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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bike Touring Lesotho | Pedaling Nowhere

Bike Touring Lesotho (part 1): Lesotho, Sesotho, Basotho
From the bustling South Africa coastal town of Port Elizabeth we hopped a bus and overnighted directly North to the border city and capital of the tiny landlocked country of Lesotho. From Maseru we began a eleven day journey across the ‘Kingdom of The Sky’.
Lesotho is an extremely small country completely surrounded by South Africa. One would think that Lesotho would be a miniature replicate of its surrounding giant, but that is not at all the case. Upon crossing the border we immediately felt as if we had entered a different Africa. The English language no longer gets us very far, poverty is far more evident, and, when in public, we are definitely quite the spectacle.
About half of our trek across the country was on the tarred central road that careens over the mountains and crosses massive passes with names such as God Help Me. The other half of our time was spent on an extremely rugged dirt road odyssey through a remote mountainous portion of the country that culminated with a 5,000 ft descent down the legendary Sani Pass. Here are details and photos from the first half of the passage (stay tuned for part 2 which I will preface as one of the most magical rides of my touring career):

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