Underberg – not the worst place to be sent on assignment

A panoramic view of the town, taken on Saturday morning.

Steam rises from the road as the rain pelts down. The raindrops are big – heavy almost – as the dark clouds empty themselves on large parts of the Drakensberg. The sun had been shining most of the day, and it’s still hot despite the rain. The wind has picked up slightly, and flashes of lightning appear sporadically.

It’s a unique welcome to Underberg, a small predominantly farming town in central KwaZulu-Natal. The town is known more for its hosting of Splashy Fen than anything else. I wasn’t there for music, but rather for a story. And despite it being a work trip, it was easy to get out of Work Mode and see the appeal of the area.

The town is nestled – and nestled is the perfect word for it – underneath the imposing Drakensberg mountain range. And it’s a perfect setting. Even the drive is wonderfully scenic, with the road twisting and turning as you climb gradually to the town itself. The views are spectacular.

Shining through the storm clouds, the sun cast shadows on the town and made for some wonderful images. The occasional flashes of lightning helped, too. As the storm clouds moved away, it gave way to one of the nicest sunsets I’ve seen for a long time.

Sometimes, even the toughest work assignments can be made somewhat enjoyable by them being in nice settings.

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