At long last, and after almost a year of building anticipation, I encountered the "Dragon Mountains" this past January, after arriving in South Africa for two reasons: to live with the love of my life, and to meet his second (I hope) greatest love, the Berg. Beyond being fitting, it was simply understood that one day I would climb into the high treeless peaks with this man who introduced me to the Drakensberg through his thriving love of this range.
I've learned that in Zulu, these mountains are called uKhahlamba, which I can neither spell or pronounce without much assistance (or you laughing at me). What I do know, is that this translates as "barrier of the spears". In browsing photographs of the Berg, it becomes quickly obvious how this name best describes the highest mountain range in South Africa. However, now it was finally time to see this for myself: just a little Canadian girl, her South African fiance, and two of the coolest guys this side of the hemisphere (my newest backpacking friends), Warren & Harry.
My home Country hosts the grand and gorgeous Rocky Mountains, enchantingly capped with snow, and populated by endless pine forests. Therefore it should come as no surprise that the first thing that stikes my Canadian eye while driving to our starting destination point, is the distinctive character of the dramatic formations, and the beautiful slopes carpeted with technicolor green grass. As we drive the final few kilometers, my fiancee orders Harry to stop the vehicle so that I can meet my first Baboons....well, since meeting my new hiking partners, that is. Today is "day one" of a five day adventure (to be continued....)