Cycle Touring Pictures From Lesotho – Bicycle Touring Professional

by touring-bicycle

Earlier than I had even entered the nation I used to be being requested for cash.

“30 Rand!” the person on the gate was telling me. “For this bicycle… 30 Rand.”

It wasn’t some huge cash, and I’d have gladly paid it if I had needed to, however the girl who had stamped my passport simply moments earlier than had mentioned nothing about having to pay the person on the gate to enter Lesotho. I knew I used to be being requested for a bribe.

“Let me return inside and ask the girl,” I informed the guard on the gate. “She didn’t say something about having to pay for my bicycle.”

It was at this level that I noticed the person’s failed try at bribery fall away. He knew he had been caught and the very last thing he wished me to do was go inside and inform the customs officers there that he had been attempting to con me out of a few of my cash. I might see the expression of defeat on his face, and so slightly that returning to the constructing from which I had simply come, I grabbed my bike by the handlebars and pushed it beneath the gate that the person was working.

The primary particular person I met in Lesotho had requested me for cash… and he definitely wouldn’t be the final.

Regardless of the tough begin to my bicycle touring adventures in Lesotho, I used to be in good spirits. I used to be enthusiastic about making it to a different nation and I used to be trying ahead to the folks, the roads and the change in surroundings.

Earlier than I might take pleasure in any of the paved roads in Lesotho, nonetheless, I first wanted to cycle about 10-15 kilometers on a rocky, dust street. The asphalt ended on the border and in response to my map, it was a brief, however windy 10-15 km earlier than I reached the primary street that may take me from the south-western most nook of the nation into the capital metropolis of Maseru and past.

For the primary few kilometers, I actually loved biking on that dust street. The tempo was gradual, however I take pleasure in navigating a fully-loaded bicycle via technical terrain. In some ways, I feel going gradual and having to determine which a part of the street to journey on is extra enjoyable than going actually quick on a superbly clean asphalt street. Perhaps that’s simply me?

My first hour in Lesotho was in all probability probably the most pleasurable of the complete time I used to be within the nation. The folks have been pleasant, they’d wave at me from the street or from their grass and dust houses up on the hillside, and kids would scream to their mother and father each time they noticed me drawing close to.


The 2 folks you see within the photograph above have been the primary people I spoke with in Lesotho. They have been strolling towards me on the street with a small herd of cattle. I snapped their photograph from a distance after which as we drew nearer to 1 one other, they requested to see the image I had taken of them. I did so, and used the chance to snap a significantly better image of them (which is the picture you see right here). I overlook the person’s identify (as a result of it was an extended, bizarre identify that I used to be completely unfamiliar with), however I do do not forget that the girl’s identify was Elizabeth. After taking their photograph, the person instantly requested me what my telephone quantity was. He had a cellphone in his hand and was able to kind my quantity into his telephone. He hadn’t requested me my identify but and I hadn’t launched myself. I had merely taken their photograph and requested them their names. I used to be sort of startled by the truth that this man was already ready to enter me into his telephone.

I informed to the couple that I didn’t actually have a cellphone. I went on to elucidate that as a result of I used to be touring a lot, carrying a cellphone merely didn’t make sense. That story was partially true, however not totally. It’s true that I used to be touring with out a cellphone. However I do have a cellphone again house. It’s simply sitting in a drawer, not getting used in the mean time. It’s ready for me to return from my travels.

So I didn’t give the person my quantity. As a substitute, I merely mentioned, “It was good assembly you,” after which continued on my approach.

Additional down the street I handed three ladies (and a good friend) wearing shiny blue garbs. I don’t know what the garbs have been for, however I assumed they have been some sort of spiritual get-up.

After I cycled previous the ladies, one in all them known as out to me, “The place are you from?”

I had wished to take a photograph of the ladies earlier than I handed them, however I used to be too scared to take action, so I noticed the truth that they wished to speak to me as my alternative. I slammed on my brakes and circled to deal with the ladies. I defined that I used to be from California in the USA and that I used to be using my bicycle from Cape City, South Africa to Swaziland. They have been shocked (in a great way)… after which I requested them if I might take their photograph.


Additional down the street, simply earlier than the dust street ended and the paved street started, I entered a small village the place a gaggle of 4 males standing at a small roadside shack known as out to me. At this level I used to be starting to appreciate that the general public in Lesotho had at the least some English of their vocabulary. The English most of them addressed me with was often removed from excellent, however total it was surprisingly good. I’m undecided what I used to be anticipating, however it wasn’t this!

A bit of intimidated chatting with 4 giant males alone, I stored my distance at first, however then realized I had nothing to worry. The boys have been merely inquisitive about my travels. It wasn’t daily, I imagined, that they noticed a loaded touring bicycle move via their village.

To the correct of the lads was a bigger brick or adobe constructing. I feel it was a tavern. And outdoors the tavern have been two uniformed cops ingesting giant mugs of beer. After I pointed my digital camera within the course of the 2 officers, one stood up, hid his face from me and ran contained in the tavern, whereas the opposite lifted his glass of beer proudly to the sky and took a giant drink.

Moments later I left the dust street, turned left, and started the lengthy, two-day journey into Lesotho’s capital metropolis.


The photograph above is an efficient instance of what most of Lesotho appeared like. It jogged my memory loads of Peru’s excessive Altiplano plains – besides with black folks. The fashion of houses, the combi vans driving folks from one village to the following, and the very fact that there have been folks nearly all over the place.


