Archive for 11. March 2010

Over the Limit

Thursday, 11. March 2010

Life in the village is in synch with the rhythm of the sun. With sunset they brought their livestock into the village; half an hour after it was complete dark we went into the Basutho hut they provided us, and laid down on the mat on the loamy ground. I barely could lie – my arm is hindering to sleep on the side, the bruise made lying on the back painful. Nevertheless I fell asleep rather quickly.

With dawn the village’s cock got us up. Another guide was awaiting leading us to the waterfall. Since sun was not up yet the walk – a narrow path up and down, and up and down again – was not too strenuous. We finally reached the river fed by the 100+ meter waterfall. Thru the river bed, sometimes jumping from cliff to cliff we approached the waterfall.

I reached my limits when needed climbing rocks. I had to stop, since potentially falling into the ice cold water was not an option. So I had my breakfast – some biscuits and spring water – while Lars-Olof and the guide continued  to the waterfall.

After an almost three hours hike we came back to the village, where we had to get our bags onto the ponies for another 5 hours ride. Our guide told us we partially would take another route back. I was hopeful at least avoiding the deep canyon. The day was even hotter than the day before. When we spotted first time Malealea at the horizon, it looked promising. While still far away, it looked as if there was only a gentle descend to a village, and than a rather smooth uphill towards the lodge.

Far wrong! The village was actually sitting at the rim of the canyon, and the cutting so steep that it wasn’t visible from the far, although being decently higher. The descend caused some additional adrenaline. At the last step before the river bed the path was partly broken away. Lars-Olof’s pony being the first managed to get over the gap, for what ever reason mine didn’t and broke in with the hind quarters. While my pony struggled to avoid falling down I almost did crush. Only one foot in the stirrup, hanging aside the pony I barely managed to get back in the saddle.

Lessons learned: Either I manage to increase my fitness, or this was the last time for such an adventure. But nevertheless these days have been an experience not to be missed.