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STORM over the hikers, lightning strikes! by justjoy

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· @justjoy ·
$3.31
STORM over the hikers, lightning strikes!
Elizabeth continued with her mountain climb adventure………………

The wind did not blow the clouds away.

Within 45 minutes we stopped and with a feeling of dread we put our rain jackets on and secured waterproof covers over our back packs. I thanked my stars for my new back pack that had a drinking pipe that led from the water container on my back to my mouth, for easy sips. 

When the drizzle turned to driving rain I was grateful for the waterproof trousers that I had made. I fastened the hood of my ‘to my knees’ raincoat around my face and my peak acted as a veranda so the hard rain was deflected and I could see properly.

To our absolute joy, the two guides caught up with us and with waving hands and laughter ‘pooh poohed ‘our fears. Their shrug as we indicated the grey storm clouds indicated that this was ‘normal’!

With the thunder sounding like hundreds of horse drawn chariots going into battle and lightning striking granite outcrops around us we put out heads down and CLIMBED.

 https://i.postimg.cc/Vk8QM5C9/Drakensberg-storm.png
Pixabay
After an hour or three, there was no way of knowing, I felt my strength draining and as no conversation was possible, gestured to Brian that I, for one, needed to eat! He responded to my sign language and we managed to find a small overhang where we could get food out and gulp down what we had brought. 

The guides had come as though we were going on a Sunday school walk in the park and had no supplies. So we shared and their white teeth flashing in confident smiles, munching on apples, they confidently led us onwards and forever upwards.

I saw that a couple of the women were absolutely white, with terror I learned later……….much later. They were sure they could feel the electricity coming off the rocks and certainly saw the sparks. 
I did too.

I was invigorated!

I had spent many hours in the mountains on foot and on horseback and I was in my element. I loved being able to indulge in my own thoughts and with each flash of retina searing light, I seemed to get a spring in my step. As the thunder cracked overhead and rolled dramatically down the valley I ‘yoo hooed’ in my mind and leapt up a boulder or two. The path became a roaring gutter of water. I realised that my sandals were a good idea! 
People’s boots were getting waterlogged as their socks soaked up the excessive water. 

I was steaming inside my waterproof clothes but the water gushing over my feet kept me cool. The sandals had a proper tread and I was coping amazingly well and my spirits were soaring.

We climbed straight up for 5 hours with little respite. Fortunately we were all fit and had performed many practice runs in our home gorge area, never however, under such conditions.
We had faced dreadful wind and at least that was not a problem in this gargantuan storm.

At last the guides stopped. 

We were finally at the top. 
https://i.postimg.cc/W1FBQgPP/drakensburg-summit.png
Pixabay

The rain had stopped and the mist miraculously lifted.  The view of the way we had climbed was awe inspiring and magnificent.

In the distance we could see the lodge roof, a mere speck. A flat walk lay ahead and we toiled on, almost spent.

With handshakes all round and whatever food we had left over, they scampered back the way we had come……………all in a day’s work for these hardened guides.
We learned that their truck bringing them to work that day had broken down so that was why they were late! ‘Always the transport she is a problem,’ they shrugged, a universal sign in Africa.

The relief reflected in our eyes, when we got to the lodge 40 minutes later. At last we could ease our back packs off our tired shoulders round a roaring log fire. 
We were blessed. 
https://i.postimg.cc/5NMpxzvV/Fire-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder.png
Pixabay
Steaming cups of tea warmed our hands and the chatter spilled out our individual terror and my exhilaration. 

We laughed with the euphoria of kids let out of school after a long hard week.’

Elizabeth brought her adventure story to a close with a slap on her thighs.

We all collectively sighed with relief that there had been no casualties. 
We got up to stretch our legs and go out to see their horses in their stables. 

‘The rest of the story is for another day,’ she said handing out carrots for those of us who wanted to feed the satin nosed animals questing the air for treats.

‘Here’s to another such party, soon, with another survival story from one of us,’ said Wil flourishing a carrot. 'I think it is  time to tell you three, OUR survival story,’ he said indicating Vi and Lila on either side of him.

‘We’re in on that,’ replied Nicko.
'Yes please, this time next month,' replied Liz and Philippa happily waved the carrots in her hand in agreement.
👍  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and 164 others
👎  
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vote details (229)
@irisworld ·
Wow! The sky looks so scary and gorgeous at the same time

Posted using [Partiko Android](https://partiko.app/referral/irisworld)
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@justjoy ·
It matches exactly the emotions I experienced while climbing the Drakensberg......very scary AND utterly exhilarating. I guess that is why people climb Everest!
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@steemitboard ·
Congratulations @justjoy! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

<table><tr><td><img src="https://steemitimages.com/60x70/http://steemitboard.com/@justjoy/voted.png?201910222305"></td><td>You received more than 45000 upvotes. Your next target is to reach 50000 upvotes.</td></tr>
</table>

<sub>_You can view [your badges on your Steem Board](https://steemitboard.com/@justjoy) and compare to others on the [Steem Ranking](https://steemitboard.com/ranking/index.php?name=justjoy)_</sub>
<sub>_If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word_ `STOP`</sub>



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###### [Vote for @Steemitboard as a witness](https://v2.steemconnect.com/sign/account-witness-vote?witness=steemitboard&approve=1) to get one more award and increased upvotes!
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@justjoy ·
Thank you.
👍  
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vote details (1)
@steemitboard ·
You're welcome @justjoy
Feel free to support us back: [vote for our witness](https://v2.steemconnect.com/sign/account-witness-vote?witness=steemitboard&approve=1). 
You will get one more badge and more powerful upvotes from us on your posts with our next notifications.<div class="pull-right"><sub><a href="/@steemreply/steemreply-stay-in-touch-with-your-steem-network">Posted with <img src="https://steemreply.com/logo-comment.png"/></a></sub></div>
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@joanstewart ·
Hiking the mountains in electrical weather, exhilarating but so dangerous, good to hear they accomplished the hike with no injuries.

Visiting from #teamsouthafrica ~ making a move to #steemsa please visit https://steemit.com/steemsa/@jaynie/proudly-introducing-steem-south-africa
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@justjoy ·
Just occasionally when we do foolish things they work out, but hiking mountains anywhere in poor weather conditions is not wise!
How are you doing on Steemit ? I've been blogging a year this month and while I am enjoying connecting with fellow creatives like you it is financially disappointing. I have grown enormously however and that is a big plus.
Thank you for your text.
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@joanstewart ·
With crypto being down most are doing socializing strengthening communities and making new connections @justjoy Trust we will see you in the new space, wishing you a wonderful weekend.
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@creativecrypto ·
Hello @justjoy, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. [The Creative Crypto](https://thecreativecrypto.com/) is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!
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@justjoy ·
Hey, nice to hear from a new source. Thank you for your vote.
I have been around a year this month and will continue steeming on!
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@giantbear ·
https://discord.gg/wQ4HxJ  link for steem fiction on discord
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