Malealea-Tuesday-3/22

Ladybrand/Malealea, Lesotho, Day 48-After our wonderful stay at the Living Life Station, it was off to Lesotho, the mountain kingdom that managed to retain its independence. The first thing we noticed was a fair amount of new residential construction in and around Maseru the capital city. The economy is mostly subsistence agriculture with reliance upon South Africa for 90% of its goods.

imageThere were good paved roads for most of the journey south to Malealea Lodge. Once we headed off the main highway, it was back to potholes and dirt. Speed limits in Lesotho are much lower than South Africa, traffic less and the drivers so far have been very considerate. The featured photo is of a few of the masses of people walking to their villages, must have passed a 100 people.

Our little rondavel is very basic, a bit like going to camp without the sleeping bag. Electricity is from 6 to 10 pm, water is from 6 to  8 am & pm. Being at 6500′ altitude, the evenings are really cold. The planned pony trek had to be cancelled, because I came down with a bug last night and am still not a 100%. Slept a good part of the day, but rallied to take a guided tour of the neighboring village. The lodge has set up a trust for the villagers, building a primary school and employing a number of the villagers to work at the lodge. This Eco lodge is very popular with Germans and Dutch.

imageThis is the village choir that sings at the lodge and competes in musical events at other Basotho villages.

The lodge open air dining room and coffee shop, where we vied with the adorable lodge dogs for cushy chairs.

The country, from what we have seen, seems to be a giant, high plateau ringed by mountains. You can see the mountain terraces. Every bit of useful land is cultivated or used for grazing cattle and sheep. The herders stay with their little bands of animals, some dressed in traditional hats and blankets, some in western clothing.

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