The best holiday

Lesotho Border

The final week of school holidays is usually a drag for most parents because, truth be told, most of our budgets have been cleaned out by then. The fridge turns into a vacuum.

Capped WiFi data has been used up. On Monday, July 17, I decided to take my family and skip over the border for a day. The beauty of living on the South Coast is that the Lesotho border is just over 2 hours away. A return trip is just over half a bakkie’s fuel tank. So we woke up and collected what snacks or crumbs or leftovers we had in the house.

We then stopped at the Pick ‘n Pay for drinks and mother’s mandatory bottle of red wine, and off we went. Excitement levels went up as we got onto the bumpy dirt road. It’s a challenging drive and feels like a rollercoaster-ride.

Whenever the car unexpectedly rocks side to side my 10-year old son always bumps his head against something, leading him to ask why it only happens to him. I tell him, “because you are the only one with a neck in our family.

The rest of us are minions, so our heads don’t swing freely.” When we get to the South African border gate the man with a neck noticed that a step into the Lesotho border is colder than a step back onto the South African side. I am not going to disagree with him. Only a few minutes later do I tell them we are not in Lesotho yet, but we are in no-man’s land. The idea of being ‘nowhere’ sends him into to ecstacy. Suddenly everything, including rocks and vegetation, in no-man’s land is really cool.

Then mother nature pitches in to give us a “the best holiday ever” (according to the boys).

First, we stopped for selfies and silly dances under a frozen waterfall at the side of the road. Then a beaver appeared from under some rocks and posed beautifully for us for a good few of minutes, and the boys were beside themselves with excitement.

As we shared the steep, narrow, winding road up towards the Lesotho gate with other vehicles, all occupants had wide smiles. In nature, smiles are genuine and they are not the 2-second office smiles.

After pausing umpteen times photographing views and selfies we finally hit the ‘roof of Africa’ and had coffee at the highest restaurant in Africa.

The descent is trickier for the driver as the car loses traction frequently owing to the loose stones on the road surface. As a warm goodbye to us Mother Nature placed four wild bucks on the road.

They seemed oblivious to our approaching until we were within 10 metres of them, then they disappeared behind the rocks. The boys kept saying, “Best holiday ever”. I don’t have to worry about entertainment for the rest of the holidays.

  AUTHOR
Mmeli Ndwalane

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