Saturday, May 2, 2009

Exploratory awesomeness

At this time of year I usually get itchy feet: For the past few years I have gone to the 'berg for an hike at this time of year. Although winter time is not usually associated with good times on a hike (especially in the 'berg), I have found that it is possibly one of the best times to go, even though you may have to cope with snow, no visibility and general frigidness and the problems around that. This year I might go on a hike In Kruger, but if that doesn't work out, then there is always the Drakensberg. Last year a group of us went on one of my most epic hikes thus far, up Bannerman's pass and down Langalibalele pass, with a night on a ledge on top of the escarpment in the snow.

It snowed. We got lost. It was awesome! We had planned to go for almost five days, but ended up only staying on the mountain for about three days, because of a couple of disasters that happened at the top (because it was so cold). One of the guys had bought himself a new pack with a fairly well known brand name (incidentally known for their reliability). In the cold, both clips attaching the shoulder straps to the pack broke. So we ended up tying the pack together... A few other things happened, and we decided to get off the mountain asap, as soon as the mist cleared (there was absolutely no vis), and we walked down the pass, and off the little berg in an afternoon. We decided to go back to monks cowl, where one of our party had a holiday cottage thing. On the way, the car that was towing the trailer broke.... But we got to the cottage, and spent the rest of our holiday in relative luxury!

All in all, the hike was fantastic. I would do it again in an instant, now that I have learnt a few things about the top of the 'berg (my first time at the top of the escarpment, actually), snow and cold. So now that my feet have gotten the itch, I feel that I really really just need to get out! I have no idea why this happens at the onset of winter. Perhaps it is the thought of getting stuck indoors for a long period of time, although it never happens in this country. Maybe it is even just the thought of not getting out anywhere (wild, I mean). All in all, I think it boils down to simple claustrophobia. I have discovered that I can't be in one place for too long, that I get wanderlust, and I think in winter, the thought of staying at home repeatedly, with a cups of hot chocolate just doesn't excite me! the thought of curling up with a book once or twice is appealing, but anything more than that.... Eish!

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