Batabano Girls, Georgetown
Batabano Girls, Georgetown
  • Sani Insanity
    • 01/11/2017
So I climbed it, couldn't see anything though!
The 14km drive to the south african border post at the bottom of the pass was testing enough for my little hire car, and from there the road is 4x4 only (until it gets tarmaced!), so I had to walk. Easy enough, reached the top in under two hours and got stamped both in and out of Lesotho at the same time.
Visibility was about 50 metres at this point, so it was compass out to head across the trackless moorland plateau towards Hodgsons Peaks, which stand either side of a gently curved pass, known as the Giant's Cup.
Long story short, weather got worse, had to use the GPS on my phone to navigate, but reached both peaks (3250m) and got back to the border post by 2pm, (20km + 1600m ascent).
Coincidentally, at the top of the pass is a Lodge with a bar, the highest pub in Africa, currently busy with tourists on day trips where they essentially just get driven up the hill for lunch.
Still, a log fire, vin chaud and soup are always nice, fortifying me for the descent, during which the rain got worse, turned into snow, and I arrived back at the SA border somewhat damp.
The most interesting part was yet to come though, as the rain had turned the 14km dirt road into a slippery mud bath, which I slowly slid around on, praying I wouldn't fall off the sides of the road into a deep ditch or worse!
Needless to say I survived thanks to my amazing rally driving skills.
  • Mad about Mountains
    • 26/10/2017
Lazy morning, plenty of stretching before setting off towards Giants Castle. Quick stop at the Macedonia cheese shop for some fried halloumi and then on to visit the Main Cave, a 6000 year old bushman rock art attraction. Picturesque surroundings but crap paintings compared to what I've already seen in Zimbabwe Matapos.
Next overnight stop is Drakensberg International Backpackers, a grand title for a remote off the grid location run by a rag tag bunch of blokes who prefer to drop out of the rat race. Its a tranquil location, self sufficient for power and water, bordered by Kamberg game reserve and Highmoor national park. Hiking up the adjacent escarpment I encounter Bushbuck, a big deer thing, (but apparently not the elusive Elang) and, baboons, eagles and traces of porcupine as well as majestic views of rocky cliffs such as Cleopatra and the Sleeping Giant.
Standard south african BBQ dinner, and the downside, the night chorus of frogs!

Drive day today, but with some interest - after a lazy morning reading Bleak House j headed to Nottingham Road Brewery, and Nottingham Fort, a tiny barracks built in 1856 to protect settlers cattle from the bushmen, so named because it was originally staffed by an imported regiment of the 45th Nottingham Sherwood Foresters. The area subsequently contains many Midlands references, including a logging company called Tricky Trees.

After an exceptionally misty drive this afternoon, arrived at the Sani Lodge, near the bottom of the famous Sani Pass, a 4x4 only switchback track climbing 900m into Lesotho. The plan is to climb it tomorrow...


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