The Draakies

Long bus rides and tour go hand in hand. We spent all day Monday “on the road again,” making our way east from Kimberley, to the Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu Natal. A main tenant of the tour bus ride is the rest stop. It takes good planning and serious chap power to make for a successful, safe stop. Areas of concern: safety in the restrooms, stopping the boys from stock piling bags of candy, chips, and ice cream, keeping them from getting in line at the fast food counters.

The scenery was gorgeous, especially as we entered Zululand – land of the great warrior Shaka. No wonder so much blood has been shed throughout the years to control this part of the country. The rolling hills, the peaks and valleys, peppered with the signature Zulu rondevels, the blue skies and cotton-like clouds make for a picture-perfect postcard wherever you look, for as far as you can see.

Here's the link to the photos in the set: From Kimberley to Drakensberg

Twelve hours later we arrived at the Drakensberg Boys Choir School in the evening and headed right for dinner at the Dragon Peaks resort restaurant, situated next to the Choir School. (By the way “Drakensburg” means “Dragon’s Peak” in Afrikaans.) Once our bellies were full, we did room assignments. Those boys who were in the hostel in Kimberley were given the cabins for three at Dragon Peaks. Great fun. Those who had the comfort of the homestays in Kimberley were assigned to the veryspartan South African Air Force barracks on the property of Dragon Peaks. Of course the trade off to a cold hostel is the fact that the boys are all together in one place. I was not present, but heard of peanut butter and jelly pig-out at midnight in the cold under the African moon. Hostels and hotels always make for spontaneous tour moments, albeit they mean more work for the chaps and staff. It’s never easy getting them settled down and quiet for sleep. In this hostel, the boys had to go outside to the shower stations. Very, very cold. That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I have no doubt that after the boys endure the South African winter for three weeks in hostels, they will be able to deal with anything life throws their way.