Thursday, December 3, 2009

African Bush

I am out of the bush...for a day at least. :) We've just come back from a wild wonderful adventure in the Drakensburg Mts. in the African bush...aka uninhibited land.

Andy, Julie, and I piled into John's little VW Gulf along with his girlfriend, our packs, and borrowed camping gear from John's parents' house. Then we were off for a week adventure in the Drakensburg Mountains.

Our first stop was the Amphatheater Backpackers Hostel. We arrived around 9pm in the dark and rainy night. Andy, Julie and I pitched our tent in the wind and rain, and headed into the hostel where the party was pumping. There, we met a group of about 8 of John's climbing buddies from Durban (his home town here in S. Africa).

Early, about 5am the next morning we got up and spent the day hiking to the worlds second tallest waterfall. The group of John's friends were great company. We laughed and joked all the way up the mountain. At the top we enjoyed camp-stove made coffee and random bits and pieces of food that we could scrounge out of our packs to share. Then we hiked on to enjoy the waterfall and soak our feet in the little pools at the top. It was a wonderful, perfect day...but at the end we all discovered a fresh sunburn...oops.

The next day it was insanely hot so we decided to relax by the hostel pool. It was a great time spent reading, hydrating, talking, joking, and swimming. We also made some awesome sandwiches with sugarloaf bread, avocado, cheese, tomato, egg, and sweet chili sauce. Mmmm!!

The next day we packed up our gear and moved on. This time we drove to a different part of the Drakensburg Mts. In John's little car we traversed over dirt roads filled with pot holes. We enjoyed scenery of mountains and little African villages where children ran out to wave at our car. After a few hours we reached our destination. Our packs were re-packed, shoes were double knotted, sunscreen was applied, and we headed out on a few day backpacking trip in the mountains!

After crossing the river and getting our feet nice and wet we couldn't find the path. So the next few hours of our hike were spend looking for the trail and kicking through eyeball high grass and shrubs. Yes, we were deep in the African bush! Unfortunately we didn't have a machete with us, so big sticks had to suffice. We whacked at the grass forging our own path and never knowing what on earth we were doing, or where we were going. It was awesome! Finally we made it to the river again, and eventually found the proper path. We were so happy!! At the end of the day we found our cave that we'd planned on camping in and set up camp.

For a few days we slept in the cave on a rocky ledge padded with a small amount of straw. We swam in the river and slid down rock slides. We drank as much of the fresh water that we could take, we cooked many good meals over the fire, we worked as scaring away the babboons who tried to steal our food, we made tea, we watched the fog roll in and out, and overall we really enjoyed ourselves in the great outdoors of Africa!

Yesterday we hiked out, showered (which was much needed!!), and drove a few hours back to Johns home town, Durban. There, we unloaded all the gear at his family's house, had a coffee with them, re-packed our bags, and headed to a backpackers hostel in town since they had guests staying at their house.

Now we are in Durban and it's a humid rainy day. We're working on figure out the details for the next leg of the trip. I think the plan is to head on up to Mozambique tomorrow. We'll spend a good amount of time in some of the smaller towns there. I'm excited about the beach, fresh fruit, seafood, and snorkling. John and his girlfriend may even come along with us!

I probably won't have good internet for a while, so look for more blog updates in a week or two. I'm sure by then we'll have had a whole new set of adventures. Africa is wonderful! :)


  1. I hope you got that bread recipie. Those sandwiches sounded very yummy. What a great adventure!