Feb 2nd 2019, there was snow and ice on the roads and across the fields. Had to leave home a day early to ensure a timely arrival at the airport. Good old Premier Inn, nice bed, very reasonably priced and well located near the main motorway at Bristol Cribbs Causeway. A half way point between home and Heathrow.
Flight with BA Heathrow direct to Durban took about 11 hours. This is a new route and well worth considering if travelling to Durban. Felt pretty tired on arrival, never been able to sleep upright on a plane. Great to arrive to warm weather but surprised at the amount of rain.
The Sani Pass. The series of images below reflect the landscape experienced on the trip up the Sani Pass from South Africa through to Lesotho and onto Mokhotlong in Lesotho. At the border to Lesotho you can visit the highest pub in Africa which is 3420 m Above sea level. The Sani Pass sits between the border post for exiting South Africa and entering Lesotho so for a good 12 km you are in no mans land, driving a in a 4×4 on rugged curving roads, scattered with rocks and boulders and worn out over time by the weather. The trip from Himeville up through the Sani Pass and then onto Mokhotlong took approximately 5 hours there and another 5 hours return. Mokhotlong is one of the bigger towns/cities in Lesotho but it is clear upon entering the town that this is indeed still a third world environment.
The road from the Sani Pass down to Mokhotlong was a real surprise. It has recently been built by the Chinese to a very high standard and was a much easier ride than the Sani Pass it even had road markings and road signs. A real bonus.
It was 41 years ago since I first travelled to Durban as a novice traveller. I was meet by relatives who I had never seen and carried a red head scarf so they could recognise me. 41 years ago there were no mobile phones, no computers, correspondence was by snail mail and letters took a good week to travel from the UK to South Africa. Photos were not digital so no instantaneous posting. On arrival in South Africa in 1978 I was amazed to learn that images such as the old Sun page 3 girls were banned. Apartheid was still very much a part of the countries political and cultural landscape. So I am assuming the South Africa I’m about to visit will be very different.