We celebrated Marc’s birthday in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho at Mohale Dam. Mohale is about a two hour drive from Lesotho’s capital, Maseru. Besides for random little rocks which had fallen on the road from the rocky cliffs, the road was in good condition. (A million times better than the state Ladybrand’s roads are in at the moment- rocks an’ all!) It’s not really a road for people who are prone to car sickness because the roads wind up, down and around the mountains and hills.
The scenery on the way to Mohale Dam is breath-taking. The local people and animals are so relaxed that time seems to slow down. Far in the distance, in the middle of mountains with no roads to them are little villages with traditional huts, sheep, some donkeys and children running around. Each village is still run by a chief. If you are ever in trouble in Lesotho or want to buy a piece of land, you will need to speak to the chief in charge of the village. We even saw a Kombi-type of van which had “Chieftainship” written on it. Oh, and we saw the king’s brother! He is a tall man with a friendly face and strong features. He looks quite a bit like the king. (I’ve only seen King Moshoeshoe on Lesotho’s bank notes, posters in the country and on a framed photo Marc’s parents have of them with the king.)
The sky, the clouds and the colours all paint a beautiful picture. The sheep look like little white and grey pieces of cotton wool against the green mountains. They walk around on such steep slopes; I don’t know how they stop themselves from tumbling down the hill! Young men dressed in long sleeve tops and blankets (in the middle of summer) are the cattle herders. There are a lot of cattle roaming around but they are always under the watchful eye of their herder. (and hopefully the watchful eyes of the drivers on the road!)
We went to Mohale Dam for some fishing…. We fished… but we weren’t very successful. Even with local kiddies telling us where the best fish can be found we had minimal luck. The plan was to have a fish braai that Saturday night! Fortunately, Carol and I packed in some cheese and crackers which we had as an alternative because the fishing didn’t go so well. The water might have been a bit too warm for trout…
Early the next morning we went fishing again… and this time Marc caught a trout! Yay! On his birthday! So we didn’t have to go hungry again that day! Ha, ha, no we actually still have that birthday trout in the deep freezer because Sunday afternoon we went to Lesotho Sun for a buffet lunch! The food was amazingly delicious! It only costs M95 (95 maluti is the equavilent of R95.) You get to choose from a wide selection of cold meats, cheeses, salads, puddings and cooked foods. It’s an unbelievable deal!
We remembered to get our passports stamped into Lesotho this time, so we didn’t have to repeat our horrific bribery drama of last year!
It was a most enjoyable international birthday excursion!