After two days of intermittent rain in the Bergs Joan and I woke up to clear skies above. And that’s where I’d be headed for my scheduled overnight Drakensberg hike lead by John (son of Jo from memorable meanders).
A good sign. About 8.5 miles (14 km) to Brian Bush Camp. (Please correct me if I’m wrong about the distance. It felt like that far.)
We initially walked up through a short stretch of indigenous forest, and then continued into bushveld, thick scrubby trees and bush in dense thickets, and eventually grassland.
I took a fall at Crystal Falls stepping onto a slippery rock to take a photo but was OK and saved the new camera from a soaking. Actually drank the stream water, delicious and no problems.
Champagne Castle 3377m, Cathkin Peak 3148m & the Sterkhorn 2973m
A little further past the Sphinx the path winds steeply up the rest of the Little Berg and onto the plateau.
Once on the plateau we stopped at Breakfast Stream for a snack and were entertained by a couple of sun lizards (top right).
The eye of the needle
The path lead us slightly uphill and down following the gentle contour of this lush plateau.
Even during fall there were a few flowers and we grazed along the way on wild berries.
The mountains are capped by a layer of basalt approximately 1,400 meters thick, with sandstone lower down, resulting in a combination of steep-sided blocks and pinnacles.
Many of the primary minerals within the basalts have been altered to form zeolites, found in cavities in basalt. Looked like pale blue banded agate to me.
Day hiking is not recommended beyond Blinds man corner…
…a great place to stop for lunch and enjoy the views.
As we continued towards the Dragons Teeth it seemed the breath of the dragon began to roll in.
Suddenly a monster storm rolled over us with loud and energetic thunder and lightning dropping buckets of water until we were soaked.
Just as quickly, the storm moved on and the earth smelled freshly washed.
Soon after the squall passed we turned a corner and saw Monks Cowl towering above Brian Bush Camp.
And in only a bit farther–seemed like forever at that point–John had camp set up and hot water on for tea and cocoa. He’s a great guy and guide. We basically dried fast after our drenching yet as the sun disappeared I was glad for dry poly and warm supper. John walked down to the stream and took a dip before retiring but not me. I like hot water down my back, which would happen the next day after our hike back.
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