Wednesday, 25 June 2008

23rd June 08

Date: 23rd June 08
Location: Sehlabathebe, Lesotho
Weather: Clear night, very cold, clear day not as cold -2°c to 18°c
Status: Up in the clouds and loving it.

Chilly wake up this morning,-2°c and frost over the flysheet of the tent so a hasty retreat was made indoors to warm up in front of the gas fire the girls had been enjoying!

Decided that we’d like to try and get back to the warmth of the coast ASAP and that we’d drive for most of the day to get to Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape, South Africa by sundown – another epic day’s drive ahead then!

The twisting trail which we’d left last night continued but slowly became narrower and less well surfaced slowing progress with the average speed dropping to 17km/h and the low range box being used more and more to control our progress up and down the steep slopes which were often covered in ice where the sun rays didn’t reach.

We eventually arrived at the entrance to Sehlabathebe NP where we found the supermarket, run by a Chinese man which is no longer unusual to me in Africa, and bought eggs, bread and peanuts for breakfast. Drove on another 30kms until we found a remote hilltop surrounded by nothing more than the most stupendous views of Lesotho and the Drakensburg mountains, and got the cooker out to prepare fried egg sandwiches.

Drove on for another 30kms until we reach the border post of Rama’s Gate, did the formalities and entered South Africa 10 minutes later. The road down from the high mountain range continued as track and rock for another 30kms until we finally found some tarmac just short of Cedarville, filled up and started the 150km drive to the coast.

Again breaking an unwritten rule to myself for the third day in a row, the sun dropped behind the hills and over the horizon leaving me to navigate the twisting unlit, full of badly kept cars, Transkei roads……not ideal! But by an hour after sunset we pulled into the coastal town of Port St Johns, somewhere I hadn’t been for 10 years and was looking forward to revisiting.

Amapondo Backpackers was our destination of choice and we pulled into the car park, selected my campsite and retired to the restaurant after another long day on the road.

Good to be back to more bearable conditions at night as the temperature dropped to only 12°c…..much better!

End of day location: Port St Johns, South Africa
Distance covered: 320kms

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