Throughout my bike journey in Lesotho, I should have come throughout 1000’s of younger college youngsters. A few of the youngsters would simply stare at me as I cycled previous, however most of them would wave, shout and even chase after me as I cycled on by. Some have been higher behaved that others – like this group of boys who have been sitting by the facet of the street, ready for a van to choose them up and take them house.


This group of women appeared inquisitive about my bicycle journey too. Like most of the younger ladies in Lesotho, their heads have been shaved and so they wore colourful college uniforms.



Within the photograph above the lady together with her finger in her mouth is holding a cellphone that clearly doesn’t work. I spent a couple of moments desirous about that cellphone as I pedaled away from the group. Perhaps she was carrying the cellphone simply to look cool? Perhaps she was carrying the telephone as an aspirational kind of gadget? (She didn’t have a working cellphone proper now, however hopefully in the future she would.) Or possibly she had merely discovered the telephone on her approach house from college and hoped she might discover somebody to restore it for her? I spent loads of time in Lesotho desirous about unusual issues like this.


The group of boys (within the photograph under) have been the primary to chase after me on my bicycle. The toddler within the orange sweatshirt beginning chasing after me first… and the others quickly adopted. I’ve an incredible 10-second video of those boys operating behind my bicycle. It was one in all my favourite moments from my time in Lesotho. It befell simply at the start began to go downhill.




After a number of hours of biking, I reached my first main metropolis in Lesotho – Mohales Hoek. I used to be nearly totally out of water at this cut-off date, so my one and solely purpose on the town was to replenish my water bottles.

Sadly, I couldn’t appear to search out bottled water at any of the native shops. Like so many small markets in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, the one drinks on provide have been Coca-Cola merchandise. I don’t usually drink soda, however confronted with no different choice, I bought a 2.5 liter bottle of Sprite and returned to my bicycle to replenish my water bottles with the bubbly liquid.

Outdoors the store I discovered 4 younger highschool college students watching my bicycle. I spoke to them and so they requested some fundamental questions on my travels. “The place are you from? How a lot does your bicycle weight? The place are you going?” And so on.

I’m fairly positive they thought I used to be nuts to be using a bicycle of any sort – to not point out the truth that I used to be using it for months at a time and protecting 1000’s and 1000’s of kilometers. In addition they discovered it laborious to imagine that I used to be sleeping on the bottom, in a tent, on my own. I acquired the sensation that they thought white folks would by no means do such a factor. After we acquired to speaking in regards to the chilly nights in Lesotho, I allow them to know that identical to them, I too was freezing my butt off at evening.


Now properly into the afternoon, I started in search of a spot to camp for the night. I might inform, nonetheless, that discovering a spot to sleep for the evening was not going to be simple. There have been folks all over the place. Regardless that the land within the distance of a few of my images appears to be like vacant, it was not. If there weren’t precise homes in an space, there have been absolutely sheep, cows, and most significantly, shepherds.

All throughout Lesotho have been younger, poor shepherds strolling the land with both a small or giant herd of sheep, goats or cows.


Irrespective of how far-off the shepherds have been from the street, in the event that they noticed me biking their approach, they’d cease what they have been doing, flip towards me and stare. A few of them would wave. Others would whistle. And plenty of of them would shout at me for annoyingly lengthy durations of time. They’d solely appear to cease their cat calls as soon as I had raised my hand and waved of their course.

Many of those roadside shepherds, upon seeing me, would abandon the herd that was of their care and run after me. This was what occurred with the 16-year-old shepherd within the photograph under.


This younger man noticed me biking up the street, ran about 100 meters via a area, climbed down a deep gully, jumped over a small stream, after which ran up the opposite facet to fulfill me on the street. As he was operating towards me, the younger shepherd was leaping and waving and screaming for me to cease. He was not the primary particular person in Lesotho to react this fashion and he definitely wasn’t the final. However due to the hassle he had simply put in to fulfill me, I felt like I needed to cease.

When the younger boy lastly reached me, I shook his hand and requested him his identify. I don’t keep in mind what it was. It was extremely lengthy and there’s no approach I might have remembered it, not to mention spelled it out in writing. Then I requested the boy his age, which is how I realized that he was solely 16 years previous, even supposing he appeared a lot older.

It was at this level that the younger boy requested me for cash in a lower than well mannered approach. “I wish to purchase cigarettes,” he informed me, as I pushed off on my bicycle and began biking up the small hill in entrance of me – attempting to get away from him.

“No!” I informed the boy. “You shouldn’t be smoking… and I’m not supplying you with any cash!”


At this cut-off date I had been in Lesotho for lower than 8 hours and I had already been requested for cash greater than 100 instances. It wasn’t so unhealthy the primary 99 instances, however that younger shepherd boy asking me for cash so he might purchase cigarettes pushed me over the sting.


Up the street a brief methods, three younger males standing close to the facet of the street known as out to me. Like the general public in Lesotho, they known as out to me not as I used to be approaching, however after I had handed. So to ensure that me to listen to what that they had mentioned or reply in any approach, I’d must slam on my brakes, flip the bike round, and handle them. This too was turning into fairly annoying. Particularly after it had occurred greater than 100 instances.


I rode for one more couple hours, and whereas I used to be blown away by a number of the surroundings in Lesotho, I used to be turning into more and more agitated with the folks. What had at first been sort of enjoyable, quirky conversations with the locals was now turning into barely extra aggressive confrontations. Most of the locals would see me coming and would name out, “Give me sweets! Give me cash!”

I felt just like the locals noticed me as a pinata full of cash and meals – regardless that I had little or no cash on me… and little or no meals.

Because the solar started to develop nearer to the horizon, I attempted to push these ideas out of my thoughts. As a substitute, I began specializing in looking for a spot to camp for the evening.

