My husband and I had our birthdays back-to-back(Friday and Monday) in the middle of February, so we spent the weekend with our older son, John, daughter-in-law, Debbie and grandchildren in Kwa Zulu Natal. We slept over on Friday night at the base where John and Debbie have been on a discipleship course. Next morning we relaxed on the farm while John completed various tasks. I walked around, camera in hand, snapping the children at play as well as the cutest puppies I’ve ever seen. I also took a close-up picture of one of the horses in a paddock beyond the garden. Now this last bit of information may not seem important to most people, but for me it was groundbreaking stuff. You see, as much as I love animals, I am petrified of horses. I even managed to hold out a few M&M’s on the palm of my hand to tempt the horse nearer. I’ve never been able to do this; my fingers always inadvertently curled as the horse’s lips came near!
The horse poses sedately for me
By mid-morning on our family was on the way to the mountains. We all love the Drakensberg. This huge range of mountains was thus named by early pioneers because it's shaped like a dragon’s back. There are many places to visit in the Drakensberg, but we as a family love to camp in the Central ‘berg. This specific weekend we drove to a favourite campsite in the Monk’s Cowl area.
In the days before they had children, John, Debbie, my husband and I regularly hiked high up into these mountains to spend the night “at the top”. Nowadays a visit to the ‘berg simply means camping overnight in the valley and doing day hikes along the contour paths. Not half as strenuous or challenging, but very precious because we having the little ones with us adds a totally new dimension to the walks. My son carries his 2 ½ year- old son in a framed backpack while our [almost] 6 year-old granddaughter, bursting with energy, runs on ahead of us. On this trip, we waded through icy mountain streams and tried to see who could spot the robins in the undergrowth and the boulder chats and various grass birds in the open areas.
At night, we enjoyed a spot of stargazing while eating a light meal of pork sausages and bread grilled on the fire. This was washed down with delicious camp tea.