Hitchhiking | Sani Pass | South Africa | Lesotho
Lesotho, encircled by South Africa has the highest lowest point of any country, 1400m. A mostly barren, sparsely populated place, with seemingly more sheep than people. Getting into Lesotho via the Sani Pass, was, had, always been the plan. The South African border control lies @1968m. Then comes 8km of no mans land and the Sani Pass. The gravel road climbs steeply to the top of the pass @2973m, where you enter Lesotho.
Almost at the top. Looking down the Sani Pass. Awesome day!
I left Sani Lodge. Started walking. After an hour I get picked up and ride the final 10km to the SOUTH AFRICAN border control. After getting my exit stamp, I bade farewell to the very kind South African couple and shouldered my bag once again.
Hot sun, dry air. This headache thats bugging me for nearly a week, makes life difficult. I feel sick, exhausted, old. I stop regularly until I find my rhythm. Huffing and puffing. 2hours 30 including the stops and I am there. Awesome views back down the pass. The top of the pass is the beginning of a long plateau.
I change into dry clothing, get stamped in, despite having asked for the stamp to be put on a certain page, they put it in the middle of a brand new page. Idiots!
What to do? Stay at the over priced Sani Mountain hostel or keep going to the Sani Stone Lodge?
I heard the Stone lodge was situated in a much nicer location, think - middle of no where - and cheaper at that, just that it was another 8km down the road. Once again, I set off walking. After 15 minutes a jeep stopped and I ride a few kilometers to be dropped at the turn off and am shocked to find that the lodge is 3km down a dirt track. My first thoughts were, 'if its raining in the morning, I am in for a wet time.' But it wasn't.
Another 3km, down a dirt track to Sani Stone Lodge - remote Lesotho - where I was, unsurprisingly, the only guest.
The 3km were easy enough and there was room at the inn, infact I was the only guest. There was a big dorm room and a few rondavells, thatched bungalows, pictured below. I had a small kitchen so I boiled up a never ending supply of hot water, to rehydrate after the days exersions and the South African woman who ran the place cooked me a nice lamb chops dinner, washed down with a can of beer. By 7pm it was completely dark. The moon was yet to rise. Absolutely no light pollution. I took a solar lamp back to my room, wrote for a bit and after a bit of star gazing, called it an early night. Image above taken at around 6am the next morning. Oh so quiet save for the sheep down the hill side.
So after many restful hours under 2 heavy blankets, yes it gets delightfully cold at 2800m, I headed back to the highway where I waited and then some. 2 4x4s went by, the third one stopped, yup, that was after 2 hours 30. The road climbed again, upto 3200m and then down and down to Mokhotlong. I had planned to stay there but accomodation is not cheap, 40$+ so I was happy to find a mini van heading out. I rode til Oxbow, (below) simply a lodge in the mountains. Stunning scenery. Another dorm room just for me but food was over priced as is the way when you're in the middle of nowhere.
Back on the road by 9am, got picked up by a bus from the Pitseng Diamond Mine, transporting the workers down for their 1 week RnR. I rode all the way to Maseru. I had an idea. Across town to the ticket office and bought a bus ticket from Bloemfontaine to Sedgefield for that night. All I needed was to go get up to Maseru Bridge and cross back into South Africa, onwards to BF before 9pm. The rest as they say is history.
So in the morning I was in Sedgefield on South Africas south coast.
and suddenly Cape Town is now just 500km away!!