African shoestrings – Lesotho Day Fifteen
That tricky river crossing was the final challenge and can you believe it wee stopped for lunch about ten minutes from there!
We just wanted to get it over and done with!
David & Clement had been unable to talk to each other as much because of David having to spend a fair amount of time controlling the now impatient and eccentric Black Label. So we figured that they wanted to have a final ‘chat’ before heading home.
The crossing was actually no big deal going back. This time we were climbing the steeper side of the gorge and it’s a lot more comfortable looking up than down. For me riding a sure-footed and obedient pony made a big difference.
We got back at around 1.30 pm and despite feeling dirty and dusty we headed for the bar and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon.
The next day we headed out back to South Africa.
The road was pretty much the same until we reached Maseru.
To avoid the city centre we had to travel along the eastern outskirts. Even though we had been assured that there was no danger by almost everyone, this area seemed uncomfortably close to the spot where all the rioting had happened 6 months ago. We passed several buildings that had been gutted by fire or looting and appeared to be sitting there unused and ignored.
But we never felt threatened by the many people who were going about their business not in the least bit interested in two potentially nervous white tourists.
What did make us uncomfortable was a lone policeman standing in the road waving us down. You hear lots of stories of corrupt African police officials extorting money from helpless tourists in exchange for not impounding their vehicle, luggage, children or anything else that’s worth them confiscating.
He examined the tax disc on the front of the car very closely as if it was strange flaw in the windscreen. His face lit up on viewing my Australian drivers licence and said beaming, “Aha, from Australia! Kangaroo!” We laughed with him at this obviously witty and perceptive comment not realising at the time that this was going to be repeated many times by what seems now to be an army of officials, bureaucrats, tour guides, hotel workers and any other smart arse that inadvertently wanted to piss us off!
He waved us on politely still beaming at his joke.