Grant’s mom in Woman Gray had informed me that if I wished to camp in Lesotho I wanted to get the permission of “the chief” of the native city or village. However I didn’t wish to ask for permission to camp in or close to an area village. I didn’t need locals bugging me all evening, watching me arrange my camp, eat dinner, and take a look at to fall asleep. I’ve accomplished that loads of different instances earlier than so as nations and whereas it may be enjoyable, it’s additionally actually exhausting. The folks in Lesotho had already begun to put on me out with their fixed calls for for consideration, sweets and cash, so all I wished to do was discover a place to camp for the evening the place I wouldn’t be bothered. However this was not going to be simple! Like I mentioned earlier than, there have been folks all over the place.

Shortly after biking via a small hillside village I handed a big open area dotted with timber and for no matter cause, I might inform that this was going to be the place I would want to spend the evening. It wasn’t totally excellent. There was an opportunity I is likely to be found by one of many native villagers. But it surely was the perfect potential campsite I had seen all day.

When nobody was trying, I pedaled my bicycle off the street and onto an extended dust and grass-covered path that took me about 1 kilometers east from the freeway. I adopted the treeline till the very finish, threw down my bicycle, and waited. It appeared like a very good place to camp, however earlier than I went about pitching my tent I wished to ensure I wasn’t being watched.




After a number of minutes of observing my environment I noticed that I used to be within the heart of a giant, spherical valley. To my left was the street from which I got here. I might hear vehicles and vehicles buzzing previous each couple of minutes. In entrance of me was a small village and I might see ladies strolling from their houses to the fields on my proper. Behind me was a area of corn and one other small village. There have been males tending the corn fields immediately behind me and one man strolling a goat within the grass simply over 100 meters away.

Regardless of all this motion round me, I felt secure establishing my tent below the final tree within the heart of this massive, heat valley.


Because the solar set over the timber and ridge in entrance of me, I sat exterior my tent and noticed my environment, ensuring I hadn’t been noticed whereas my tent was being erected.



I sat and waited for the solar to go down. I used to be positive that when the solar had set, the folks within the villages surrounding me would go to mattress and I’d have the ability to sleep soundly all through the evening. However that’s not precisely the way it went.

As soon as it acquired darkish, I climbed inside my tent and tried to go to mattress. It had been an extended day and I had quite a bit on my thoughts. I used to be desirous about the border patrol man who had tried to bribe me, in regards to the cops ingesting beer on obligation, in regards to the college youngsters with out footwear, in regards to the tons of of people that had requested me for cash – begged me for cash – chased after me, screaming for cash. I had loved my first few hours in Lesotho, however I wasn’t positive how far more of this fixed interplay with the locals I might take. The truth that I used to be all the time being watched, all the time waving to the locals, and all the time being requested for sweets and cash was taking a toll on my psychological perspective.

Simply as I used to be about to go to sleep, I bunch of enormous, noisy birds landed within the tree prime above me. They squawked and known as to 1 one other for hours. At one level the birds flew all the way down to the door of my tent and made probably the most horrific noises I’ve ever heard coming from an animal. At one level I jumped exterior the tent and tried to scare the birds off, however it did little good. By the point I acquired out of the tent, the birds had flown again up into the tree tops and I used to be unable to get them to go away.

Nonetheless nervous about being found by one of many locals, I finally fell asleep. But it surely was tough to sleep with all of the soda in my system. At this cut-off date, I had gone for greater than a day ingesting nothing however soda. For somebody who doesn’t usually drink soda, the quantity of sugar and caffeine in my system was having apparent destructive impacts on my physique. I used to be shaking and nervous. I couldn’t sleep regardless that I wished nothing extra.

I did ultimately go to sleep although. After a number of hours of nervously tossing and turning inside my tent, struggling to remain heat, my eyes closed and I drifted off.

Round 2 PM, I used to be woken by the sound of feeding sheep. I knew the sound, due to my earlier nights of tenting in South Africa. However sheep in Lesotho are completely different. Whereas the sheep in South Africa are left largely unattended, the sheep in Lesotho are all the time adopted round by a devoted shepherd. So after I heard the feeding sheep coming my approach, I knew that there was a very good probability I’d be found – not by the sheep, however by their shepherd. Many of those shepherds walked with knifes on them…. and that made me nervous. However what made me much more nervous was the thought that if this shepherd found me tenting on his village’s land, he may go and get up the locals, and I might discover myself surrounded within the early morning hours by dozens of indignant (or on the very least, bored, curious, hungry and needy) folks.

Because the sheep drew nearer, I attempted to not transfer. I stored my ear to the bottom and did nothing however hear. I used to be attempting to inform which course they have been coming from, how far-off they have been from my tent, and the place their shepherd may me strolling amongst them.

At one level I might inform that the sheep have been not more than twenty toes away from the door of my tent. However they quickly turned towards the street and began strolling in that course. They remained inside earshot for about 10 extra minutes after which they disappeared.

A while after 4 PM, I used to be awoken once more – this time to the sound of human footsteps. There was one particular person, approaching my campsite from the north. I couldn’t see him, however I might inform that he was sporting sandals. Simply as he approach about on prime of me, he jumped and known as out, “Whoah!” It was at this level that I’m guessing he noticed my tent. That’s when he jumped, yelled, after which took off operating.

I used to be positive I used to be in bother at this level. The footprints ran off towards the village behind me and I used to be positive that whoever the person was, he could be coming again quickly.

