The night me and the boys were waterproofing the maps, none of us knew what we were getting ourselves into. The Drakensberg is definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to, it looks like heaven, but sometimes it felt like hell.
The first day was probably the hardest because we still had to get into the rhythm of things and our backpacks were heavy.
I started to feel the side of my left knee getting sore, but I ignored it, thinking it would go away with time. Waiting it out was a big mistake, as my knee just got worse and worse to the point where I couldn’t walk anymore. It messed me up physically as well as mentally. I had all these thoughts in my head about how was I going to finish the hike if I can’t even walk by the end of day 2.
Ruan asked us before the hike; what words are you taking on the hike to motivate yourself when you are at your lowest point?
“Maak kla” was mine.
I definitely felt like giving up a couple of times, but those two simple words helped me push through one of the most challenging hikes in the world.
I think lying in my tent after 12 hours of walking, looking at the best views you can get, cooking food knowing you’re bag is getting lighter were my best moments of the hike.
What I missed most on the hike was a bed and clean clothes. When I had to put on the same pair of wet socks for the fifth time, I really wanted to take my whole life’s anger and frustrations out on them. I realised that it doesn’t matter what happens, every morning the sun is going to rise, and the day is going to move on with or without my problems. All I could do was put on those wet socks and finish what I started.
One piece of advice I can give to someone that’s planning on doing the DGT is, have the right painkillers, but more importantly, you need to have the right mindset. You realise how powerful your mind is when you get “next level” uncomfortable.
I am very grateful that I got to be part of this unforgettable experience, it was a big step in my personal growth, and I’m looking forward to our next adventures.