August 10, 2019.

Another kief lekker South African mountain mission.

There’s a wee bit of explaining involved when you receive two GPX Routes from your hiking buddy, to download onto your watch for the pending weekend of mountain adventuring. ‘Ummmmm…. sorry Tarrin, but I’ve got a Swatch watch..🤣🤓’ But all good because Tarrin’s a true pro with all that stuff, and I stored all sorts of useful information in my brain (not on my watch) about our elevation gain, how many kilometres we’d hiked, and what altitude we were at. In summary; we climbed so high and steeply we could peek into Lesotho, the Drakensberg, and could see for miles and miles into the Free State region where the Golden Gate Highlands National Park lies. 2600m is very high. And 42km of this stuff in effectively two days makes the legs a bit wary. And happy. So very happy. We shared our route with wilderbeests, zebras, eland, jackals, baboons, and leopard too – although they’re sleek things and tend to keep to themselves. I’m not sure if any of those guys wear sports watches or not.

On our early morning hike today we saw a few rocks near the summit which were well stained with fresh blood. Aligns well with the excited screeches we heard from jackals last night from our tent. At the campsite office yesterday morning there was one lady requesting a hand for cleaning up her campsite; baboons decided to join her and her family for the weekend – food, wine, bedding – they got amongst the lot and had a great time. Just another weekend of camping in South Africa…

And then there’s the nougat. So South Africa has this rather delicious nougat covered in dark chocolate. It comes in a wrapper with the label ‘Sally Williams.’ And as we ate it on Thursday night I learned there’s actually an Afrikaans song about it. Actually. A guy called Jak de Briester has written a song called ‘Sally Williams’ nougat.’ Now, I’m not sure if Sally and Jak actually knew each other, or if Jak just liked the nougat, or just liked the thought of Sally. And as the song was in Afrikaans, I’m not sure what he was singing about exactly. But I found it all very hilarious. That would be a bit like NZ’s beloved Dave Dobbyn or Finn Brothers singing about Jaffas. Which would never happen. Well at least I don’t think it would. But after this whole nougat thing, anything is possible.

What a bloody great couple of days it was gracing those peaks and valleys. Impossible to ever get enough. 👣❤