Ever since I bought and rode Sarala in Kyrgyzstan, I have wanted to do another trip on horseback. For getting off the roads, there’s no better way to travel. Even before that, at the end of my first cycle trip through Africa, I had been looking at buying a horse and ride through Lesotho and the Drakensberg…
And now, several years later, here I was, about to enter Lesotho – that mountain kingdom, famous for it’s sturdy little Basotho ponies.
As we only had a couple of weeks to spare, we decided that rather than buy horses, we’d go on a organised ride. Jimmy’s equitation experience was limited to three hour-long lessons back at home and a short beach ride. An guided ride seemed like a good compromise considering our tie available.
We opted for a 6-day trek from Malealea Lodge, riding east towards Semonkong for three days and then returning by a different route.
They were some damn steep slopes and rocky tracks our skinny, little horses navigated with surefooted ease. Jimmy clung on tight and I enjoyed the scenery.
By day two, our backsides were in agony. The pain never went away. Bruised buttocks regardless of the years riding using English saddles. I sometimes wondered whether the boys riding donkeys bareback were suffering a similar fate… it didn’t look like it. We camped at night in local villages – small collections of thatch huts clinging to the hillsides (there is no ‘flat’ in Lesotho).
Our last night on the trail we were treated to a dust-and-thunder-storm. It was rather eerie watching the orange-purple-battleship grey sky march towards us, until the wind picked up and the first fat drops of rain began, forcing us to take shelter in our tent, lying on our backs with our legs against the tent wall to prop it up as the gusts tried to flatten it.
You can see the rest of the photos here: