Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mountain Serendipity

Nine intrepid PCV's embarked on a trip to Lesotho, a true wilderness, an environment truly untouched by man, a small mountainous kingdom entirely surrounded by South Africa. Most of the Drakenberg World Heritage Site is a spectacular and seemingly unpenetrable range of mountain and wilderness. Within a short time one can be in a completely timeless landscape, looking exactly as it would have looked long before humans walked the planet. The Zulu people call the Drakenbergs “Ukhahlamba” or The Barrier of Spears.

There have been but a few destinations in my travels that have caused me to be at a loss for words. The natural silence created a kind of spiritual euphoria, and a new awareness of how we as humans are linked to what is left in nature. Mystic Mountains were tucked up in a patchwork of quilt, stiched with time and aged with silence. As you gaze out at colours running and seeping in foliage and waterfalls, like an eagle's expansive wing, the hills seemed to circle higher in the airy whisper of the wind, the landscape, views, and vistas, unfolded like a story in a picture book. 

For me, traveling is a social experience of exploring untouched natural places. It's a way to enrich the spirit, and it took but a minute to feel comfortable, alive. I was hardly prepared for the immemse beauty my eyes were lucky enough to be treated to. One of the most Ancient Mountain ranges in the world, and a treat for every sense:   Sight—Fill your soul with a sense of awe, not only of the mountains, but of the 100,000 year old rock art where you can read into the story of their rituals and reverence for the people and animal by which they survived. Smell---experience the freshest air---the valleys between the mountains with the lush green vegetation, produce the most fantastic smells you will ever experience. Touch---Made of tough granite and softer sandstone. You will feel these different textures on the souls of your feet, feel it with a hand as if you become part of the earth! Sound---There is a Boys Choir School that sing about 15 of the most famous works ever produced, and even though we did not hear them, we were serenaded by some of the local angelic voices singing traditional songs in the evenings.  Taste---Farm style traditional meals, made from incredients from the land, and cap it off with a sherry watching yet again, another African Sunset.

It was a wonderful adventure of hiking each day, pony trekking, and being 55 years old and making up steep terrain--whew!  The mountains stood untouched and silent, watching as we turned to make our long journey home.

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