Monday, May 19, 2008

And we finally made it across the border......

Here are some favourite shots of Lesotho. If I had to try and distil the essence of the country into 12 pictures, these might go a little way towards it. But there will be lots more. Malealea deserves a post of its own. And there are so many stunning skywatch shots to look forward to.

On the road from Tele Bridge to Mount Moorosi, one comes across the mighty Senqu River several times. It is beautiful looking down on the meanders far below.
Isn't this the most beautiful face, so full of wisdom and quiet humour? He was a lovely old man, who we gave a lift to into town one day. When the corrupt Policeman at a roadblock was trying to extract a bribe from us by saying that the bakkie was only licenced to carry two people, and that it was illegal to have the old man in the back, I asked him if he was seriously going to prosecute us for helping an old man up the hill. It must have shamed him, because he looked self conscious and waved us on.
Another friendly villager at the Moorosi Chalets.

A scene of the village at the foot of Mount Moorosi. It was from here that we parked the bakkie and walked up the mountain. I would imagine that it must make your day, walking out of your home to a view like that every morning!

No photo essay on Lesotho would be complete without a famous Basotho Pony. These hardy and nimble little ponies are incredibly tough and sure footed, traversing slopes that most mountain goats would think twice about. They are an indispensable part of rural life in this place of isolated villages, steep terrain and poor roads.

One thing which the people in Lesotho take for granted is their skill with stonework. It is such a natural part of their lives that they don't seem to see it as unusual. But to most of us, who don't live where there is an abundance of rock, it is, and so it was a delight to come across a bunch of stoneworkers preparing blocks of sandstone, all done laboriously by hand.

We adored the sunrises at Malealea, the crisp cold air and the warm first light were a winning combination.

And what a view to wake up to!

The road from Malealea to Mohale Dam took us up 3 spectacular mountain passes, until we felt we were sitting on top of the world.

The Mohale Dam and Katse Dam are part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which is part of a huge hydro-electric scheme. Very few parts of the country have any electricity, so it was a change to see giant pylons on the horizon.

And wherever you look, no matter how remote, look closely and you will spot a couple of huts.

The only thing that can be recommended about the Orion Hotel known as Mohale Lodge, overlooking Lake Mohale, is the view..... seriously it is a rip off staying at this seedy hotel, but the place is so remote that if you get there close to dark, as we did, you end up not having much choice. Be warned, give it a miss on your itinerary!

I'll show you around Malealea soon, that is definitely not a place you want to miss!


Anonymous said...

Perfect landscape ... beautiful colours ... but gosh ... I wouldn´t want to meet those two shady gigantic martians :)

Katney said...

A wonderful tour. thank you.

photowannabe said...

Absolutely breathtaking. The views are so beautiful it put a lump in my throat. It reminds me of pictures my son sent us when he lived in the bush of Kenya. I yearn to go and see all of this for myself.
The portrait of the elderly man is priceless.

imac said...

Such beauty, love this set of photos.

Lawstude said...

amazing pictures of a different culture. thank you for sharing.

Sonia A. Mascaro said...

What a wonderful photo reportage! Love all photos, but principally the "scene of the village at the foot of Mount Moorosi". You did a good job here!

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hi Suzi... I had a quick look at these last night before bed but felt the needto come back for more..
This post had so much to look at and it contained a word thatI always like to hear but rarely do.. The word was 'meanders' just fits what it means to perfection.. :O)
The faces of those hard working folk are a joy to see.. and of course the stone cutters were of great interest.
Of all the pictures you have posted from this trip one that seemsto be shouting out to be painted is the last one here, that view is awesome.
Fantastic post and one I'm glad to say I really did need to come back to twice..
Catch up with you on SW.

Sheila said...

Hey Suze, fantabulous photos..!!
I can almost smell the fresh air, and the fragrance of plants, I can only imagine.
The character etched into the faces of the people is wonderful. How shameful of that officer to try to intimidate you for carrying the old chap up the hill.
Uniforms do that to some people I've found.
I never tire of your photos, and the spectacular scenery.
Your photography is inspired..

Firefly said...

Hi Sue.
An awesome set of pictures. Lesotho seems to be a photographer's dream.

Alan said...

Some amazing vistas there. I have always found the dull brown colors in landscapes like this to be beautiful. Not everything needs to be lush greenery to be enjoyed. :)

Musings said...

Oh my gosh! I'm in awe of your photos. What a beautiful country. You're a remarkable photographer.