Thursday, November 23, 2017 | South Africa – Western Cape, Knysna | Petra
IN THE KINGDOM OF LESOTHO
THE KINGDOM IN THE SKY
We are very curious about the small enclave in the middle of South Africa, so many travelers we met enthused over. With a new stamp in our passports we delve into a new part of africa.
It is the particular altitude of Lesotho, why it also has the poetic title “The Kingdom in the Sky“. The bottom is at 1,390 metres and the highest mountain is Thabana Ntlenyana with 3,482 metres. About 80 percent of the Lesotho area is over 1,800 metres altitude.
Reservoir Katse Dam, Malibamatšo River
On our tour North to South through Lesotho we gaze at a breath taking world of mountains, sweeping clouds and huge reservoirs, we drive on winding passes, enjoy a relaxing night at 3,102 metres altitude with absolutely no wind and meet wonderful nice and friendly people. We feel very welcome.
We are thrilled by the relaxed and cosy atmosphere of the country right from the beginning. When we use our new words “Dumela!” to say hello or “Salahandle.” to say goodbye, we always get a happy smile.
The tyre on the thatch roof is dedicated to protect from lighting strike (it works as well for the car with four tyres)
The little villages are widespread up to the top of the mountains, each spot of fertile soil is used as a field and mostly tilled with an ox-drawn cart and by hand. Mobile phones are as common as herdsmen, most of the children are visiting school and many of the people also can speak English.
Filling stations are rare, but there are some. Sometimes they run out of petrol or diesel. Maybe they’ll have some tomorrow, maybe not. On the roads traffic is relaxed and with no rush.
Further down it is nice and warm like in summer, in higher reaches of the mountains it’s quite cold. The weather can change very quickly, as we witness over night. In the afternoon we heaten our grill for a nice summer braai wearing beach slippers. The next morning I rummage around for woolen trousers, gloves, beanies and down jackets. Winter came back over night and we have snow in the mountains. Brrr!
We don’t care in the least. First we have our winter equipment on board (absolutely necessary in South African summer!), second we are completely diverted. It’s a lucky coincidence, that the spectacular “Roof of Africa“, one of the toughest off-road motorbike races takes place when we are around Bushmens Pass. Is this cool or cool?
We take our time for this very special occasion and watch the dramatic mountain race of the tough men and women on their bikes. The snow hit them hard, too. Last year they had to deal with 30 degree, now it’s freezing cold. By the way, many of the tricky passages on the track would be a problem even for hikers.
Enduro sport and off-roading is a very popular sport and leisure activity predominantly of the white South African. Lesotho with it’s challenging terrain is the perfect play ground for this international race.
After hours of racing the bikes get their shower first
Even for the kids of the area this event is very exciting. It’s their chance to snatch something interesting. They friendly ask spectators for some Rand, hope to get sweets, lemonade or even some cast-off clothing, somebody brought from South Africa.
King is, who managed to get a can of Red Bull.
Filled with new wonderful impressions we leave Lesotho after we spent some days there. We are very happy that we came to visit and explore the friendly kingdom. It was nice meeting Lesotho.
Kealeboha (Thank you) & Salahandle (Bye, bye)!
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Hi, we were camped just opposite you in Lesotho. Roma camp site. LOVE the vehicle. We visit ‘The Roof’ every year. It’s an amazing place and amazing race. Glad you had a great experience. Hope its a safe trip to the finnish. All the best.
Happy New Year! Thank you very much for your kind message. Yes, we remember you and it’s a pity that we didn’t talk to each other. We enjoy our tour very much and we’re happy to meet so many friendly people. Have yourself a great time.
Petra & Win