On the 14th Jan the Lewis/McCluskey clan left for the Drakensberg Mountains after a hearty round of pancakes cooked by Jacqui's Uncle Mally. He makes the best pancakes. We headed for the northern part of the mountains where the Amphitheatre is - lots of people hike either up the amphitheatre or across the top!!! Our hotel was called the Cavern Berg and is set on the slopes of the mountains and was very pretty. We didn't do much after lunch sat around the pool enjoying the sun and the views.
On the 15th we joined the hotels guided walk to May Fall's. We hiked up through the fern forest from the hotel and arrived at May's falls after about 45 minutes. The scenery was wonderful - its very green in the mountains. Our guide made us tea and we had homemade crunchies - kind of like a flapjack but much crispier. We had a swift game of lawn bowls after lunch as we were interrupted by a storm so we made a run for it back to our traditional rooms. The rooms are all thatched very authentic.
On the 16th we headed off on a short drive to the Royal Natal National Park where the amphitheatre can be accessed. Euge was very keen to walk as close to the amphitheatre as possible but it was over 11km's away!! So we opted for a short walk according to the map to Tiger Falls - 3kms and 45 minutes to get there. Well it was very hot and the walk was all up hill!!! It took us over 1 hour to get to the falls, where there was a small spray of water going over We had a picnic lunch at the falls and rested for the walk back. We have some great pictures of the amphitheatre which we will be sharing very soon. We have over 700 photo's to sort out and we have only been away for 3 weeks!! As we were very tired and hot we headed back to the hotel's pool in the afternoon. This allowed Euge to get in training for swimming the midmar mile in February.
On the 17th we did another hotel organised walk to the Silent Woman. We have had all the jokes about the fact that there is no such thing as a Silent Woman so we will leave you guys to it. It was very wet and overcast that morning so we ended up getting very wet and my nice white trainers are now pink from the amount of red mud that ended up on them. The Silent woman is actually a carving of a very well endowed woman in a rock by the river. Again we had tea and crunchies and headed back to the hotel. Same pattern as the other days we had a nice lunch and a very quiet afternoon. That night we decided we would go out with a bang the next day and do the hotel's full morning walk up to Surprise ridge so we put our names down and headed off to bed!
The weather on the 18th was hot again and we set off on our walk it took us nearly 2 hours to reach the top of surprise ridge where you get a wonderful view of the amphitheatre well worth the trip. Our guide told us it would only take 45 minutes to get down!!! He wasn't wrong the decent was so steep it hurt the back of the legs more than getting up there. We were all pooped after this so we all had a quiet afternoon - Jacqui caught up on her sleep like the old lady she is! Neen did a 1300 metre swim - still in training for the midmar mile.