Leaving our lodge, we turn onto the small road that leads us across the top of the Katse Dam wall. Rejoining back to the main road we turn northwards winding our way through small villages of typical circular huts (rondevals) surrounded by wild peach trees that are a brilliant pink when in bloom.
60kms up the road we reach the small busy village of Lejone. No fuel stations to be had in this part of the country so we refuel from plastic bottles at the side of the road.
Turning east the next 60kms are off-road following a trail that winds up and down hills and valleys with spectacular views across the river far below. Some very steep inclines which when wet can be very slippery. We are in the heart of the real Lesotho now with locals waving, children playing with basic trolley toys made from pieces of metal and tyre, and the “masked” herdsmen in balaclavas, swathed in their warm Lesotho blankets and wearing white gumboots, riding horseback.
If you have brought any small toys, pencils, soaps etc this is the area to hand them out. Even your unwanted daily tee-shirts are gladly taken.
We pass one of the biggest diamond mines in the country and then arrive back at the main road where we turn south heading for the notorious Sani Pass.
Winding our way up some very steep, bending road sections until we eventually arrive at a large plateau-like area, we arrive at the “top” of the pass and go to highest pub in Africa, the Sani Top pub, for refreshment. From here we can look down the first section of the pass and on into South Africa about 25kms away. A very special view if we are not in the clouds!
Having done the paperwork to exit Lesotho again we start our ride down this infamous pass. Sani Pass has loose gravel and short rocky sections in places and care must be taken as the drop offs are impressive but the main challenge is the first 1km after the top where we will encounter half a dozen very pronounced hairpin bends.
About 18kms down we find the South African border post, and a further 25kms – some undergoing major works to improve their road - we arrive at our very comfortable country hotel.
Our hotel for tonight is a converted farmhouse with 12 beautifully appointed rooms. It's the best boutique hotel destination in the Drakensberg Mountains and has a well renowned restaurant serving an excellent selection of dishes.
If you are interested in a place on a full tour contact SU to be put on her waiting list & be advised if a place comes free.