One of the greatest pleasures of my job is the opportunity to return to the Drakensberg for just about every month of the year. This allows a fairly unique opportunity to see the varied moods of the mountain without actually having to physically live there. Of course this means that the weather will not always be wonderful. In fact it can sometimes be downright nasty. For a short three or four day workshop this can present something of a problem.
But problems are meant to be solved. When next in the Drakensberg and the rain sets in take a slow drive away from the campsites and the valleys and start to look for some of the things that we sometimes forget to look for. This is exactly what we did over the weekend for the September Drakensberg Photography Workshop. I was joined a fairly UK-centric group of 9 who were a little dismayed not to be able to see the Amphitheatre in its pyrotechnic glory at early morning. Instead constant drizzle and a very dense cloud obscured the mountain face and drenched cameras and photographers alike. Due to the Mont au Sources marathon (a strange phenomenon where usually sane individuals don running shoes and run up and down a mountain in a day...in the rain!) the only accommodation at the bottom of the mountain had to be a tent. It seems a little more than coincidence that every time we end up camping for the workshop it rains.
Give it a chance though, and a drive turns into a series of very short stops and starts as you make your way from one photographic opportunity to the next. In fact, at one point it was hard to get more than a 100 yards before someone would yell ‘Stop!’. So it was with filled memory cards that we finally rolled into witsieshoek.
A gusty morning that had me thinking of repeats of last months ditched attempt to summit turned into a beautiful clear and hot day at the top of the Amphitheatre. Sadly the Tugela Falls wasn’t exactly ‘falling’. In fact the river wasn’t even flowing – the driest I’ve seen it yet. Time for the rains I hope.
It’s been a frenetic few weeks, hence the dearth of blog updates. Now for a glorious 4 or more weeks to consolidate and maybe even take a holiday. Fancy that. Thanks to Emily (US), Catherine (UK/Venezuela), Andrew (UK/France), Shauneen (Ireland/UK), Sam (UK), Tobie (Switzerland) and Bob (UK) as well as Sam (US/SA), Libby (UK) and Lucy (UK) for a wonderful wet and windy weekend in the Berg.