I didn’t sleep a lot after that. I thought of getting away from bed, packing up my tent, and leaping again on my bike. But it surely was pitch black exterior, I used to be drained, and there have been nonetheless at the least two extra hours obtainable to sleep earlier than the folks within the native villages emerged from their huts and have been prone to discover me tenting of their valley. So I attempted to return to sleep. However I used to be nervous, drained chilly and upset at this level.

“I don’t like Lesotho anymore,” I informed myself as I attempted to return to sleep. “I simply wish to be left alone.”

As soon as the solar got here up, I jumped out of my tent, packed up my bike and returned to the primary street. Whoever had run throughout my campsite just some hours earlier than had not returned to the village with a lynching occasion, so I used to be comfortable about that. However I had slept for lower than three whole hours within the final 24 hours, and I had an extended day of biking forward of me.

After I reached the following metropolis, I once more went about looking for water. Fortunately, I used to be capable of finding one single bottle of water at a dumpy previous market run by an Asian household. After two days of ingesting nothing however Sprite, water by no means tasted so good!





I cycled via a big metropolis (or giant for Lesotho) and didn’t take many images whereas I used to be there. Though I might have stayed their for per week and brought 1000’s of images. The buildings, the folks and every part within the space was extraordinarily fascinating and photographic. However using into city on my crimson and white touring bike, I used to be getting loads of consideration… and I actually didn’t like that. At one level I had at the least 200 folks stopped of their tracks and simply watching me. It was extraordinarily uncomfortable. So slightly than drawing any extra consideration to myself, I simply stored transferring down the street.

Simply exterior of city I handed via the primary of 5 or 6 police check-points that I must move via in Lesotho. The police paid little consideration to me nonetheless. There have been far more within the vehicles and vehicles that have been passing via the realm. I’m undecided what they have been in search of, however I’m guessing it was just a little little bit of every part. Correct registration, licenses, medicine, and so on.


On the flip off to one in all Lesotho’s most well-known lakes, I finished to examine my map and was immediately surrounded by a number of the locals. They requested me the usual two or three questions on my bicycle and the place I had come from after which they started asking me for cash.

The younger girl in these two images was the one one which didn’t ask me for something. She was merely inquisitive about my travels and wished to say hey. The others (all of whom have been males) have been aggressive and manipulative. After I failed to present them any cash, they refused to let me take their photograph. I used to be attempting to be good to everybody I met at this level, however the fixed nagging was actually beginning to get on my nerves. The boys I met at this road nook, nonetheless, pushed me over the sting and made me notice that as pleasant as I wished to be to the Lesotho locals, folks like that (those who wished nothing from me however cash or meals) have been making it more and more tough.


That was the in all probability probably the most tough factor about biking in Lesotho. Some folks would scream and yell and wish me to cease using my bike in order that they may ask me about my journey and be taught the place I used to be going. Others, nonetheless, would scream and yell and wish me to cease simply so they may ask me for cash. And it was not possible to inform the 2 aside at first look. The one solution to discover out who was who was to cease and speak to the folks. However each time I’d cease and get burned (in different phrases, each time I’d cease after which encounter an individual who wished nothing from me however the probability to beg for cash), I’d develop more and more upset.

By the point I met the shepherd within the photograph under, I used to be fuming!

This younger man, like so many others in Lesotho, noticed me biking previous and known as out for me, demanding that I cease.

“Take my image!” the younger man informed me earlier than saying anything…. and I used to be comfortable to oblige.

However as I used to be pulling out my digital camera, the boy began choosing up rocks and throwing them on the cows in his care. One giant rock, in regards to the measurement of grapefruit, hit one of many cows immediately above its proper eye, and I yelled on the boy to cease.

“Cease it! What are you doing?”

He didn’t reply. I snapped his photograph (which you’ll be able to see under) after which he threw the rock that was in his hand, hitting one other cow immediately in its facet.


At this level one other shepherd boy within the space ran over and started begging me for cash.

I used to be tremendous upset. I had barely slept within the final 48 hours, I had a caffeine excessive as a result of truth I had been ingesting nothing however soda for the final a number of days, I used to be upset at this younger shepherd for abusing his cows and pondering it was okay to chuck huge rocks into the eyes/sides of an animal, and I used to be past fed up with folks asking me for cash. I used to be able to punch somebody within the face!

However I didn’t do this… and I by no means would. As a substitute, I positioned my toes again on the pedals of my bicycle and continued down the street because the boys known as after me, asking for cash, and sweets and more cash.


There have been loads of good, sort folks in Lesotho. Many of the youngsters would merely stare and wave.

Youngsters within the colleges I’d cycle previous, nonetheless, would usually trigger such a scene that I imagined their lecturers fuming with rage at me.


It was primarily the grownup males who have been the worst behaved and most annoying folks I met in Lesotho. Of all of the unhealthy experiences I had in Lesotho (of which there have been near 1,000 (SERIOUSLY!)), solely two of these destructive experiences got here from ladies. All the remainder have been from males.


In a single small village I noticed a person kicking a goat in its facet. The goat was clearly sick, or drained, or on the verge of dying. However the man didn’t appear to care. He simply wished the goat to maneuver. So he kicked it… after which kicked it once more.

After a pair hours on the street, I noticed that if I cycled laborious, I might attain the capital metropolis of Maseru by dusk. I wasn’t positive what Maseru could be like, however I used to be positive that there could be a resort that I might keep in for the evening. I wanted some privateness, and in a poor nationwide like Lesotho, I used to be positive {that a} resort room (even within the capital metropolis) wouldn’t be very cheap.

So I pushed laborious and earlier than I knew it, I used to be biking via the outskirts of Maseru. The place was a shit gap!


