Well hello there friends!
We have just returned from a ridiculously enjoyable holiday in The Drakensberg, or uKhahlamba in isiZulu.
More specifically, we started in Giant’s Castle, the place of no internet mentioned in the previous edition of the WHV, and also the subject of that post’s main image, but we spent the largest part of the week at Cathedral Peak.
Due to it having been holiday and all, the rest of this post will follow the trusty old bullet list form.
- The mountainous surroundings are stunningly beautiful.
- At Giant’s Peak we did the short hike to the main caves to see rock art by the San people. According to the guide the paintings we saw range in age between 100 and 3000 years. Here are two examples:
- We did more hikes in the mountains. GOU#3, who just turned 2, was a trooper, relatively speaking. We will never again mention all of the kilometres that we had to carry her.
- I squeezed in a number of trail runs. It’s a badly kept secret that I have absolutely no sense of direction. This, together with the routes finding themselves at 1400m altitude, made for challenging but awe-inspiring trips.
- On the way back home, we stopped in Durban for the most amazing curries at The Oyster Box. Me = blown away.
- At the airport, that thing I said would never happen to me, happened to me. At the security check, we discovered that I had forgotten my trusty Leatherman Wave multi-tool in my backpack, and my trusty Gerber Dime mini multi-tool in my trouser pocket. In a massively pleasant surprise turn of events, I was able to go back out through security, where the amazingly helpful British Airways check-in attendant calmly packaged up the offending tools in a spare box, labeled it, and sent it through with the checked baggage, and to return to my people all in the space of about 15 minutes.
- We hit a thunderstorm, initially undetected by the weather radar, on our way back to Cape Town for some of the scariest turbulence I’ve ever experienced.
- At one point, the plane dove so hard that the Kindle lying on my lap (I’m halfway through Mastery by George Leonard, thanks Leif for the recommendation!) flew up into the air, made a slow-motion arc and came crashing down on the floor.
- It was at this point that a large number of passengers involuntarily panic-shouted, adding to the atmosphere.
- I myself could not show any external signs of fear, primarily because I needed to comfort GOU#1, who sat next to me, and is now old enough to appreciate the potential risks of the situation we found ourselves in, but also because I had to fit in my behaviour with the narrative that YOU SIMPLY HAVE TO TRUST THE ENGINEERS.
- During our time away, these puppies had finally made their way through customs ($115 in total for Luna Mono 2.0 sandals + tabi socks, $66 SA import duties ouch):
Yes friends, they are Huarache-style running sandals, in which you go running.
Besides sporting best-in-class encryption, his message was suavely convincing:
Charl, let me bring you a pair of the magical sandals that I run in.
I was not able to purge the thought of running free like that.
When I finally realised that it was only a question of time, I decided not to wait any longer than necessary, and ordered them directly.
This morning I started with a short run, just to see what it was like, and to start acclimatising.
It was exactly like I had been dreaming for the past two nights.
Time will have to tell, but at this very moment, I’m not sure if I’ll want to run in normal running shoes again.