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Sani Pass, May 2016

Our friends Geoff and Paula have never been up Sani Pass so we decided to drive up the Pass in our bakkie and stay at the top over a weekend. Geoff drove up and down as we've both driven it before.

We stayed at The Himeville Arms (in Himeville) on Friday and then Geoff drove us up the Pass on Saturday morning. Having got a passport recently Paula was able to get her first stamps in it - her first time out of South Africa.

On Saturday afternoon Paula and I went pony trekking while Geoff and Kevin drove along the new tar road heading west into Lesotho.

On Sunday morning we woke to frost (it was -5') but by the time we'd finished breakfast it was warming up nicely. Geoff drove us back down the Pass and then along some gravel back roads to Richmond. A lovely weekend.

This photo is taken from the deck outside the Sani Mountain Lodge at the top of the Pass.

On Friday afternoon we visited the Himeville Museum which is beautifully kept and very interesting.

These rooms used to be jail cells and now house a range of exhibits.

Old kitchen implements.

Saturday morning dawned clear and bright - perfect for a trip up Sani Pass.

The old trading store near the bottom of the Pass used to be very busy when donkeys were the main form of transport.

The South African Border Post.

We stopped several times to look at the view. This is looking back down the valley from one of the view points near the bottom of the zig-zags.

The road zig-zags up to the right of the central rock.

A stop on the zig-zags.

A well earned drink at the top......

....from where we could watch others making their way up Pass.

The sign says it all.

Our very comfortable rondavals.

Paula and I went pony trekking for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Unfortunately we were given complete beginners' ponies so although we enjoyed the views the riding was rather boring.

Our sure-footed sturdy basotho ponies and our guide - he walked with us all the time.

There were a few streams on the flat land at the top of the Pass. It was sunny but there was often a cold wind blowing.

We got quite close to the edge of the mountain.....

... with great views. The zig-zag track is the old road.

Just before we left for our ride we noticed one tyre had a puncture so Kevin and Geoff changed it.

While we were riding they drove into Lesotho along the new tar road built by the Chinese.

They saw a few patches of snow.

Heading back towards Sani Top.

On our first trip up Sani Pass, back in 2008, I took a photo of Kevin behind the bar. This time I took a photo of Geoff - hasn't changed a lot!

Inside the rondaval. The coal fire kept us warm all night.

Full moon rising.

We had an excellent evening meal - thanks Colleen.

Patterns in the frost on the outside tables early on Sunday morning.

Geoff driving back down the Sani Pass on Sunday morning.

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