Monday, 8 August 2011

Sophia does the Roof of Africa

The Great Sani Pass Vespa Adventure
Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four | Day Five
Day Four: Sophia does the Roof of Africa

Note to all: Sani Top Chalets is not the best place to overnight. No running water means no showers and to go to the toilet, you have to dip a bucket into a drum of iced water to flush. On top of it all the bedding was much to be desired, thankfully I had brought my own. After a restless sleep and a cold breakfast we went down to rescue the two BMW bikes that got stuck the day before then we set off very late at 11am, from Sani across the Roof of Africa to Butha Buthe along one of the highest roads in Africa. The BMW 650 Dakar bike would not start where it was stuck on the pass and had to be towed to the top. Thankfully Sophia started first turn and with her motor purring in the snow she was a sight for the astonished 4x4s arriving at the top for the day. The route started with a slushy, icy track until pass the Black Mountain Pass. The road then became a dusty road up and down mountain passes for quite a way until we got to this very good tar road.

We flew up and down the mountains along this wonderful tar road until just pass Moketeng where we hit the potholes. Well not just potholes but just one continuous pothole that there was very little to resemble what was once a tar road. I've been told that this road was once a beautiful tar road until the mine trucks and "luck" of maintenance has turned it into a dirt road with bits of tar edges and large potholes. After I went through two large potholes and nearly collided with Magda who had slowed down for a large hole in the pothole and Marlene who also went through a large hole that was obscured by the lengthen shadows we called it a day. Well that was Marlene and I, Magda still wanted to continue and she did. Up over the Tlaeeng Pass, highest road pass in southern Africa, Magda pushed on that was until it got too dark to continue. With all the Vespa's now loaded we rushed on to the border post before it closed.

Tired and hungry we reached Butha Buthe just before 8pm and were just so happy to cross the Caledonspoort border post into South Africa and back to civilization of a hot shower at Camelroc Guest Farm. Just to have a hot shower and a clean room was a blessing. What dawned on me as I quickly sank into my bed was the lack of trees in Lesotho.

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