|The lovely noisy cockerel woke me about 5am - damn thing! Dozed on and off after that but was typically sound asleep when Claudine woke me saying she has overslept! Turned out Claudine's car brakes could be fitted in for fixing if we dropped the car at the garage on the way to the border this morning so when we were ready to leave I drove her car and she took her mum's. Pip thought the road was going to be bad because of the rain overnight so I was expecting to have to let Claudine get it through some ditches rather than me wreck it but as it turned out the lane was fine! We dropped the car and started to head to the Lesotho border! Fortunately we got through with no problems. Immediately you enter Lesotho you are in Maseru the capital. I now know why Claudine had never wanted to bother taking me there before as its basically very run down and dirty for the most part so nothing really to look at!
Claudine had told me about a little craft shop built with a thatch room designed to look like a Basotho hat so we stopped there. I bought some cute bowls made of reeds - lovely colours! We then started heading out of Maseru towards Roma where Claudine was to drop me off at the Roma Trading Post. We saw some stunning scenery on the way and some very amusing phone boxes - see photos attached! Claudine hasn't been into the Mountains before so she also enjoyed the drive!
We arrived at our destination just after 11am and Claudine got me booked in as this was my birthday present from her and her mum! She also needed to get going as she was supposed to be working in the afternoon back in Bloemfontein - this didn't quite happen as it took her well over an hour to pass through customs on the way out... I was asked to wait in the conservatory as I would be given a lift up to Ramabanta, one of their other lodges, where I would stay my two nights. As I was sat waiting I nearly jumped out of my skin as a massive roll of thunder hit right overhead! The storm didn't develop so I went for a walk around the garden as I had been told my lift would be a couple of hours. The grounds are beautiful - some cute rondawels and a lovely main house which is apparently not lived in now as the owner has retired to Ladybrand where there is more to do for an active retiree! There is still her cat guarding the house though!
Was given lunch in the conservatory and then continued to wait for my lift - got my journal up to date and read my book - storm was coming and going so not able to sit in garden which was a shame but the rain was rather heavy so I was definitely better off inside!
Whilst waiting for my lift a dutch guy arrived on his motorbike. His name was Archie. Turns out he was at Trading Post in Roma last year and loved it so thought it would come back again and try Ramabanta this time. We got chatting and he turned out to also be a big fan of Long Way Down - the series I was hooked on before Xmas! He has spent the last month traveling down from Zambia through Botswana. Namibia and South Africa on his bike. Fabulous experience!