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Day 45: Pretoria and Lesotho (Part 1)

March 15, 2012

WOO! So as you all should know, we all went away for a long weekend in Lesotho! While we were there, we walked off a cliff!

Backwards! It was awesome. But I’ll get to that later.

Ok, we left on Saturday morning – got up nice (cough) and early, put our mostly-pre-packed bags in the car, and off we went! Driving, driving, driving, driving… Drove for a few hours, stopped for lunch, then drove some more. After 5-6 hours, we hit a section of really really really (and I mean REALLY) rough road. Potholes central. Tony was a little impatient to get past it all, and, not knowing how long the bad road would last, took it a little too fast. Boom. Flat tyre. Now, I’ve never (as far as I can remember) had a flat tyre before. And here we are, far enough away from anything that we can’t feasibly walk to the nearest town and get a replacement. So, we unpack the entire boot of the car to pull out the temporary wheel, that will only go at a maximum speed of 80kph. Joy. We were helped with the wheel swap by some random people on their way to a wedding. So thanks, random people! We would have had some trouble without you!

After getting (very carefully and slowly) to the nearest town, we got a new tyre, and off we went again! Wasn’t long before we got to the border. Getting through was actually very easy – no extra paperwork for the car, an almost non-existent line to get passports stamped, and then we went across Maseru Bridge. Passports stamped again, and that was it! Easy as pie! So then we were in Maseru, Lesotho, and our next task was to find the place we were staying for the night, Malealea Lodge. It was about 2 hours from Maseru, but the roads were, again, not brilliant, and signs were few and far between. We managed to get there, just before dark! Dinner (Jasmine and I had an omelette each, filled with cheese, with some pap and mashed sweet potato) followed by tea (Jas and I brought our own because we don’t particularly like plain black tea). Planned a pony ride for the following day, and then headed off to our room. Pokemon before bed! And yes. Jasmine played too (I leant her Sapphire and my SP).

Following day: up early again! Breakfast at 7:30, on the ponies by 8. The scenery was AMAZING!

That’s some of the mountains, and the crops (mostly maize and sunflowers). Pretty, right? You should also be impressed by the fact that the photos aren’t blurry – we were trying to take them while on horseback. Not exactly the most steady of creatures.  You can thank our amazing skills, and the fantastic camera (I love you, mum and dad!). Not enough mountains for you? Have some more!

Lesotho is mountainous. In case you couldn’t tell. Anyway, I’ll probably upload some more photos separate to this. Also, the weather was glorious! Sunny and warm (though Jas found it a little too warm). We asked our guide if we could trot (as we wanted to put our horse-riding lessons into practice), and he said there was a point ahead where we could. When we got to that point, he cautioned that the pony I was riding tended to be reluctant to stop, but we went for it anyway – it was awesome! The countryside, Jas and I together, away from the guide, just the two of us! And then, my pony was reluctant to stop. And went faster. Into a canter, which we haven’t done in our lessons yet. Gulp. Got almost back to the lodge, then the pony finally stopped. It was fun though!

Back into the car, ready for the 5 hour drive to Semonkong Lodge, Semonkong! Back through Maseru (it would only take 2 hours if there was a direct road between the two), and along some more dodgy roads. Yay. Took photos on the way, and got to Semonkong around 4pm.

To be continued. Immediately. Just don’t want to strain the internet.

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