Amphitheatre in Northern Drakensberg & Lesotho

March 24th Northern Drakensberg

We were off early on the baz bus this morning, driving North, away from the ocean again. By noonish we’d arrived at the Amphitheatre lodge. After hearing about various trips they offered and having some lunch, we settled in to our safari tent. It brought back memories of the overland truck but THIS tent was already up and we didn’t have to take it down.

We spent the rest of the day checking out the beautiful surroundings, went on a short hike and then I set off by myself with my camera for a good, long walk I found many beautiful birds and even a few nice bugs.

March 25th

We’d decided on the tour of Lesotho as we wanted to see it from the North of the country and left at 7:30am after breakfast in the hostel kitchen of yogurt and granola. We’re splurging on dinners but breakfast was just easy and cheap to do ourselves.

After a 3 hour drive we arrived at the South African border where we got our exit stamp. The Lesotho border office wasn’t operational yet so I guess we entered the country illegally. After driving a big longer on really bad roads, we stopped at a school sponoroed by the lodge and got some info from the Vice Principal. Next we started our hike. Again we were told it’s an “easy hike”. Right. We still found ourselves rock climbing and hugging cliffs. I REALLY wonder how many AFRICANS do these hikes? The Basutu kids must have thought there was something wrong with me as they RUN and play on these paths and I was terrified.

We had lunch on a rock overhang with some ancient cave paintings and headed back to the school, back in the van and to a village where we met a healer. The Sangoma told us how he ended up with the career and what he does. It’s interesting that he works closely with medical doctors.

Next we went to a home where we were to taste the local beer and a traditional lunch. Well. He put two plates of pap and mashed pumpkin leaves on a couple of crates, showed us how to eat it and left us to it. Then he offered us canned Maluti beer (product) of Lesotho for 25 rand each. Not much meeting of the locals happened as we were told would happen.

It was interesting to visit from 2 different areas. From the Sani pass it seemed to be more original Lesotho but from the M… pass it had definitely been influenced more by the outside. Although the lodge claimed they’re the only ones who visit, the kids were wearing modern clothes and there were homes with sateliite dishes as well as several solar panels. We passed some people dancing and singing on the road to a man playing an accordion very badly. All were obviously drunk. Yet at the school they were selling trinkets for money for school fees. Here’s a thought. Spend your booze money on school fees. Maybe I’m too cynical?

Back at the hostel, I stepped in the shower, got wet and shut it off as I’ve grown used to doing here since there IS a water shortage. I heard the girl in the shower stall next to me let the water run, and run….and thought “she’s going to use all the hot water”. Sure enough, I turned it on to rinse off and it was cold. I squealed and she said “I’ve got cold water too. I don’t know why.” She told some one else that she’d only been in there 5 minutes and the hot water ran out. Right More like 15. GRRRR. I SO wanted to yell at her. Despite signs every where some people are just …..not very smart.

Dinner was awesome. The Netherland girls joined us as we enjoyed soup, steak and veggies and chocolate mousse for desert. Nice!

March 26th;

It’s Saturday of Easter weekend so the Amphitheatre lodge is full with vacationing South Africaners. We knew that and were worried that it would be noisy but there are a lot of families and lots of very friendly people.

We decided to take a vacation day. No way were we doing the waterfall hike no matter how “easy” they said it was. We were REALLY glad we opted out when at dinner, Nikki (22 and very fit) told us it was really hard, included some serious rock climbing and long ladders. .

After a long walk in the morning we settled in for some serious reading and joined Renee. After lunch and more reading, the 3 of us went on another walk where I managed to step on a chameleon. Renee petted him for a while and he started hissing and eventually walked away so I think I angered him more than he was hurt.

Even on our “vacation” day we managed to put in 23,000 steps.

Just around dinner time it started to rain which concerned Sue and I a little as there’s a fairly large hole in our tent and we don’t want all our stuff wet. I hadn’t even THOUGHT about the possibility of snakes coming in till Renee mentioned it. Thanks Renee. 😛

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Pretty weaver

 

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School in Lesotho

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School toilet in Lesotho. Yes, the concrete was cold on the bum!

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Shepherd boy

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Classroom in Lesotho

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She followed me and must have thought I was nuts as the trail was easy for her…..not so much for me!

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Easy part of the trail in the Maluti mountains, Lesotho

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Goats bragging about how easy THEY find the trail, Lesotho

School toilet. Yes, the concrete was cold on the bum

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Early morning walk reward with sunrise colours

Early morning walk reward with sunrise colours

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Red bishop. They’re everywhere but really hard to get a nice photo

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Another pretty grasshopper

 

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View of the Amphitheatre from our walk

Cleome and mountains.

