Cederberg weekend recap:
The large group of 42 Americans piled back into the good old white vans from the Garden route and once again took to the road last Friday. We had the same amazing drivers as well making the conversation amazing and full of conversations ranging from sexuality to cultural differences. I had the good fortune of being with Clifford who just happens to be one of the most outgoing/entertaining/ fun gay guy I have met here. Anywho… we arrived just before dark at out little backpackers situated in the middle of nowhere. As the sun was setting we all quickly climbed some near by rock formations to watch the sun go down and met the standard for an adventurous weekend. That night was an early night as we got our fill on boerwors and fried dough then hit the hay.
Saturday we woke up early for an 8am breakfast and a 9am start up the mountain. We then spent the next 6 hours hiking up to a tundra sort of mountain top and then back down in search of warmth. We had to go through "cracks" as the signs called them which meant 'let's see if we can fit between these two rocks'. There was one point where we had to get on our backs and be "birthed" from between some rocks. The hole was so small that some of the guys actually had to find alternative routes around it. Once at the top it was so cold / windy/ misty that after a brief exploration we all huddled like penguins trying to not freeze. Even with the cold, though, it was absolutely amazing!
Once we all made it back down to the bottom we were given the option of going swimming. I decided to go along to laugh at the idiots who actually swam in the cold weather. However, once there I was talked into jumping off of the 15m cliff into the Dwarf River that all the guys had already conquered. I had to represent the girls and do it, so I quickly changed jumped off the highest cliff of my life, and then had such an adrenaline rush that I couldn't even feel the cold. It was amazing and I am so glad that I left without regrets (thanks Dave for talking me into it).
Then the night of insanity came with songs around the campfire, smores, finger painting/ painting people, and a very impressive butter fight. At one point I had Anna (our local Tennessean) run by and smear two hands full of butter on my face and then run away. By the end we were slipping and sliding around the kitchen and trying to wash off what we could in the sink.
Sunday, aching and reeking of smoke and butter, we all came back together to take a morning wine tour. While there were many people who could not even think of alcohol we tasted some of the best wine in the area at the Cederberg Vineyard.
Our last stop was to see the save paintings of the original inhabitants of the area (San Bushmen). Their culture has long since been lost, as they migrated north and eventually disappeared. So, for about 2 hours we walked around through the Stadsall Caves trying to find cave paintings (of which we were very successful) and rock climbing to get the highest view of the area. One boy dislocated his shoulder, but it happens often to his apparently, and he was fine once it was popped back in.
In all it was amazing weekend with fun people. I am going to miss my AIFS family.