08 August 2014

Vespas take on the Roof of Africa

Magda - I highly recommend the highest pub in Africa, the Gluhwein are warm, the beers cold and the food hearty. The accommodation at Sani Top Chalets was fundamentally very basic. A few beds in a house and no running water as the water had frozen in the pipes. Flushing the toilets were done by dunking a bucket in a water filled drum. Not knowing where the water had come from I took a chance to brush teeth with it and tried my very best to not swallow a drop. The beautiful winter tale outside was worth giving up a few luxuries for.

Sharing the house with us were 3 x intrepid Jehova witnesses on BMW bikes. One of them had made it to the top with his bike and apparently had a spectacular fall right in front of the house by way of some sort of bad ass introduction. The other two had to abandon their steeds on the last bends due to nightfall and the minor irritation that they could not, try as they might succeed in getting them up the slippery slopes.

Tip: Don’t go to bed with socks damp from perspiration. Woke up at 4 am with frozen toes. Yikes! The next morning after a quick breakfast Marlene, Tinus, Gys and myself went down to rescue the 2 stranded BMW bikes. With a BMW rider saddled on we wrestled with the sheer weight and bulky size of the bikes up the steep slippery slopes. Tinus and the other BMW rider were steadying the bike on either side whilst pushing it and I made up the rear steadying and pushing. With the assistance of one of the 4x4’s and a towing rope as well we managed to get those two bikes up and out. Needless to say afterwards I was quite a sight. The spinning backwheels had beaten me with mud from toe to top, I had black raccoon eyes from sleeping with makeup on and my hair was standing at a rakish angle. Thank God for beanies, lipgloss and sunglasses!

As we travelled deeper into Lesotho we kept a concerned eye out for the 3 x intrepid BMW bikers, which made for witnessing some awesomely spectacular falls. Later one of them named Terence wrote me a mail and said he had in total fallen 7 times. For some people 7 is obviously NOT a lucky number. OUCH and hats off!

As soon as we dropped below the snow line Jerome said let’s roll.Gys also offloaded his BMW and we had a wonderful time riding over the roof of Africa.

After Jerome flew through a pothole as big as a bathtub he and Marlene decided to load up again. By this time I was having a ball and was dead intent on carrying on. Gys and I chose to continue and I proceeded to have the sweetest ride EVER, side stepping potholes, driving then on and then off road, passing through muddy and icy patches at times as we climbed back up in altitude and dipped down again.

Gys must have covered about twice the distance as I did, as he would shoot off and ahead only to rejoin again some odd 10 minutes later, this became a pattern as we rode on. I saw Gys coming and disappearing on the horizon.

Later Jerome informed me that I had driven the highest pass in Lesotho alone on my Vespa. As darkness approached we had to stop and load up and proceeded to drive past Afri-Ski and Oxbow Lodge in darkness, racing towards the border as we weren’t sure what time they closed it. Camelroc guest lodge was the best ever, great accommodation at a great price to the weary bunch of us. By then we all desperately needed to wash! The electric blanket on the bed made me feel like royalty and having roughed it the previous two nights we all truly appreciated such luxurious digs.


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