Word Riders Day 2- Lesotho

We had an early rise this morning, as we had to be at the border post at  Maseru at 07h00. It felt so good leaving South Africa behind, and crossing into Lesotho for the first time.

We had to wait for an official traffic escort, which duly arrived on a Suzuki V Strom with a rather flat front tyre. But this dude can ride, and with his flashing blue lights and blaring siren escorted us safely through Maseru to our first school.

One thing that was really impressing is how friendly and relaxed the people of Lesotho are. Their school pupils look very well behaved. And in each school the children sang for us. School buildings might be a bit dilapidated, but the children are amazing.

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We heard primary schools in a rural setting, in shabby buildings, singing complicated choir music in 4 different tones. We heard music that would be very well received in the best cathedrals and concert halls. These Lesotho children have a very good ear for music!

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We visited three schools in pouring rain, and then exited Lesotho again at Wepener. This is a very sad looking dying town in the eastern Free State. We rode on  to Rouxville where we had our first thing to eat and drink at the delightful Country Cousin restaurant.

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Being soaking wet, that hamburger and chips and coffee tasted heavenly. We rode about 280 km today in the rain. My wife did it with me without any complaints! What a woman!

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Tonight we are staying in Aliwal North, and we are having supper at the DRC again, our church really knows a lot about hospitality towards weary strangers! They have been busy for hours making Potjiekos, food prepared in a huge threelegged cast iron pot. We who love Potjiekos would vehemently disagree that it could also be called a Stew… It is a Potjie…

Now we are trying to get our riding gear dry…

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Word Riders 2015 Day 1

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Technically that would be yesterday. Day 1 that is..
Yesterday morning we left home at 07h00. We rode to Kempton Park, where our country’s largest airport is. But we are not flying with wings, The northerm  riders rode together from Kempton Park. Near Heilbron we went through a terrifying electrical storm, with a lot of rain pouring dowm. Anyway, all the Word Riders came together at Bethlehem, the main town of the Eastern Free State. We had a lovely stay at The Lofts in Bethlehem. Supper was at the Bethlehem North Dutch Reformed Church. They managed a barbeque in pouring rain, and gave us an excellent meal!

This morning our group split up and visited 5 churches in the region. I had the honor of preaching at Bethlehem Effrata DRC.  Psalm 107 was used as my Scripture reading.

Afterwards we drove the 37 km to the scenic town of Clarens, a place so beautiful that Brad Pitt owned a house there. The photo above is on the outskirts of town. The road behind leads to our South African Golden Gate,  where 25 years ago my wife and I began our honeymoon on 31 March. Yip- silver anniversary coming up!

After an excellent Roti lunch provided by the DRC Clarens, we drove over some bad tar roads but through beautiful countryside to Ladybrand, where we are staying at the Cranberry Cottage. Another excellent place to stay!

Tomorrow morning we are doing another first for  me. A group of us are entering the country of Lesotho, going to the capital of Maseru. We are visiting some schools around the capital tomorrow morning. The weatherman predicts rain…

WE are having a lot of fun so far on this tour, and have done nearly 700 km since leaving home yesterday.

I dont get much chance to stop and take photos yet… will try to get some from the support team to share later on.  But now it is time for bed, we have to cross an international border at 7 tomorrow morning. It feels so strange to know we are sleeping just 13 km away from a totally different country’s capital tonight. I am so looking forward to finally get a Lesotho stamp in my passport!

Thanks for reading along!

You can also have a look at wordriders.wordpress.com  for more info on our tour.

PS. i have written this post last night after taking a sleeping pill. I did not post it then, you would have laughed at the last paragraph before I fell asleep. Edited and posted now…

 

Opposite day: Art that shocked the world’s critics…

Daily Prompt: Opposite Day

by michelle w. on July 14, 2013

If you normally write non-fiction, post a photo. If you normally post images, write fiction. If you normally write fiction, write a poem. If you normally write poetry, draw a picture.

(New) photographers, artists, poets: show us OPPOSITE.

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There once was a blogger called Rider,

His readers came from ever wider and wider

Then came this Daily Prompt.

It initially had him stumped,

So he drew an amazing  picture with the help of a cider…

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Just for the record- I took the posts that received the most hits on google bringing people to my blog, and combined it.

People are looking for:

So with all my artistic ability I brought for your pleasure: Miss Iceland presenting Australian Masterchef from Lesotho…

Now you can clearly see where my daughter got her talent for art and graphic design from…

Let’s visit: Lesotho

Where is that? It is a small, small landlocked country, completely surrounded by South Africa.

But it never was a part of South Africa.  It is one of the highest countries in the world- if you climb the Drakensbergs to their top, then you are entering Lesotho. And so it was the only times I ever have been to Lesotho- those climbing expeditions crossing the border.

From the South African side, Lesotho looks beautiful with all it’s mountain splendor. Because of it’s hight above sea level, it can get extremely cold up there in the mountains.

The Basotho (people of Lesotho, part of the Sotho speaking nations and cousins to the Tswana of Botswana…) have their own unique style of hut they live in…

This would be a typical Lesotho scene- riding on the small but sturdy Basotho pony, past these distinctive huts…

One of Lesotho’s main economic activities is supplying water and electricity to South Africa, via the impressive Khatse dam hydro-electricity project. Image

The people weave a most distinctive hat from grass, resembling their huts, and so part of their identity that the hat is on their national flag- much more peaceful that the AK 47 on Mozambique’ flag~

Lesotho has just onder 2 million inhabitants, making it number 146 th in the biggest countries of the world- population wise.

Wikitravel states that the BAsotho people is a peaceful nation.  But people planning to travel on motorbikes through there- the children of the country have this nasty habit of stoning passing bikers. And be very careful of your luggage when travelling there…

Things to see: MAseru– the capital, where South Africans went to gamble when it was still illegal in SOuth Africa…  Pony rides and sightseeing at Khatse, Thaba Bosiu is a historical place of Battle between the Basotho and the people of the Free State- a dispute of cattle theft that still continues to this day… Semonkong- Maletsunyane Falls– one of the highest single drop waterfalls in the world, Sehlabathebe National Park is a good place for hiking, just be extremely well prepared for bad weather.

What to eat- there are several Western Style restaurants in Maseru. But if you eat there, you are a sissy!  Rather find somebody local who will make you some of their food. You need to taste the cuisine of the country you are visiting to call yourself a worthy traveller! This websitetells you more about Mosotho cooking:

This is one typical dish (with a recipe…) :

And when in Lesotho, you might just see a famous looking Englishman there- I am not sure exactly who, but nowerdays every Tom, DIck and Harry want to visit Lesotho…

Just be careful in the winter here:

Before I forget: the local beer: Maluti Premium Lager-

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Enjoy your visit, and thank you for Flying with Rider’s Virtual Airlines…