Lesotho Sani Pass and Makothlong

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February 5th 2008
Published: February 5th 2008
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The snow Blizzard started as soon as we left the Sani pass Police post in South Africa. It was chaos, 7 4X4 vehicles in front of us had got stuck in the thick snow. There were vehicles behind us but we persevered after an exciting 3 hrs burning the clutch, screeching tyres eventually we got to the top but ahead the gates were locked and there was no one to be seen. The blizzard grew worse and there were 9 people outside the gate in 0 degrees celcius, half a of meter snow, blistering winds not sure what the next step would be. I decided to kick the gate to kingdom come and to my surprise the lock cracked open, this is in fact a trick I learnt at boarding school!
The next morning was the most spectacular snowscapes and cloudscapes I have ever seen. The air was thin and contrasts deep. I awoke a little late as i was still suffering from altitude sickness. The morning was too beautiful to miss so I put on my gloves and ventured south east above the sani top plateau with my Tripod and cameras. The lenses were a little humid from the sudden change of temperature. I heard a man singing in the mist, there he was looking out from "God's window" and singing his song of freedom and tranquility. I carried walking along the ridge for about 7km my boots drenched with the soft spongy snow but it was worth it.
The sun was behind me and the clouds flew low over the valleys and straight towards me. Behind me in the valley lies Underberg covered in a sheet of pink cloud.
The drive to makothlong is about an hour from sani top. There are no real restaurants however there is a local lodge which serves food, depending if there is power that day. The drive back from Makothlong in the afternoon is worth it as the schools close. The children play and work in the fields. I found a boy who knew Michael Jackson and new how to breakdance.
During Augsust wildlife is dull however in the town of makothlong the yellow billed kite remains the ultimate scavenger. Weeping willows are in their prime growing new shoots for the summer ahead. There are some good trout fishing spots betwen the two sites if you have patience and extra petrol.
Sani Top lodge is a great venue but lacks space, there is talk of extending the lodge and making it more accessible. A great site for a night or two and the glue wine is always at the top of the menu.

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