Camping in the Drakensberg Mountains

What an absolutely perfect weekend!!  The weather was excellent, the campsite clean and beautiful, the showers in the spotless ablutions worked, it only rained at night – in short, we had a fabulous getaway…….Royal Natal never ceases to amaze with it beauty, and Mahai has to be one of the best campsites in the country.   We had a lovely shady camping spot, with a resident little bushbuck, who grazed around our campsite all weekend.

We arrived and were finished setting up quite late on Friday evening, so I had planned a cheese & wine ‘picnic’ for supper – my favourite kind of food – we had a selection of cheeses, crackers, cherry tomatoes, grapes, smoked oysters, olives and a really nice bottle of red wine (Allesveloren Tinta Barocca 2007 – SO yum).  By candle-light, of course……

 

Supper was delicious, and there was enough left over (no, not the wine) for lunch the next day, with a beer/savannah, which went down sideways after a 14 km hike.  That’s right, people, you read right………….I did a 14km hike!  Am enormously proud of myself, and it was very worth it!!  Such a beautiful area………..

The path winds in and out around the foothills, along the edge of cliffs and through beautiful forests of tall yellowoods and dense cool green-ness. 

AP was incredibly kind and patient, and overlooked all my grumbling and whining, and now I can say I have seen the Tugela Gorge (next time I will make it to the Tugela Tunnel, which is another 2 kms of boulder hopping up the river bed).  When we got to the gorge , we stopped for an hour, resting on cold rocks in the shade while we had our snack (chocolate, of course).  The water was icy-cold and delicious. 

By the time we headed back, the temp was about 35, so I walked wrapped in a sarong, which I kept wetting in each stream we passed………..it looked really odd, and got some startled looks from other hikers, but hey, I was cool and comfy inside my portable shade! 

We passed a troup of baboons in one of the forest sections, who moved off the path and gave us a gentle warning as we passed them.

 

 After that 5 hour hike, I whimpered my way around the campsite, with stiff legs, actually all of me was stiff and sore – and I didn’t even carry anything?! but we still managed to braai an enormous steak and a veggie pack for supper…..man, that tasted good too!  Nothing like lots of fresh air to up the appetite! 

There was enough steak left to add to our scrambled eggs next morning:  first fry some chopped onions in a little butter, added the diced steak, fry to heat through then add beaten eggs, and cook as much as you like – we like our eggs very well cooked.

By this stage it was thundering again, so we packed up the tent, closed up the caravan and headed back down the hill.  Can’t wait for next time……..

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