Cleome and mountains.

Zulu healer

Zulu healer

Horse and rider, flowers and mountains

Horse and rider, flowers and mountains

Lesotho currency

Lesotho currency

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Fountain in the pool

Fountain in the pool

Angry chameleon

Angry chameleon

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Chameleons are the funniest creatures. I almost stepped on one on the lawn and on the trail

Sunrise colours

Sunrise colours

Early morning walk reward with sunrise colours

Early morning walk reward with sunrise colours

March 24th Northern Drakensberg

We were off early on the baz bus this morning, driving North, away from the ocean again. By noonish we’d arrived at the Amphitheatre lodge. After hearing about various trips they offered and having some lunch, we settled in to our safari tent. It brought back memories of the overland truck but THIS tent was already up and we didn’t have to take it down.

We spent the rest of the day checking out the beautiful surroundings, went on a short hike and then I set off by myself with my camera for a good, long walk I found many beautiful birds and even a few nice bugs.

March 25th

We’d decided on the tour of Lesotho as we wanted to see it from the North of the country and left at 7:30am after breakfast in the hostel kitchen of yogurt and granola. We’re splurging on dinners but breakfast was just easy and cheap to do ourselves.

After a 3 hour drive we arrived at the South African border where we got our exit stamp. The Lesotho border office wasn’t operational yet so I guess we entered the country illegally. After driving a big longer on really bad roads, we stopped at a school sponoroed by the lodge and got some info from the Vice Principal. Next we started our hike. Again we were told it’s an “easy hike”. Right. We still found ourselves rock climbing and hugging cliffs. I REALLY wonder how many AFRICANS do these hikes? The Basutu kids must have thought there was something wrong with me as they RUN and play on these paths and I was terrified.

We had lunch on a rock overhang with some ancient cave paintings and headed back to the school, back in the van and to a village where we met a healer. The Sangoma told us how he ended up with the career and what he does. It’s interesting that he works closely with medical doctors.

Next we went to a home where we were to taste the local beer and a traditional lunch. Well. He put two plates of pap and mashed pumpkin leaves on a couple of crates, showed us how to eat it and left us to it. Then he offered us canned Maluti beer (product) of Lesotho for 25 rand each. Not much meeting of the locals happened as we were told would happen.

It was interesting to visit from 2 different areas. From the Sani pass it seemed to be more original Lesotho but from the M… pass it had definitely been influenced more by the outside. Although the lodge claimed they’re the only ones who visit, the kids were wearing modern clothes and there were homes with sateliite dishes as well as several solar panels. We passed some people dancing and singing on the road to a man playing an accordion very badly. All were obviously drunk. Yet at the school they were selling trinkets for money for school fees. Here’s a thought. Spend your booze money on school fees. Maybe I’m too cynical?

Back at the hostel, I stepped in the shower, got wet and shut it off as I’ve grown used to doing here since there IS a water shortage. I heard the girl in the shower stall next to me let the water run, and run….and thought “she’s going to use all the hot water”. Sure enough, I turned it on to rinse off and it was cold. I squealed and she said “I’ve got cold water too. I don’t know why.” She told some one else that she’d only been in there 5 minutes and the hot water ran out. Right More like 15. GRRRR. I SO wanted to yell at her. Despite signs every where some people are just …..not very smart.

Dinner was awesome. The Netherland girls joined us as we enjoyed soup, steak and veggies and chocolate mousse for desert. Nice!

March 26th;

It’s Saturday of Easter weekend so the Amphitheatre lodge is full with vacationing South Africaners. We knew that and were worried that it would be noisy but there are a lot of families and lots of very friendly people.

We decided to take a vacation day. No way were we doing the waterfall hike no matter how “easy” they said it was. We were REALLY glad we opted out when at dinner, Nikki (22 and very fit) told us it was really hard, included some serious rock climbing and long ladders. .

After a long walk in the morning we settled in for some serious reading and joined Renee. After lunch and more reading, the 3 of us went on another walk where I managed to step on a chameleon. Renee petted him for a while and he started hissing and eventually walked away so I think I angered him more than he was hurt.

Even on our “vacation” day we managed to put in 23,000 steps.

Just around dinner time it started to rain which concerned Sue and I a little as there’s a fairly large hole in our tent and we don’t want all our stuff wet. I hadn’t even THOUGHT about the possibility of snakes coming in till Renee mentioned it. Thanks Renee. 😛

 

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