There have been some areas on the outskirts of Maseru that have been downright scary. I didn’t take many images (regardless that I wished to) as a result of I used to be all the time being watched and I used to be considerably petrified of what may occur if the folks within the space noticed I used to be carrying a high-end digital camera on my bicycle. After I did pull out my digital camera to take these few images, I used to be nearly instantly approached by some particular person asking me if he might have my digital camera, have some cash, or have some sweets. Apparently, the folks of Lesotho have been educated to beg for these very issues… and it should work at some stage, as a result of in any other case they wouldn’t hold doing it.

In truth, I had been informed by a number of the locals that different white folks coming via the realm would certainly hand out candies, cash, and extra to the locals. This, I think about, is why I encountered such an amazing variety of folks on the streets of Lesotho who noticed me as nothing greater than an opportunity for a free handout.


A lot of the time I used to be in Lesotho I felt a bit like Miss America through the Macy’s Day Parade. The one distinction being that if I have been Miss America in Lesotho, I wouldn’t have showered in a number of days, I’d be sunburned, drained, sore, and completely pissed off. And the folks of Lesotho could be the folks within the crowd. Me as Miss America, must wave at everybody within the crowd… and if I didn’t wave at them, they’d change into extraordinarily upset. Generally even hostile. And regardless that I used to be drained, soiled, smelly, sore, and very pissed off, I needed to hold waving, hold a smile on my face, and hold transferring ahead. And I had to do that for 16+ hours every day, for days on finish. It was exhausting and much from enjoyable. I hated it really. And by the point I reached the town heart of Maseru, I appeared and felt like a mad man.

The worst half was, nobody in Lesotho knew or cared how I used to be feeling on the time. Folks would see me and for them it was a wholly new expertise. “Wow!” I imagined them pondering to themselves, “A white man on a bicycle. Right here’s my probability to go and ask him for some cash.”

However to me, that particular person waving and yelling and operating over to me was the thousandth particular person to wave, yell and run at me that day. It was enjoyable the primary couple instances, however after the primary 100 folks, it was nothing however aggravating. I cycled into the middle of Maseru with just one purpose: Discover a low-cost resort and get myself some privateness!

As I turned the nook on a busy road the place an overpriced resort was positioned, a person strolling previous jumped in entrance of my bicycle and stopped me from transferring ahead. I used to be nonetheless half-way out into the road and I used to be in a horrible temper. I knew what the person wished, however I used to be nonetheless attempting to be good to folks.

“Let me get out of the road,” I informed the person, as he positioned his fingers on my bicycle’s handlebar bag, and I shortly pried his fingers off my bike. I don’t let anybody contact my bike and it makes me extraordinarily upset when anybody touches any of my issues with out first asking. This man was not off to a very good begin.

As quickly as I pulled my bike over to the facet of the street (nonetheless not totally out of the road), the person started his request.

“I’m very poor and I want cash,” he started. However I didn’t let him go any additional.

“Get out of my approach!” I shouted. (However inside I used to be pondering, “Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!”) “I’m not going to present you any cash.”

The person appeared nearly shocked. As I pushed my well beyond the person, the known as out to me, “Perhaps subsequent time you and I can speak?”

I shortly responded, “Yeah, I want that’s what we had accomplished. Talked.”

I cycled down the street, my eyes burning with hate. “Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!” I assumed to myself.

It took me greater than two hours to discover a resort for the evening. The primary two accommodations I encountered have been greater than thrice the value of any resort in South Africa I had paid for. I wasn’t going to remain there.

And the folks in Maseru have been horrible with instructions. I requested a number of folks within the space the place I might discover a low-cost place to sleep for the evening, however nobody was in a position to assist me and even level me in the correct course. Even when folks did attempt to give me instructions, the instructions they gave have been all the time incorrect. They didn’t know the names of the streets, they couldn’t depend correctly, and so they couldn’t talk distances of any sort.

“Go down right here. Then you will note a storage. On the storage, go proper.” A lady informed me whereas pointing together with her hand to the left. “The go a good distance and there’s a resort.”

“How far is a good distance?” I’d ask her.

“A good distance,” she responded, as if that have been the one approach to reply to such a query.

Lastly I discovered a resort in a nasty a part of city that was in my value vary, however nonetheless majorly overpriced for what it was. It was a shitty resort in a shitty a part of city with shitty employees and shitty run-down rooms. I resort room value 350 Rand for the evening, which was greater than I had paid for any evening of lodging in Africa. However I used to be useless drained, utterly upset, and all I wished at this cut-off date was my very own non-public room the place nobody might trouble me.

However my frustrations of the day have been removed from over.

As I used to be checking into my resort room, I handed the shady man behind the counter 4 100 Rand notes. However as I appeared away, turning to observe my bicycle exterior, the person pocketed one of many 100 Rand notes I had handed him and mentioned, “You solely gave me 300 Rand.”

“No,” I informed the person, “I gave you 400.”

“Nicely, I’ve solely acquired 300 Rand right here.” He waved the payments in entrance of my face.

“No, I gave you 400. The place did you set the opposite 100 Rand? I simply gave you 400.”

It was at this level that I knew I used to be being hustled. It was the very last thing I wished. I used to be past upset at this level already, and now this man was fucking with me.

With out asking, I jumped over the reception desk counter and started in search of the 100 Rand behind the desk, however I couldn’t discover it earlier than the person pushed me again to the opposite facet of the desk and demanded that I pay him the remaining 50 Rand.

We fought forwards and backwards for a number of minutes, however the man didn’t budge. Lastly, as a result of I used to be so drained and simply wished to stand up to my room and take a bathe, I mentioned,  “I’m going to present you one other 50 Rand. However I do know you pocketed the opposite 100 Rand I gave you and I feel you’re a fucking asshole.”

