Oh, Lesotho

12 September 2010

Lesotho was, expectantly, the pearl of this tour. The country, the land, the people and the culture were still pristine. An hour after you pass Maseru, the small capital town right at the border with South Africa you enter into the world of mountains where you're not considered weird if you don't have a credit card and a cell phone.
Great road ...

.. and scenery
From Maseru I took road #A2 and #A3 going close to Mohale dam, through Thaba Tseka and Likalaneng, joining #A1 near Mokhotlong and turning right on #A14 to Sani pass. It is 350 km, the first half is beautifully paved, the rest is a dirt road, sometimes really awful, especially where there were some "upgrade" works. The gradients are high, they don't know anything less than 10% in Lesotho, with excursions up to 18% (once my altimeter measured even 39%, but I will disregard it - the wind probably had some effect on pressure measurement). Fortunately, after every climb, there is also a descent: see the VIDEO.

Up the Blue Mountains pass
A pic before the downhill
The configuration is very hilly, you're riding up and down all the time. There are 9 bigger passes,
Bushmen's pass (2268m), Molimo Nthuse (2318m), Blue Mountains pass (2634m), Cheche's pass (2645m), Pass of Jackals (2692m), Mokhoabong (2880m), Menoaneng (3014m), Kotisephole (3240m) and Sani pass (2873m), but to come from one to the other there are some "intermediate" climbs not much easier then the real ones. Sani pass marks the border with South Africa and is not actually a pass if you are coming from Lesotho, you are just descending form the pass at 3240 m.
Still ploughing with oxen.
Balaclava, blanket and rubber boots: the Lesotho shepherd.

Typical huts in Lesotho

It's also difficult to find a flat space to put a tent - all the flat parts are either used to grow corn, or are directly by the side of the road or in a few rare river valleys, where there's nothing to hide you from people walking about. I camped twice in Lesotho and both times a big crowd of children gathered by my tent in the morning and after I packed they followed me, running along the bike in their rubber boots, until the road became steep and they got exhausted. It was a lot of fun for me, and, judging from their laughter, for them too (the VIDEO ).
Children at my morning camp. See the VIDEO
Lesotho vista

Basotho village

View from the pass

Day 21: 102 km. Day 22: 87 km. Total: 2942 km.


  1. Another great and record-breaking ultralight cycling report by Igor! :) Svaka čast Igor, res zanimiva ideja, tile Crocsi. A to, da imajo precej mehak podplat, kar načeloma ni glih pozitivno zaradi ukrivljanja stopala, te ni nič motilo? Kolesarski čevlji so trdi z razlogom...

  2. Živjo Luka!

    Mehek podplat me ni pretirano motil, tj. nekoliko me je motil le ko sem bil bos, pa tudi to bolj zaradi tega ker so mi crocsi bili nekoliko preveliki. S širokimi flat pedali ni problema z bolj mehkim podplatom, trd podplat je bolj zaradi SPD. Aja, pa crocsi niso bili ta pravi - neka Kitajska kopija, se mi zdi še bolj mehka. Sem pa videl, da so se crocsi razvili v pravo institucijo. Sedaj dobiš neskončno variant, tudi take za v hribe.

  3. I enjoyed reading this. You are a brave man!

  4. It's a pity you didn't finish the story to the end. It is disappointing to not have an ending. People keep reading a story mainly because they want to know what happens at the end. But your story doesn't seem to have an ending. That is disappointing. Otherwise good.

  5. There is an ending. There is a post with the title "Epiloge", if that's not an ending I don't what is. Look at "Older posts". The timeline of the posts is reversed.