South Africa - Round The World Tour 2003 Day 21

White Mountain

Wednesday 2nd April

Another full day of walking took its toll on our poor, aching feet again today. We set off this morning to see the Giant’s Mountain and the caves with the five thousand year old SAN rock art. The Bushmen of Southern Africa left their mark eons ago by means of some fantastic rock paintings that cover sections of a cave deep in the mountains. Primitive, yet beautiful artwork, that would certainly put many modern day artists to shame, tell the story of how these ancestors of ours hunted and lived. Pictures of Eland, Buck, Giraffe, Elephant and other animals together with people with bows and arrows tell the story which was explained in great detail by our Zulu guide. The artwork is apparently a means of communication and a way to teach others how to hunt. It was certainly fascinating stuff and well worth the hour and a half walk to get there.

The scenery here in the Drakensberg is second to none that I’ve seen in my lifetime. The closest we’ve come to this was a camping getaway in the valleys of Luxemburg. Nothing there compares to the awesome might and beauty of this mountain range, however. We took many photos of the scenery but none will do justice to what we’ve experienced these past few days by just looking around us at any given point in time.

With White Mountain and Giant’s Mountain now both conquered, we’ve decided to conclude our time here in the Drakensberg with the fufi-slide tomorrow morning. These attractions are of the highest quality that the Drakensberg has to offer so we feel like we’ve done enough – particularly in light of all the strenuous walking and climbing that is such an integral part of what there is to do here.

The people we met and walked with today at Giant’s Mountain are ex-residents of Mossel Bay, which is one of the places down on the Garden Route – our next destination, coincidentally. They are very nice and gentle folk and it was a refreshing change to see a family of Mum & Dad with their two pre-teen age boys out enjoying the fresh air together. I burned them a CD full of the photos we took today (many with them in the frame) and they were very pleased. We chatted with them over lunch and they have a number of suggestions for where to stay along the Garden Route and in Mossel Bay. They even offered to make some inquiries on our behalf and to put us in touch with some of their friends in the area.

The dentist and his family that we met yesterday on the abseiling excursion, is going to call some friends of his in Bloemfontein to see about assisting us with an overnight stop on our way down to the Garden Route. Another fellow abseiler is also going to help us with directions. The number of friendly and helpful people that we’ve met here has been just astounding. We have struck up conversations and friendships with so many wonderful people that have gone out of their way to help us that we feel like we’re in such good hands here in South Africa. Our routine offers to leave people we’ve met with burned CDs full of photos from the day’s activities seems to be helping us in this regard. It’s like Chris, the dentist, says; if you treat people you meet here warmly and with respect, that warmth and respect is returned ten-fold.

I called the car rental agency today to tell them that we want to keep the car for another couple of weeks. Exactly how long we end up with the car is still up for grabs but at least we don’t have to worry about returning it just yet. Why rush to leave this country when we are enjoying ourselves so much?