drove us back. I like being driven. AND, I got my car radio’s volume up!! It’s a little faulty and need to sort it out.

Wonder Market, Chris Saunders Park
The view near Beach Bums

 

Saturday was so mellow. Drove to the South Coast to deliver some material at my father’s construction site. A two hour drive. Also, a lovely road trip with my sisters. Sing-alongs in the car and chit-chatting, and getting lost. Loads of laughing.

Friday. Wolf of Wall Street. Friend’s birthday. She decided that she would rather watch a movie with all of us instead of partying then waking up with a siff hang over the next day. Fantastic life choice. My opinion — the movie is too long that one can get a little side tracked. It is really good though. Do not watch with a parent. That could be a little awkward. LOADS of sexual scenes. Just a warning. Good to see the friends. Good to know what the whole Oscar hype is about.

What’s also good to know is when you realise that you have finally accepted and closed the one chapter of your life with no regrets and bitterness, and you open a new one with loads of adventure and laid back fun — with good people that really care about you.

Everyone Deserves Happiness

Love and Light, x.