I handed the person one other 100 Rand and he thanked me. He didn’t reply within the slightest solution to my allegations towards him. As I used to be ready for my change (50 Rand) he mentioned, “I don’t have 50 Rand. I’ll provide you with it to you later.”

I couldn’t imagine it! This man needed to be kidding! I nearly head butted him when he mentioned that.

“Look!” I mentioned, “I’m going to go as much as my room. However I’m going to come back again down right here in 5 minutes and also you higher have my cash.”

It was at this second that I used to be grabbed by the hand by an previous, soiled man standing at my facet. I shortly pushed the person away from me. “Don’t contact me!” I mentioned. That’s after I realized that this previous man was carrying a unclean white city and a bar of cleaning soap. He was attempting to point out me to my room.

“That’s okay,” I attempted to inform the previous man. “I can discover the room myself.” However he didn’t perceive. The previous man wouldn’t give me the towel and he adopted me to my room. As soon as I had unlocked the door, the person confirmed me across the previous, soiled, poorly adorned room after which tried to point out me how the tv labored. In fact, I might care much less how the tv labored and I attempted to inform the person this as he struggled to get the channels to alter.

“It’s okay,” I informed the person. “I don’t watch tv. I don’t care. It’s okay. I simply wish to take a bathe and fall asleep. It doesn’t matter.”

However the man failed to go away earlier than he discovered learn how to change the channels on the TV set.

After he had managed to alter from one channel to a different (each of which have been extra static than precise programming), he requested me for cash. I knew that this was coming too. That’s why I had tried to go to the room on my own… and why I used to be attempting so laborious to get him to go away whereas he fiddled with the tv.

I used to be in a shitty, overpriced resort the place I had been conned out of 100 Rand by the person checking me into my room and now I used to be being requested for more cash by an previous man who had accomplished nothing greater than observe me to my room and annoy me for 5 minutes whereas he performed with my tv set, after I wished nothing greater than to only shut the door and take a bathe.

“I don’t have any cash,” I informed the person. “The man on the desk down there stole all my cash. Ask him for my cash while you get again down there.”

At this level the person started to whimper like just a little lady. He was really whining… and he refused to go away.

I used to be pissed! Past pissed! Tremendous pissed. I used to be livid!!!

I finally grabbed the person by his shoulders and pushed him backward out of my room, closing the door and locking it simply as quickly as he stepped out into the hallway.

Lastly, I used to be alone! I had been in Lesotho for lower than 36 hours, however I used to be greater than prepared to go away.

After showering, I locked up my bicycle contained in the resort room. I didn’t actually wish to return out on the road, however I used to be hungry and I had no meals in my possession. So I stuffed my backpack up with each single one in all my helpful objects (laptop computer, cameras, passport, pockets, iPod, and so on) and took these issues with me. The remainder of my issues I locked to the wall in my resort room.

In all my years of journey, I had by no means been extra afraid of getting my issues stolen out of my resort room than on this shady resort in Maseru, Lesotho.

After I returned to the entrance desk, I demanded my 50 Rand in cost from the person who had conned me at reception. He didn’t have it. However he bumped into the opposite room and returned a couple of minutes later with a 50 Rand word. I checked it over to ensure it was actual.

Then he mentioned, “Are you going out? If you’re going out you have to go away your key right here.”

“No approach!” I informed the person, “I’m not supplying you with the important thing to my room. I don’t belief you. I’m taking the important thing with me.” After which I assumed to myself as soon as extra, “Fuck you!” I stormed out of the resort, slamming the glass door behind me, the important thing to my room nonetheless in my hand.

Out on the streets of Maseru I used to be immediately assaulted. I wasn’t getting as a lot consideration strolling round on foot as I used to be after I was on my bicycle, however I’ll nonetheless the one white particular person I had seen (or would see) the complete time I used to be within the nation, and so I naturally obtained some consideration only for that.

I walked up the road and located a KFC quick meals restaurant. It was shit meals, however I didn’t care. I simply wished someplace comparatively secure and clear and quiet to eat, and KFC match all these necessities at that individual second.

I ordered french fries and a milkshake after which sat down at a desk to eat. Whereas consuming, I noticed that the restaurant had wi-fi Web. Different folks within the constructing have been browsing the net on their telephones and/or laptops… and since I had determined to deliver my laptop computer with me slightly than go away it within the resort room, I figured this may be the right alternative to log onto the world extensive net and vent a few of my frustrations with Lesotho to my family and friends again house.

A part of the explanation I feel touring in Lesotho (Swaziland and South Africa as properly) have been so tough for me is as a result of I used to be reduce off from my family and friends for thus lengthy whereas I used to be in these areas. As a result of lack of Web entry in these three nations, I ended up spending loads of time on my own, and when tough issues occurred to me, I had nobody to speak to. This was in all probability why I used to be so upset on the time… so I used to be trying ahead to logging onto the Web and getting out a few of my frustrations.

However after just some minutes of sitting there with my laptop computer open, a person wearing a unclean brown safety guard uniform got here as much as me and tapped me on the shoulder. “No good!” the person mentioned, “That’s no good.”

“Huh?” I responded. “I can’t use my laptop computer in right here?”

The person shook his head. He was both bullshitting me, or he wished cash. I used to be guessing the latter. There have been different folks within the KFC utilizing the Web, however he had chosen to choose on me – as soon as once more, in all probability as a result of I used to be white.

I argued with the person for only a minute earlier than sliding my laptop computer again into my backpack and strolling out.

