Jill Cairns

Joined October 2016Living in: Modimolle, South Africa
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  • Day19

    Underberg Day 1: Lesotho

    February 3, 2017 in Lesotho ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    On the other side of the Pass it was clear although still very cloudy. Stuart stopped at all the good places to show us Drakensberg siskin, dark-capped yellow warbler, mountain wheatear, and even Cape vultures later in the day. We must have travelled about 30 km into Lesotho before turning around at about lunch time.
    Birding was terrific with a proper birder to point everything out and the scenery was again stunning.
    The Lesotho side of the Pass is tarred so much easier to negotiate.
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  • Day19

    Underberg Day 1: Sani Pass UP

    February 3, 2017 in Lesotho ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Stuart McLean, our guide for the day, arrived sharp at 06h00 to pick us up in his Toyota Land Cruiser RV (nice car!). We piled our warm gear, walking sticks and munchies into his car and set off.
    It was cloudy and as we drove up the mountain we entered the mist. This meant no good mountain views this side of the Sani Pass 😞
    Of course we had to stop at the top for the obligatory photo but since we hadn't cycled up (which with the road condition should be impossible) we didn't need to drink lots of beer.
    It was too darn cold anyway 🌬☁
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  • Day4

    Living in Lesotho

    January 19, 2017 in Lesotho ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    Some pics of people and places on our route. There were lots of little settlements and a couple of bigger towns. Every available slope was covered with mealies. And everything was GREEN!!
    Pictures of a settlement, mealies everywhere, moving the ploughing machinery and solar Street lighting in Leribe.Read more

  • Day4

    Driving in Lesotho

    January 19, 2017 in Lesotho ⋅ ☀️ 1 °C

    Driving in Lesotho - especially to Katse Dam - is both hazardous and stressful. High, steep mountain passes, up and down around and around. You cannot drive fast because around the next bend might be a group of cattle/donkeys/sheep, a rider galloping a Basotho pony or a series of potholes. We even encountered a big rockfall which covered half the road. Fortunately it had happened before we got there...Read more

  • Day4

    Katse Dam wall tour

    January 19, 2017 in Lesotho ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    On our way from the Dam to Katse Lodge we stopped at the Visitors' Centre to enquire about tours. Angela had insisted we should do a tour that goes through a tunnel. There was a tour to the Dam wall at 14h00. It was then 13h15.
    Decisions, decisions.
    We decided to check how far it was to the Lodge and then decide.
    Well, it took about 10 mins, so we collected our key, looked at the room and drove back to the Visitors' Centre. We had crackers and cheese and Coke for lunch and then waited for about half an hour for Neo the tour guide to turn up.
    But it was all worth it! The Dam wall is an amazing feat of engineering. And it is full of tunnels with all sorts of cables, laser beams and other technology that monitors every groan and sigh.
    Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the Wall, but we made the most of it outside.
    We even drove across the wall and stopped to admire the view and take more pictures.
    This morning we took the short cut back across the wall (we had asked the guard very nicely yesterday if we might) which saved about 30 mins of driving round and round and up and down.
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  • Day4

    Orion Katse Lodge

    January 19, 2017 in Lesotho ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Finally made it to the Lodge only to find our booking was just a room - no self-catering 😑
    Oh well.
    The room is reasonably appointed with a shower in the bathtub. We will just have to have dinner and breakfast in the dining room! (Turned out we paid more for food than for the room.)
    The views from our room and from the dining room were stunning!Read more

  • Day4

    Katse Dam

    January 19, 2017 in Lesotho ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    It took us 5 hours from Clarens to the Dam wall with all the stops for oohs and ahs and pics and driving hazards, but it's worth the drive!
    Here are our first impressions:
    First sight of the Dam wall, the Malimabat'so river below the wall, view of the wall from below the Dam, looking back upriver from the Dam wall, approaching the bridge over the dam (18 km upstream) on our way back to Clarens (20/1).Read more

  • Day4

    Top of the World

    January 19, 2017 in Lesotho ⋅ ⛅ -10 °C

    View point at top of pass.
    Well Bill created this Footprint when we were there but unable to post anything. So here are the pictures from the Top of the World.

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