2013-09-18 to 24 - Sani & Lesotho

Sadly I had to sit this one out but in the usual fashion, it is my duty and pleasure to blog all our adventures.  I might not have been there in person, but believe you me, I was there in spirit. Glad the boys had a safe journey and from what I can hear, many a story to be told... but as they say 'what happens in Lesotho, stays in Lesotho"......  

Now that the Nav (or Rolex as he has aptly been nicknamed by the KLR clanners) has experienced the mighty Lesotho mountains and knows his way up and down it, he will no doubt be leading me through it sometime in the future.  Can't wait!  

Handing over to the Nav for further commentary.... 

We trucked the bikes up to Aliwal North, leaving Ang to join her sister and family in Kimberley, while we eagerly got going first thing on Thursday morning heading to Lady Grey, over Jouberts Nek, Barclay East, Rhodes to our first overnight stop at MaClear.

Beakfast in Lady Grey on Day 1 at Anny's Cafe.  Rain has been scarce so the countryside is dry.
Place to go to watch rugby no doubt!
Local cuisine - for those that enjoy soup!
Up Jouberts Net.  More tricky than we thought with stunning views back over Lady Grey

Just look at that road!
A breather on Naude's Nek
MaClear overnight stop.  Huge T-Bone for supper
Day 2 - early start (as usual)
First into MaClear for fuel.  Check out Khayelitsha's fast food...
We had an uneventful trip to Himeville.  First stop, the war memorial.  Museum unfortunately closed.
Lekker Local Lager 
Himeville is another trout fishing destination.  Paul enjoyed the start to this fishy tail.  We met-up with the rest of the KLR Clan at Himeville, and enjoyed a social evening while anticipating the ride up Sani Pass the next day.  Weather predicted was light rain. 
Getting to the pass, the land turned green after the 2 days of dry brown that we had been through.  The roads were damp, and muddy in places, but overall in pretty good nick!

The sun made an appearance half-way up the pass, and we stopped to get rid of our rain gear.  Paul posing!
The trip up the pass was in thick mist and pretty tricky with the tight switchbacks causing a "moment" or two.  The exhiliration on reaching the top was amazing with bright sun out of the mist.  It was cold on top.  

This gent sings for a living, playing an old oil-tin guitar.  He was later joined by a drummer.

We wrote our names on the ceiling.  I think they have to re-paint every year!
The heights and vistas in Lesotho highlands are just amazing.  A picture does not do them justice.  Here we are around 400m higher than Sani, on the way to Mothotlong.
The locals live with their animals.  Goats, horses, donkeys.  The donkeys have been chosen to lug the gear.

The Chinese are very busy widening the roads and building bridges.  Here are some LHD trucks on the road to Mothotlong.
After refueling the gang took a breather on the road to our overnight stop at Mulomong.
A bakkie with most of the luggage (ours excluded) can be seen heading towards Katze with one very bedonnered oom at the steering wheel.  Needless to say, most of the gang had to brush their teeth with ash!
View from our overnight stop at Mulomong.  Very basic with no electricity but possibly the most enjoyable evening of the tour.
Paul, Grant and Dewald.  We managed 110km for the day.
I was quick, so got the rondawel on the left, while Paul annexed a room with a double bed.  The rest of the guys shared a dormitory.
Cold early morning.  KLR at the ready.

Our second day in Lesotho started with a steep climb from the lodge.  Len's BMW 1150 struggled to get out but before too long we were climbing the first pass on the way to Katse via Thaba Tseka

Racing Rick on the KTM

The roads are just amazing.  Progress was slow and I rather unfairly earned the nickname "Rolex" because of constantly having to hurry everyone up.

First view of the Katse dam wall.  It is massive, and the dam extends for 35km in a very deep valley.  Lesotho must be pretty well placed to sell her water in the years to come.
That's a bakkie next to the structure on the wall.  Gives you an idea of size.

From L-R, Racing Rick, Grant, Paul and Len
Dinner was very civilized at the Katse Lodge.  Highly recommended.  L-R Bossies, Rick, Len, Dewald, Grant.
Early morning traffic on the water.  Could be mistaken for a Scottish Loch.
Day 3 started with a 60km tour around the dam.  It is genuinely vast.

And ended here.  We decided to go on the tar to Fouriesburg, and make a trip to Clarence and the Golden Gate instead of the scheduled route.  At this stage we had seen about as many goats as we wanted to.
Shebeens are a-plenty.  Where else can you buy a quart of Maluti Lager for R11.50?
The locals don't like appearing in photo's for nothing, and generally the entire Lesotho nation begs for money or sweets as you pass through.  This picture cost me R10.
Back in SA, lunch stop at Clarence.
Spectacular Golden Gate.

Fouriesburg Inn.  Huge meals and good company awaited.

The KLR Clan, L-R Dana, Loekie, Grant, Paul, Rick, Greg, Dewald, myself and Martin
We parted company heading off in different directions.  What a fantastic raid it was and we all look forward to the next one.  Paul and I headed to Kimberley where we met up with Ang and the trailer.  We trucked the 1000km from Kimberly to Cape Town the following day.

Thanks Nav!  Sounds like an awesome trip, with many untold memories no doubt (???).... I am glad you all had a safe journey and we look forward to sharing future rides with you guys.  

Till next time, take care and safe travels everyone

- Ang
4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul
email:  adventureridersct@gmail.com

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