It's a long way to the Top! Mtns Day 2

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Africa » Lesotho » Sani Top
April 23rd 2006
Published: May 30th 2006
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Sani Top ChaletSani Top ChaletSani Top Chalet

Just into Lesotho and needing a refreshing drink!
We awoke frozen at the crack of dawn as Morgan was just departing. Our intention today was to hike and hitch as far into Lesotho as possible. It was becoming a beautiful warm morning with not a cloud in the sky, perfect for hiking and taking in the majestic mountain scenery and fresh air. Just past the hotel and golf course we were greeted by two horsemen who were both carrying large rifles slung casually over their shoulders. They were probably just going hunting, but the remoteness of our location and the size of their rifles were enough to un nerve us a little. Next thing we knew they had disappeared! We continued on for an hour or so before we managed to hitch a ride with about the tenth 4wd that passed us. It was driven by a tour guide who was going to pick up some clients who had been in the mountains for a week of hard core hiking. The Landrover was decked out with all sorts of survival gear and the dude certainly seemed to know his mountains as he called them, but when the silly old bugger told us it would snow tonight we almost laughed
Hiker HendersonHiker HendersonHiker Henderson

Dani, kitted up and ready to go, just before we met the horsemen.
at him! There still wasn't a cloud in the sky! He took us as far as the SA border post which was 16km from where we had started. We were stamped out of SA and started the next leg of our journey. Lesotho was now only 8km away, the first five of which only ascended at a gentle rate, however the last 3km ascended 900m! We put in another hour on foot before being picked up by a young black family from Durban who were trying out their brand spanking new Jeep Cherokee. By the time they dropped us at the Lesotho Border the wind had picked up and we dug into our packs for our thermals. Surely not! We had no dramas being stamped into Lesotho although the customs officer made us change our unemployed staus to self employed. We ventured across the road to the Sani Top Chalet, Africas highest pub at 2900m for a cold beer and maybe a snack to recharge before venturing further into Lesotho, however we were now quite cold and opted for hot whiskeys in front of the fire. We met Morgan who was also in front of the fire. He had walked
Snow way!Snow way!Snow way!

The clouds came in so fast!
out the front door of the lodge, got picked up straight away and driven to the top in an hour. Cheat! By the time we had finished our bevvies the chalet was now totally enveloped in clouds and we couldnt see out the window. An hour later the rain had turned into snow. I was now inclined to believe something else that the not so silly old bugger had told us, that our hunting horsemen, whilst in a mountainous and very baron national park, were none other than drug runners. It was only two days later that i read in a local outdated paper that the Sani Pass was the preferred route of such runners due to its remoteness and difficult accessability! Like the weather, we settled in, in front of the fire for the rest of the day and indeed the rest of the night. We had run out of supplies so we bought dinner which was an amazing three course African affair which filled our bellies and lifted our spirits. After dinner all the bar staff simply just left, so instead of putting up our tent in the snow like we thought we would have to, we camped in front of the fire! For free! They even left the bar open, although we declined to help our selves.One of the barstaff who for our entire stay was so incredibly rude only charged us for dinner and not for accomodation which we would have paid, so we decided it was her bad karma not ours and left it at that!


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