The Drakensberg Mountains – 31st March – 16th April 2011
Stunning scenery, great company and the best food I’ve had on any Ramblers Worldwide Holidays trip.
The walking was good and definitely up to standard, with a few surprises.
Day 2 – ‘there’s been a landslip, can’t go down there’.
Oh yes we can.
Chris (leader) producers a rope, and we obediently ‘abseil the slope.
I’ve walked across exposed rocks, jumped across raging streams and clambered up impossible rock faces. Thought it couldn’t get any worse (better).
Then came the day of the Amphitheatre walk.
Early start and 3hr coach journey. Walk starts on very well defined easy path. It changes with many challenges as above.
Then we come to a set of metal chain ladders – 50? and 40? – did not realise they would be vertical! ‘Can’t do that’
Oh yes we can and did.
Found it quite scary; and needed to be done in reverse on the way back!
The stone plateau on the top was amazing, a totally different landscape – large flat white stones among heath.
Lunch stop should have been delightful up here, the top of the Tregura Falls…we had hail and rain with our sandwiches!
The weather cleared but Chris thought bad weather on the way, so made a hasty return across the plateau and down the ladders. We finished the walk in a thunder storm, slipping and scrambling down as quickly as possible.
Everyone was drenched and cold. And we had to sit 3hrs in a coach for return journey – no coffee shop en route!
I still haven’t decided whether this exciting walk was worth the 6hrs travelling!
Overall an exhilarating holiday, but did not get chance to meet many local people or visit local towns, as the hotels were quite isolated. Even the stop en route from the airport was a Wimpy – not very African!
The group was 19 plus leader, as has happened on other hols not everybody was up to the grade of walking. The leader had an impossible task looking after a group of this size with different abilities. I thought our leader was excellent, gave help when needed, but also let us get on with our holiday as we wished. We had an extra guide for the 2nd week and this was better. Ramblers Worldwide Holidays must get better at making sure holidaymakers know what is expected.
Almost forgot to mention the afternoon teas, served on the terrace after our walks.
Not forgetting the Bowls, Darts and Crochet tournaments held between afternoon tea and dinner.
I would recommend this holiday to anyone who likes group mountain walking, a bit of a challenge and first class hotels.