We woke up early and joined the four other guests at the Three Trees lodge for breakfast in the main dining room. Most of the talk revolved around local sports with the world cup cricket being of great concern to everyone except us who reallly didn't know much about it yet. The folks at the lodge were really cool and gave us a picnik lunch which we didn't really eat, but the thought was nice. The Three Trees lodge was a really cool place to stay and the service was excellent, but a little spendy. We had a big day planned but didn't really know how long it would take until it was all said and done. People seem to underestimate distances and driving times quite a bit in SA. This was no exception. Our half day outing would have us rolling in for dinner around 9pm, which would become our norm for the trip. Never let it be said that we didn't squeeze a lot into our adventure. The first part of the drive was pretty uneventful as it was mostly highway. When we turned west off the highway though, we got into the foot hills of the Drakensburg and the scenery became more and more impressive.
We kept climbing higher and higher. And as the road would wind around one hill another even taller would appear behind it. Eventually, we got to the turn off for the Sani pass and came to the South African border post. It would be another 10 miles or so of incredible switch backs and several thousand vertical feet before the Lesotho post. As we walked up to get our stampy stampy, I realized I had forgotten to bring the paperwork saying we could take the car out of the country. I thought for sure we were sunk and I was so dissappointed in myself. Fortunately all they needed was the registartion number and we were good to go. There were no less than two signs along the road saying that it was illegal to drive a vehichle up the pass that lacked four wheel drive capability. I didn't really believe that it would be that tough going since this was the only entrance to the East side of Lesotho. I stand corrected! It was surprisingly pretty technical. At the top of the pass, we got stamped in and in easy going Lesotho fashion stamped out at the same time. The border guard trusted us just to leave when we were ready and not wander off or get locked in overnight like we nearly did in Swaziland later during the trip.
There really wasn't a lot to see inside of the border except the resplendant scenery, Oh and ONLY THE HIGHEST PUB IN AFRICA! How sweet was that.
The food was pretty good. We had the river trout and curry. Plus some Maluti premium Lager. Of course I only got a sip. But that didn't really bother me. I bought a can for a souvenir which I am enjoying right now. Ahhhh! Maluti, brewed from the finest malted barley, maize, hops and water in the Mountain Kingdom. Apparently you can rent quad bikes to drive up the pass if you don't have or want to drive your own car. That might not be too bad of a way to go as it was only one car wide in some spots and could make you pretty nervous if your were the slightest bit accrophobic. That night we were the only guests at the lodge, so they served us dinner on our own balcony overlooking the valley and the white rhinos. It was more awesome service with the waiter popping up every few seconds to fill our glasses or offer some other service. we were joking around that they must have a little spy camera so they can tell when our wine glasses were only half full.
This was one of my favourite days of the trip. Of course we were only there for 13 days, they were all pretty much my fave. This morning was beautiful, like everyother day we had in South Africa.