AFRICA: Bon and Mari/Laxmi Can't Get Enough! Solar Eclipse in Gabon no Less! travel blog

Lesley et al

From Bonnie's Journal:

So, about 7:30 the next morning we checked out and told the fellow we wanted to go on the first bus to Maseru. In about 10-15 minutes he told us the bus was leaving. We went and got on - Great! - it was leaving early, that was good. We were just closing the door when Lesley came and asked if we'd like to ride with them to Roma. Wow - how nice! (See photo) We said sure, and got out. That turned out to be a very unfortunate decision for me. It was fun talking with them some more for sure, but by going to Roma instead of Maseru we - unwittingly - made it impossible for ourselves to get on a bus to Semonkong; they leave Maseru full, and no one gets off before Roma. We should have gone to Maseru. Bummer!! Mari could - and did - go after I left to go to JoBurg to fly home, but for me there was no time unless I wanted to take a chance on getting to the airport ok the day of my flight. That Should be ok, unless of course the bus broke down or something else happened on the way. So, much as I hated to, I felt I needed to go to JoBurg a day early to be sure I'd make my flight. Rats!! Oh well, nothing to do about it but return to Maseru for the night. On the way to Maseru Mari saw or heard something about "remembering Mandela" and we wondered if he'd died? But we couldn't get any good information. This was Lesotho, not So. Africa, and the news wasn't as quick as in So. Africa - at least not for us.

The next day, my last, we went to Thaba Bosiu, the mountain where King Moshoeshoe- the first great king of Lesotho - held off the colonial invaders for several years, and where he is buried. He is considered the father of the country, and the mountain is a National Park and - to the people - a holy place. Both King Moshoeshoe I and II are buried there, and the ruins of the Royal Village are there as well. The mountain isn't terribly high, but the trail up is very rocky, and relatively steep in areas. It is a table top mountain with sheer rock walls all around, hence ideal for repelling those pesky colonialists. All around the mountain is a very fertile river valley, perfect for growing the food and getting the water the inhabitants would need. As you stand on the top you can see the immediate valleys and mountains ringing the valleys, of course, but also as far as you can see in all directions there are more mountain ranges until, finally, you see the highest of all - the ring that encompasses Lesotho. Spectacular. In one of the valleys at the bottom of the king's mountain lies the round, sloping mountain (hill really) topped by boulders shooting up that look like the lid handle on a teapot. This is Thaba Bosiu, and it is the national symbol, And, the model for the traditional hats of Lesotho. After spending a couple of hours there, walking all around, seeing, feeling, admiring, I felt like I "got" Lesotho, and - even though I was sorry to miss Semonkong, I was ok with leaving. I will say, though, the mini busses are certainly inexpensive, the LP (Lonely Planet) has it right: they go just about everywhere, but they are very slow. It's a good place to have your own car unless you have a Lot of time available to spend in Lesotho. By the time we got back to town from the mountain everything but ShopRite was closed - Saturday, stores close by 3:00 pm on Saturday, and nothing but Shop Rite, buses, and taxis work on Sundays. Mari and I had our last meal at Lancer's - the restaurant that has western food rather than just fried chicken and rice or fries - and where we'd found we could get great cooked veggies - YUM! We headed back to the Anglican.

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