The African Adventure
Thursday 11 August 2005
Rhodes Hotel, Rhodes - Lesotho Sun Hotel, Maseru
We were up and off early to climb the narrow, steep hair-pinned roads towards South Africa's main ski centre at Tiffendell. The previous day there had been heavy snow at about 7,000ft, but sadly most of this had disappeared but we all were rewarded with spectacular long distance views. This did not put off the I'Ansons and the Howells, who enjoyed a good morning on the piste.
We now headed for the Lesotho Border and passed through many small villages. The weather by now was superb - and with only one wet day out of eight, we have definitely been followed by the weather gods.
Soon, as we drove along the River Telle, with Lesotho on the far bank, we came to the rusty wire gates that led to the very scruffy Telle border post. Passports were stamped, the barrier lifted and we were in Lesotho.
This country definitely has a different feel to South Africa, the villages being more noticeably impoverished, with round thatched mud houses in the majority. The inhabitants, however, have nothing but smiling faces and we received an abundance of friendly waves from locals of all ages. The roads if anything were rougher than previous and, in keeping with the country's economic status, poorly maintained.
In need of refreshment we diverted 3km off route to eat a simple but very good meal at the Malalea Lodge, which seemed to offer every facility, from trekking to hang-gliding to horse riding to - you name it!
Our night stop was at Lesotho's capital city, Maseru, which proved to be big, bustling and frenetic.