We were 3000 metres above sea level. It was cold and wet and misty and miserable and none of us were in the mood for celebrating anything, let alone getting into formal gowns and partying the night away. It was four hours after we left the car park on what was supposed to be a 2-hour hike. It was pitch dark long before we reached the chain ladders, and even though we knew we were only 300 metres from the hut, we couldn’t find it due to low visibility.
We pitched the tents and Gerard started making butternut soup. We were hungry and cold and wet. The walk up here was slippery and dangerous at places, the packs heavy with all kinds of nonnecessities. We huddled around a tuna-salad and washed it down with big gulps of Roberto’s sherry. The soup took forever, but finally it was kind of ready – we declared it 2009 and went to bed. It was cold and wet and miserable, but at least we weren’t that hungry any more. We would have the dinner in the morning.
1 January 2009 broke clear and crispy with the majesty of a drakensberg morning. We were 3000 metres above sea level and right next to the mighty tugela, a few metres from where it tumbles 900 metres to the valley far below. One by one people crawled out of their tents … and then 2009’s cork popped exuberantly and joyfully like a drakensburg-morning:
Jacques ironed his shirt.
The girls got dressed
Then we took some pictures
Had a bite to eat – a few bites, actually – the menu included, but was not limited to, a fish-dish, salad, lasagna, grilled chicken, couscous with balsamic vinegar and grilled veggies, tiramisu, cheese & biscuits, and chocolates and coffee … washed down with liberal amounts of sherry, bubbly and red wine.
And finally the dancing bagan (it's the speakers here in the foreground, living next door to alice)
The vitalstatistix for the midweek-weekend:
Carrying non-necessities up the mountain: 5000 kiloCalories
Shivering from cold and wet while pitching tents: 2000 Calories
Ironing shirt for early-morning dinner-party: 1000 Calories
5-course dinner for breakfast: -7000 gigaCalories
Extra portion of Tiramisu: -1000 gigaCalories
Memories: calorie-less :)