September to December 2007
A friend had invited me to Cape Town, and as I always do, I got a couple of proper maps of the country. And what did it discover? Tons of trekking, so different from what I had seen thus far. The Drakensberg only consists of table mountains. The 'Berg' was my first stop, and I picked the 'right' hostel to stay. The guy running it, Andrew, had been to all the major trekking destinations in the world (he had pictures on the wall everywhere). So I asked him about a good trek on the 'Berg', and he got me onto Sibusisu, a local guide. He insisted that I couldn't go alone, too dangerous. After all, this was South Africa. Andrew suggested Champaign Castle, the second highest peak in South Africa. Breathtakingly beautiful. And unbelievably tough. I thought I was going to die a couple of times. For one because I was overwhelmed by the beauty, and the other thing.. well.. what shall I say? I learned my lesson - never get on a track without your own compass and your own map. We got up fine within two days, though that was tough too (but it was not going to be the toughest part, I just didn't know that yet). We camped on top of the table mountain, rose to watch the sunrise, and I was completely blissed out, despite the fact that it was effing freezing. Then we hung out on the top of Champaign Castle, soaked up the morning sun and relaxed. I remember feeling the impulse to leave, but Sibu said that we had tons of time and it was fine to start the descent after lunch. I believed him. Well... I will never again dismiss my own impulse to move. We were both surprised by how overgrown the trail had become on the descent. Sibu chose the route 'East of Ships Prow' (there's a pic on which you can see Ships Prow from below). It was incredibly steep. Beyond steep. I had done a lot of solo trekking in New Zealand and Patagonia before, I had never seen anything like it. It was steep and very slippery. Long story short, it took us way longer than Sibu had anticipated. We got to the next camp after dark and even Sibu as the seasoned guide had trouble finding it in the darkness. Well, lesson learned, and map and compass will always be in my pack - with or without a guide, that's for sure.
Join me in one of my upcoming workshops or retreats so that you too can start your own adventure and dive deep into the outer and your inner nature