manocha-curnoe trip 2008 travel blog




Qiloane Hill





We have just had 3 days in Lesotho. Lesotho is a small country which is physically within South Africa. It is the homeland of the Basotho people. It is mountainous (is that a word?) and you need a 4-wheel drive to get around if you are not on the major highways. As a result we were unable to see some of things in the areas we were near, in particular dinosaur remains, 19th century cave dwellings and rock art.

We think it was a good country for Arabella to see as it is more like “the real Africa” – as Darren calls it, “black Africa”, which from the few countries we have been to, and the stories we have heard, is nothing like South Africa – which in comparison is more structured (despite the crime, care-free attitude and bribery).

Anyway, in Lesotho we pretty much stayed around the capital (western side), Maseru, where there is nothing much going on, apart from the fact that it is near a border crossing from South Africa. However, we did come across an indian restaurant one night, which Darren was very pleased about (he has not had indian food, apart from what he has cooked, for about 2 months). We also saw:

· the Mohale Dam, a 145m high rock fill (photo);

· Roma, previously a mission town, now has the country’s only university;

· Qiloane Hill, which allegedly provided the inspiration for the Basotho hat (see photos);

· Morija, a small town, which was the site of the first European mission in Lesotho;

· The town of Teyateyaneng, which is meant to be the craft centre of Lesotho. We saw only a few craft shops, but did stop at a few weaving places and did a spot of shopping. Check out the photograph of a shop made of soft drink cans, how cool! Wasn’t open when we were there.

· The town of Leribe (Hlotse), again not much happening here, but has some craft shops which were not open when we arrived (Saturday afternoon).

Also, check out the photograph of a sign we saw outside a “doctor’s” office in Maseru.

We will have to make a trip on another occasion, with a 4-wheel drive and enter from the eastern side, (where there is also a ski field).

Arabella has also started to take photographs. She is using Darren’s camera eeekk!, because mine is just not sophisticated enough for her (I have basic auto focus and Darren has SLR which cost several thousand). It is quite interesting to see her photos – she snaps pretty much everything around her, all at her eye level. For example, we have photos of the hotel’s carpet, tiles, tv, rails, curtain and table – oh well, at least we wont forget what it looked like! And many photos of Darren and I (one attached).

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