“You’re an asshole,” I mentioned to the person as I slammed previous him and made my approach out the door. Sadly, I don’t assume he understood what I had mentioned. I might inform that he didn’t actually communicate any English.


I had been thrown out of KFC. It had been a horrible day. Greater than 1,000 folks had requested me for cash. I had 100 Rand stolen from me at my resort. I had been unable to speak to any of my pals or household again house. And I wished nothing greater than to get out of Lesotho. However I knew I had one other day of biking within the nation in entrance of me.

I had initially deliberate to spend for much longer in Lesotho. It had been the place I had been trying ahead to visiting most throughout this specific bicycle tour throughout southern Africa. However I knew that I wouldn’t final one other day within the nation. I wanted to get out… and shortly!

I returned to my resort that evening, went to mattress and awakened the following morning figuring out that I had a tough day in entrance of me. However I additionally knew that if I rode laborious and stored my wits about me, I’d sleeping in South Africa by the tip of the evening.

After carrying my bicycle down a flight of stairs, I pushed the bicycle out into the resort’s major reception space, threw my key down on the counter and mentioned to the girl now working the entrance desk, “The bathe doesn’t work. I assume you recognize that, however simply don’t care.” I walked out and didn’t say one other factor.

On the resort gate I used to be immediately surrounded by males asking for cash. One of many males, after I informed him I needed to go and that I’d not be giving him any cash mentioned, “Do you wish to take my image?”

“No!” I informed the person. I had realized that this was one of many methods folks in Lesotho attempt to get cash out of vacationers, so I wasn’t going to play this sport. “I don’t wish to take your photograph… and I’m not going to present you any cash”

“Then possibly you possibly can inform your mates about me while you get again house,” he known as out to me as I pedaled out into the busy road.

“Oh, I’ll inform them about you,” I assumed to myself. “I’ll definitely inform them about you!”

Not more than 30 meters away I used to be compelled to cease at a crimson mild. A person standing within the heart of the street approached me and mentioned, “I like your bicycle, can I’ve it?”

“No!” I nearly screamed on the man… and thought to myself, “Go away me the fuck alone!”

However the man continued. “You give me your bicycle and you’ll come again for it later. I shall be right here. You will notice me once more.”

I didn’t reply. I wasn’t going to play this man’s video games. As the person realized I wasn’t going to speak to him anymore, the sunshine turned inexperienced and I stepped up on the pedals.

The person known as out to me, “Or possibly you’ll by no means see me once more?”

I laughed. Type if crying, sort of laughing… I pedaled on.

A couple of kilometers up the street I noticed a tall, skinny man sporting nothing however a unclean, crimson blanket thrown over his shoulders operating down the street, immediately towards me, with a small guide in his hand. A spiritual guide of some sort – I might inform.

I wasn’t positive if the person was operating towards me, or if he was simply crazily operating down the street. However he was in reality operating towards me. As we approached each other, he unfold out his arms and compelled me to cease. I used to be extremely upset at this cut-off date, and in addition just a little afraid.

I attempted to push my bicycle previous the person, however he wouldn’t let me previous. He pushed the spiritual guide he was carrying in my face, mentioned some issues I couldn’t perceive in a language that I don’t communicate, spit on my the complete time he was speaking, and held out his hand, asking for a handout. I imagined he was saying, “This guide says you need to give to the poor. I’m poor, so give me cash!”

Lastly the person grew bored with me not responding to his unusual actions, so he ultimately let me move. I jumped again on the pedals and continued down the street, solely to come across an analogous situation a number of extra instances earlier than making it out of the primary metropolis.

At one level I used to be stopped by one other scantily clad man in a rag. His nipples popped out of the highest of his garb and I might inform that he was not totally sane. He mumbled in damaged English as he spoke to me. I attempted to be good and provides the person an opportunity.

“Father,” he mentioned. “Grasp. Gentle. There. Father. Reality. Reveal. Grasp.”

Talking in a single phrase phrases, I had no thought what he was saying. However the phrases he was utilizing appeared oddly spiritual.

Finally the person gave up speaking after which requested me for some cash. I pushed him out of the best way and continued down the street.

After passing a small bicycle store, I observed that I used to be quickly being adopted by a person on a motorcycle. At first I assumed that this was only a coincidence, however then I noticed that the person was really chasing me. I slowed to let him catch up. I’d slightly confront somebody than have them observe me.

I used to be extremely upset in the mean time, however I used to be nonetheless attempting to present each particular person I met an opportunity – even when the particular person I met simply minutes earlier than them had left me fuming.

The person on the bike turned out to be one of many good folks I met in Lesotho. He was the proprietor of the little bicycle shack I had handed a couple of minutes earlier than. Upon seeing me, he grabbed a bicycle and started chasing after me – anxious to listen to my story. I informed him that I had been biking from Cape City and that I had been bicycle touring in Europe for 10+ months earlier than that. We exchanged contact particulars after which he circled cycled again to his store.

As soon as I acquired out of the town, I put my headphones in and tried to close out my environment. My purpose for the day was to cycle some 70+ kilometers and cross out of Lesotho on the Ficksburg, South Africa border crossing. A part of me wished to remain in Lesotho for much longer (as a result of it was an fascinating place), however I knew that my psychological perspective wouldn’t survive on this surroundings for much longer.

After about three hours of biking out of the Maseru metropolis heart, I started questioning if I had taken the fallacious street. There had been no road indicators all day lengthy, as I used to be afraid that I had possibly gone off within the fallacious course. However simply as I started to doubt myself, I reached the hillside metropolis of Teyateyaneng – positioned on the prime of a steep mountain move.

