African shoestrings – Lesotho Day Twelve

Somehow we made progress until we reached the river crossing about an hour in.
In fact it wasn’t actually the river crossing that was the problem, it was the steep, narrow, rocky path that zig zaged down the side of a small gorge at an angle that would make you think twice about walking down there, let alone ride a pony, that had me spooked. Black Power stumbled down at her almost standstill pace whilst Black Label wanted to go down at breakneck speed and consequently was forever trying to overtake.
Well let me tell you there was absolutely no room for overtaking and it took a lot of “wooing” and pulling in the reins to keep him back. Far below I could see Sue and Olive patiently waiting with David. Clement was with us trying to speed up Black Power, slow down Black Label and hold onto the packhorse. Eventually we made it down physically unscathed but mentally frazzled.

The rest of the journey was a lot easier and I was able to relax a bit and take in the view without fear of my psychopathic pony deciding to crack on to Black Power and take us both down some steep ravine (Clement came up with the idea of keeping Black Power behind us rather in the front).

The scenery was pretty much the same as we had experienced on our previous days walk. A continuous range of high country surrounding us, it seemed as if it we would have to climb great heights to go forward but somehow that never seemed necessary, there was always a low pass to take us through the mountains.

There were plenty of villages too. I couldn’t help thinking that the Basotho people lived in a country that has a GDP of US$ 2255.00 per person and yet they appeared to live their lives quite happily. By comparison, Namibia has a GDP of US$8190.00 per person and the USA a GDP of $ 53,000 per person!

When we passed the villages or just the odd traveller they all said hello and gave us that broad watermelon grin that you just couldn’t help but return. They seemed so content and peaceful! Maybe a good GDP is not as important as economists of the western world would have us believe.

A sheep herder stands overlooking a gorge in the Maloti Mountains of Lesotho.

A sheep herder stands overlooking a gorge in the Maloti Mountains of Lesotho.

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