Thursday, December 06, 2012

The rock art was located under the lip at the top of the hill
While waiting out the gales in Durban we did a flying visit to the Drakensberg mountains.  They were only a 2 hour drive so we convinced the crew from Tagish to come along and set out for an overnight trip.  Our first venture was a hike up to see the San rock art, it was at 2500m.  We had to    have a guide because some of the rock art had been defaced in he past.  The paintings were over 2000 years old and the guide explained that no one lived in the area where the paintings were.  The shaman  would come up to the area and go into a trance, that was induced by hunger and herbs and then they would paint what they had seen in the trance. 

After we left the fenced off area where the paintings were we scrambled on up to the top of the hill.   Just over the next couple of ridges was the country of Lesotho, we didn't go far enough to stick  our feet over the border though.  We spent the rest of he day driving north through the mountains.  The roads were pretty decent except one I chose, it was a shortcut and at one point I was worried we were going to take out the bottom of the car.  The mist closed in so we did not get to see one of the highest peaks but the landscape was beautiful.  At dinner that night a impressive thunderstorm came up and the power went out in the country club where we were eating.  We all got up bright and  early the next day and Brian, Dorothy and I went on another short 2 hours hike. Barry stayed and guarded the car and rested his ankle. 
The mist was closing in

The first day the guide explained that we shouldn't point at a certain mountain with a finger but with a closed fist. The legend says that if you point the mountain gods will be angry and cause a thunderstorm. I didn't know and broke the taboo, about an hour later sure enough, the black clouds rolled over the top of the mountains, the temperature dropped, the lightening lit up the sky and down came the rain.  Thankfully it did not affect the footing too much and as we descended another storm cell went through, this one brought hail, a new experience for us in the southern hemisphere.