words by GOSIA LIPINSKA
pic by JOHNNY MILLER
I kept expecting to get better, but as each day passed I was still unable to eat normally. I had just recovered from tick bite fever, but my relief from the constant headaches was short-lived as I developed oesophagitis as a result of the strong antibiotics. Every time I ate it felt like I was swallowing daggers. It was Thursday and I’d had a particularly bad day, and the Tradathon was on Saturday. I emailed everyone to let them know I may be woman-down. As I was lying in bed feeling very sorry for myself, my psyche grew – this was going to be an awesome event and I was going to get better. And wonderfully, I woke up on Friday with quite a bit of my swallowing ability restored. Who knows what this turn in my health was about – psyche or random coincidence. Either way I was ready.
So Julia Wakeling, visiting briefly from the British Virgin Islands, and I packed ourselves off to the Cederberg. Julia was off to a wedding but we got to catch up along the way – what a treat. I arrived late on Friday night to a large marquee lit with fairy lights and peppered with a large group of climbers, eyes fixed to a screen showing old South African climbing flicks. The atmosphere was awesome – people making plans, swapping gear, examining route guides. People had come in from Cape Town, but had also flown in from Jo’burg and travelled down from PE.