Upon hitting the dirt road, we took a moment to take in the rugged mountains in front of us. Absolutely stunning.
Winding our way up the pass, over loose rocks and slippery gravel, we climbed. Going up up up. With all our luggage and weight on the bikes it wasn’t the easiest going. I came down 3 times. Once whilst stopping to take a photo. Sliding backwards and down into the gravel. Much to the amusement of the others. Trent was the only one not to fall, I suppose riding like a grandma helps 😉 but his rear tyre was flat come the morning.
That afternoon, upon completing the border crossing at the top of Sani Pass, we drank a beer at the highest pub in Africa at an altitude of 2874m above sea level. Then pitched tent in the dwindling light.The sun sets early here, sinking behind the Western rim of a mountainous bowl, and shortly darkness arrived. With the fading of the light came the cold. Ice formed on our tents in a few minutes and above us the Milky Way shone brightly.
Waking as the sun was rising, I climbed out of my frozen tent, shook the numbness from my limbs and started running. Climbing to the top of one of the mountains surrounding us and watched colour come into the world.
With the thin air, breathing became difficult but it was an amazing run and upon getting to the top I met a friendly Shepard wrapped in his brown blanket.
That day we did over a 100km of hectic dirt roads, straight off the beaten track. Passing the occasional village with its round rock huts and thatched roofs’ and its blanket wrapped inhabitants. Past sheep and goats and men on donkeys and horses. And the odd cow or two pulling makeshift sleds. Going up and down, up, down and around. Mountain after mountain, through some river crossings and up some more mountains. As far as the eye can see.. Mountains. It was breathtaking scenery. (Lesotho is the highest country on average in the world!)
As the sun was getting lower on the horizon we stopped at a small town and asked for the whereabouts of the chief. “Ahh the Chief is on a horse, that way.”
I found the Chief riding slowly along, with a huge pile of mealies across the top of his horse. After brief conversation, he invited us back to his house and we proceeded to follow him behind his horse. A smile broke across my face as he broke into a trot. Following the chief and his horse, in the mountains of Lesotho, on motorbikes. Perfect. For a bag of peanuts and raisins and some Australian coins we had the protection of the Chief for the night.
We left early that morning. We still had lots of ground to cover. Around 150km or so, of more awesome dirt roads and epic mountains. But by the end, the tar was welcome! As was the chicken and pap in Qacha’s Nek after eating only a hard boiled egg with Aromat all day! We crossed the border at the Nek that afternoon and went down through the pass back onto South African soil.
It was an incredible ride and such a breath taking country. I will definitely go back one day. And would recommend it to anyone who enjoys 4WDriving, epic off road motorbiking or mountain hikes.
Sorry for the lateness of our posts, we’ve been to busy Living. The next leg of the journey will be up shortly!
All the best from Tom Da Silva and the rest of the Nitty Gritty Nomads.