Thursday, October 13, 2016

Come On a Hike With Me 4 Part II

Sehlabathebe National Park

Lesotho is so overgrazed you can clearly see the line between the green grasslands of the park and the withered, eaten grass just outside the park’s fences.  

The fence, in the photo above, marks the boundary between Lesotho and South Africa.  

****************End of Day 3***************

I was tired of waking up wet and felt I had to do something about it.  I found a small cave I could pitch my tent in so I could leave the rainfly off and the front doors open.  
My plan worked, and just in time too.  I woke up dry and warm while the rest of the park was covered in heavy frost from the previous night.  
Sehlabathebe is a really unique place and I will visit it again sometime in the next year.  I later learned there are several waterfalls located in the center of the park, which I never saw.

I headed down the road towards the entrance.  
I scared countless mountain rhebok (pronounced “reebok” no copyright) along the way.  
I headed south on the A4 towards Riley’s site.  
It took around 5 hours to finally reach his site in the village Ha Moshebi.  Lirra and Jeremy were also at Riley’s, which is funny because he rarely ever gets visitors because of his remote location.  
Jeremy and I were at the road at the crack of dawn in order to get a taxi to Qacha’s Nek camp town.  We got on the 3rd of 4 taxis.  Several people waiting with us didn’t make it onto taxis because they arrived at the road after Jeremy and myself and the taxis were all full.  They left and walked home.  Better luck tomorrow I guess.  Can you imagine being at a taxi stop at 5:20 am and not knowing if you were going to make it to town that day???  
Passing the Ramatseliso’s Gate.  Look at Lesotho’s tattered flag.  

The taxi took nearly three hours to get to the camp town.  In Qacha’s Nek, Jeremy and I had some BBQ for breakfast before we headed out of town.  We ended up taking a 4+1 sedan styled taxi to a junction outside of town, a common practice.  From the junction we are able to narrow down our hitch-hiking options to vehicles heading in our direction.  We quickly got a ride but I had to get out at another junction as I was heading to Melinda’s place in Tlokoeng, Quthing and Jeremy was heading to Maseru.  I didn’t have to wait long for a few more rides and I was soon passing Mount Moorosi. 
It’s about an hour walk down this dirt road from the paved A1 road to Melinda’s village.  Melinda and I climbed the tallest peak in view, Ha Mokotjomelo in the blog “Come on a Hike With Us 1” HERE.

Melinda was still on vacation in Durban, South Africa at this point.  I planned on staying another night in Sehlabathebe but I didn’t have cell service, so I couldn’t notify Peace Corps of my updated plans, and I was nearly out of stove fuel.  We decided I would just head to her place a day early and we would meet the following day on Oct 6th.  

Durban is about a six hour taxi ride from Qacha’s Nek and Qacha’s Nek is about 3 hours from Mount Moorosi, which meant Melinda had a long trip the next day.  She had trouble finding a ride from Qacha’s Nek to Mount Moorosi and ended up coming in late.  I get nervous about her walking up her road at night so I decided to meet her at the A1.  The sun was setting and I took some photos along the way.
A large tree near her home.
This is Melinda’s old school house not to be confused with her “Old Skool” house, which is in Colorado ; )
I took a black and white photo of this tree once before so I thought I would give color a shot.  

I only waited a few minutes before she arrived.  We spent a few days hanging out together before I had to head back to my site.  
We passed this property on the way to the A1.  I’ve always thought this was a picturesque view of a wealthy property in Lesotho.  Water tap right outside, a small stable, and a vehicle in the driveway.  
Parting ways is always difficult.

I headed to the Reid’s in Morija on Saturday in order to break up my long trip home.  

I made several collages of the rest of my photos.  

Thanks for coming along.


- Joel


  1. I really loved the big tree pic and the national park picture with the water and the rocks! Looked like a fun but cold adventure.