The city ran in an extended line, primarily consisting of only one lengthy street. I finished on the first visitors circle to take a pair images of this small, but bustling metropolis.  As I started taking some photos, who males (seen within the photograph under) started combating with each other. But extra folks stared at me on my bicycle than the lads why have been punching, kicking and wrestling with each other just some meters away.


As a result of the town was perched on the prime of a giant hill, I didn’t wish to make a fallacious flip after which must climb again up the steep mountain once more, so I started asking the locals which street I wanted to take to get to the Ficksburg border crossing.

The primary few folks I requested both didn’t communicate English, didn’t know the place Ficksburg was (regardless that it was solely 30+ kilometers away), or have been merely unable to present me instructions of any sort.

Lastly, I noticed a person standing off to the left of the street… and for no matter cause, I might inform that this man was in cost.

I rode my bicycle proper as much as him and requested, “Excuse me, do you communicate English?”

The person turned towards me, as did two different males standing proper beside him, and it was at this level that I noticed they have been all carrying weapons! The person I had addressed had a small silver pistol tucked into the entrance of his pants and one other, bigger gun hanging from the left inside pocket of his vest. The person behind him had a big computerized rifle of some sort slung over his shoulder, and the third man was carrying a rifle.

I attempted to disregard the weapons utterly.

“I’m in search of the street to Ficksburg,” I informed the lads. “Are you aware which street I have to take?”

The person didn’t reply my query instantly. As a substitute, they requested me the usual three questions I used to be requested time and time once more whereas I used to be in Lesotho. “The place are you coming from? How lengthy did it take you to get right here? And the place do you sleep at evening?”

I answered the questions, the entire time glancing forwards and backwards between the lads in entrance of me and the weapons that they had of their possession. Whereas the have been speaking to me, I might see their eyes darting forwards and backwards between me, my bicycle and one thing down the street.

After the lads gave me the instructions I used to be in search of, I shook their fingers and continued on my approach. Earlier than pedaling off I thought of for only a second asking them what the weapons have been for, however ultimately determined towards it.

Nonetheless, simply down the street, I noticed what I believed to be the reply to my very own query!

At a number of factors on this lengthy, slender street main out of city have been pickup vehicles full of 4 to 6 younger males carrying weapons of all kinds – rifles, machine weapons, pistols and extra! Whereas everybody else on the road was busy buying, speaking or roaming about, there have been at the least three of those pickup vehicles positioned all through the road and full of younger males in common garments carrying all types of weapons.

I’m undecided who these males have been, why they have been carrying weapons, or why that they had positioned themselves so strategically all through the town, however I acquired the sensation that these males is likely to be native gangsters of some sort. As a result of they have been in road garments, I imagined that they have been both feuding with each other, or have been some sort of residents enforcement group, supposedly there to guard the folks of the town, both from outsiders, the police, or who know what.

I by no means stopped to ask anybody about these males, nonetheless, so I assume I’ll by no means actually know.




On the finish of the street I approached three younger cops and earlier than turning left on the street I believed would take me to Ficksburg. I requested them to verify that this was the proper street to take… and afterwards requested them if I might take their photograph. The lighting was excellent on the time and so they have been positioned in such a approach that it might have made for a very superb photograph.

However the younger cops had their eyed peeled on one of many vehicles throughout the road full of younger males carrying weapons. The officers hardly ever ever checked out me, spending most of their consideration watching these armed males within the truck.

“No, I don’t assume it’s a good suggestion,” one of many officers informed me.

“That’s okay,” I mentioned. “No drawback. Thanks!” After which I continued on my approach.


On the outskirts of city I handed via one more police street block. Then I cycled laborious for one more couple hours earlier than reaching the ultimate stretch of street that may lead me out of Lesotho and again into South Africa.



Simply as I used to be about 10 kilometers from the border, I handed three younger black males on bicycles. They have been clearly locals, however the first folks on bikes I had seen in the complete nation (in the event you didn’t depend the bike store proprietor in Maseru who had chased after me earlier within the day). Whereas two of the younger males continued down the street within the course they have been going, one of many males circled round and began following me. I finished to speak to him for a second, however he didn’t communicate any English. Nonetheless, even with the plain language barrier, I might inform that the person wished to observe me to the border.

So I cycled on and the deadlocked younger man adopted behind me on his bike. I used to be just a little anxious with him following behind me. I obtained much more unusual appears to be like from the locals now that there have been two of us. However the journey to the border was a brief one. The previous couple of kilometers have been via a unclean, but extremely energetic stretch of street, however it was nearly totally downhill, so earlier than I knew it I used to be standing on the border.

I finished to take a photograph of the busy border city, and after I circled to snap a photograph of my biking associate, he was gone.


Simply as I used to be about to step as much as the border gate and exit the nation that I had liked and hated all on the similar time (probably the most fascinating, but most demanding and annoying nation I had ever had the possibility to go to), I used to be approached by one ultimate man.

“Take my photograph!” the person requested me.

Ignorning the truth that he would probably ask me for cash after I snapped his photograph, I took out my digital camera, eliminated the lens cap, shut out the complete world round me and… CLICK!


You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Cycle Touring Pictures From Lesotho – Bicycle Touring Professional  
9to5Google Log Out: Recapping March’s Pixel update situation *  Agent reveals Cavani turned down Juventus and Milik will be signed permanently *  NBA East playoff picture: Heat control destiny for top-six seed; Sixers-Celtics battle remains tight *  *-* Erreur : SQLSTATE[HY000] [2002] Connection refusedCycle Touring Pictures From Lesotho – Bicycle Touring Professional *Cycle Touring Pictures From Lesotho – Bicycle Touring Professional