Day Eleven

Day Eleven rose bright and beautiful, even the winds had calmed a little.

That had meant a good nights sleep in our perfect campsite, but almost as soon as we started walking we realised that it was only our campsite that was sheltered from the winds.

The day’s walking was easy, with only one real big ridge to get over.  The Southern Berg has many of these East-West ridgelines that need crossing , and going around them would take just too much time.  Fortunately by this point we are rather good at climbing hills, and we are confident enough in our flat walking speed to take it much easier on the uphills than we did in the beginning.  In fact, we started to relish the uphills, knowing that we could count the ones we would be doing on one hand.  The whole day took this note as we realised our trip was rapidly coming to an end.  In  three days time we would be back in the wide open spaces of Durban city, and so we did our utmost to enjoy the distant blue mountains, the rugged dropoff of the escarpment and the sweet taste of natural filtered mountain water.

We had no camera batteries left for this section, but the stark landscapes are etched into my mind.  The top was as flat as a soccer pitch, and dropped away so unexpectedly into the abyss of Kwazulu-Natal that one could easily imagine walking off accidentally.  Finally, we reached Mzimude and began our search for the cave.

This cave is interesting , because it is so far out of any travelers way, unless you are doing some sort of traverse.  There are no real trails near it, or even leading to it, yet it seemed well maintained with a good rock wall at its edge.  It is very high, and although there is no real view from the cave itself there is a masterpiece waiting for you on the opposite side of the gully.  Josh took the opportunity to walk the ridge and make a few phone calls while I made supper, and when he returned with the story of the view I was almost stirred from my sleeping bag to go have a look, but the cold wind dissuaded me.

We set up the tent inside the cave that night, just for some extra warmth, and settled in for our last night together on the top of the world, it felt surreal that we had come so far, and sherry was in order.  We drained the last of it, feasted on chocolate and fell into a stupor of a sleep.