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Published: October 20th 2009
Day 31 - Molumong (Lesotho) - 29/8/09
We left the Sani Lodge at 0900 with our tour guide Michael, on the tour with me there were 4 Dutch girls who were travelling together. We travelled though the roads of the Drakensburg Mountains to reach the Sani Pass and the Lesotho border pass, we went in a 4X4 as its the only type of vehicle that could make it up there. As a gentlemen and somebody travelling by myself took the back of the 4X4. Proceeding through the mountain range was a slow and very bumpy task, the roads were windy and the scenery getting more and more dramatic the higher and higher we went. The more we went on, the more and more bumpy the road got, with me hitting my head on the roof, the window and were ever else the bumps sent me. To be honest I didn’t mind about the bumps both of the roads and the ones that were going to going come up on my head as the views were awesome; I felt honoured to be in such a beautiful place. Michael, told us about the ecology of the mountains and facts like how the
Zulu' s would hunt; they would burn a section of the mountains and then the antelopes would come to graze on it making the job of hunting them a lot easier.
Eventually we reached the Lesotho border and it was amazing how the scenery changed from dramatic, sweeping mountains to white ice and snow capped mountains. After we were stamped into Lesotho, we drove along the Sani Pass for a bit and then we eventually stopped for lunch. We were given the options to go with another guide and go for a 45 minute hike; in Lesotho there's the highest point south of Mount Kilimanjaro, it stands at 3482m, the more up we went, the colder and colder we went, eventually we reached 3300m, where we stopped as to get the highest point would take another 5 hours. On the way down, the ice was making it very hard under foot; so much so that I slipped on some ice, landed on my ass and slide on my ass down a little slope.
We got back to the jeep and carried on the journey to No.10 Riverside, our accommodation for the next couple of days. The family we
were staying with were lovely; they welcomed us into their home with open arms, greeting us with tea and coffee. After a bit of time settling in, we were taken to the village to be greeted by all the women of the village who told us about everyday Lesotho life; they firstly showed some of the tools that they used to do; like thatching the roof, they showed us how to turn wheat into flour by grinding it and let us have a go then they performed 4 or 5 traditional dances for us. We walked back to the house, where granddad was making a campfire for our evening's entertainment. As the cold and darkness set in, he gave us blankets to wrap ourselves up in and keep warm. The women came back and proceeded to dance with us, getting the Dutch girls to join in with them. I thought I had avoided embarrassment when the Sheppard's came and danced to more traditional music played on a guitar like instrument; I got pulled up and stood there and wondered what the hell to do! I tried to follow and in the end didn’t care as it was all good hearted
Before the evening drew to a close we all got together to eat in the roundhouse. On the menu for dinner was traditional food, Pap, which is maize based mashed potatoes textured food with some sauce and some sausages. Surprising it was really good and really tasty; the first time I ate pap it was without sauce and was not so nice. What was nice about it thought was that it was the first time I’ve properly had traditional African food. After dinner we all retired to the bank beds for a good night sleep
Day 32 - Molumong - 30/8/09
Woke up fairly early on and sat by the river, slowly waking up and watching the locals washing their clothes in it. Breakfast was served at 0730 and consisted of bread, jam, peanut butter and boiled eggs with tea and coffee. With breakfast over, the grandfather had organised with the community, the use of a few horses. I was trotting around on one, when, all of a sudden the horse bolted, throwing me off for some known reason. After that I didn’t want to get back reason, strange that isn’t it. The grandfather was a
bit peed that I didn’t want to get back on. The guide, me and two of the other Dutch girls went hiking up to the village church, where we would be met by the girls on horseback. Up we went, admiring the views as we continued to hike up the mountain; slipping on the loose dirt and stones every now and again.
We arrived at the church to a lack of activity inside; so much so it was totally dead. We all waited whilst Michael went off to talk to the pastor and find out exactly what was happening. He came back and told us that apparently the service was being held in another village, saying that I was glad to actually be out in the fresh air! We descended down and chilled out for a couple of hours before being taken to see the village healer. After my visit to the witch doctor in Malawi I was some what of a non believer to say the least. We went in and like in Malawi, she danced for a bit and then the readings started. I thought bollocks to all of this so I went in first and got
my reading done; the price was R2. She told me all the normal bollocks; I'll lead a long and happy life, I'll have a safe journey though Africa etc etc. She mentioned that I would get married and have kids; I asked how many kids just out of curiously. The answer was 3, then I asked how many would be boys and girls; the healer responded by telling me I would have 2 girls and 1 boy; exactly the same as the witch doctor!! Was it just chance or maybe is there something true about all of that.
We walked back and had lunch set out for us; rice, some maize thingy, chicken, pumpkin, carrots and some sauce, it actually was very nice. After lunch we said our goodbye's to the family and made our way back to the Sani Lodge. The journey back seemed quicker; probably due to the fact that we weren’t stopping, though going down was always more bumpy according to Michael. Forget the terrible roads in Kenya; this really took the biscuit. Bouncing around in the back of the 4x4 made me feel like a pinball in a pinball machine. Before the border we stopped three
times. Firstly, we stopped to see a family where the wife was making some bread; it was cooked using shit, quite literally! Shit on top, shit on bottom and it made some really nice bread! Secondly, we got stopped by a hawker, unlike in East Africa he wasn’t selling a painting or beads but apparently had a diamond for sale. We were immediately doubting him when he said it was on sale for only R5000. Michael looked at it, handing over the keys to the 4x4, it looked rather plastic and we said no thanks and made our way to our third stop; the highest pub in Africa, the Sani Pass Chalet. Included in the tour was a free drink here, I had in my tradition of trying the local beer in each country a Malouti, the national beer of Lesotho. After the beer was slowly wound down the Drakensburg Mountain range to the Sani Lodge, we got there at 1700, where I booked flights and accommodation for the next leg of my adventure; wrapping the 3 bottles of Malouti for their journey to Namibia
Day 33 - Jo'burg (South Africa) - 31/8/09
Today, was very boring; all
I did was travel from Underberg to Jo'burg via Durban. It took me 3 hours to get to Durban. We stopped off at the University of Pietermaritzburg to drop off Jack, an American kid who was studying there. The only other thing of any note was when we got in the suburbs of Durban; the driver had to stop off at this massive house that had 3 electric fences. The house was huge, huge plots of land with horses running about and 2 helicopters. The reason we stopped was Tsiebo, the driver, had to drop off a phone that was left in his car. Tsiebo, dropped me off in downtown Durban at the Happy Hippo backpackers. I had a couple of hours to kill here before my flight to Jo'burg, I wondered around Ushaka Marine Park, using the time to watch a dolphin show.
I took the airport shuttle bus back to the airport, the driver threw my rucksack onto the bus and I told him to be careful but he didn’t seem to understand the word fragile. I got to the airport, where all the check in computers had crashed; the airport was total chaos, all the check
in staff seemed to forget about us standby passengers. Eventually we got on the aircraft and eventually got to Jo'burg and just chilled out!
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