Home» Adventure » Bicycle Ride through Lesotho

CHAPTER 1

A hundred kilometres of cycling lay ahead of me, so I decided it would be best to leave Maseru early in the morning.

I munched down two pears and an apple I had bought from a hawker the afternoon beforehand, filled my two empty 500ml Coke bottles with water and fitted them to the bags on my bicycle, and I rode off.

The air felt so fresh. Even the smell of smoke from the early morning fires seemed nice.
Once I hit the main road, Kingsway, with the National Geographic magazines adding to the weight of my luggage, I realised I was not the only early riser in Lesotho.

People were making their way to work on foot. They were a mixed bunch: some men were in traditional clothing, which in Lesotho is a blanket, a woollen hat or a straw Basutho hat and gumboots. Sometimes men carried sjamboks.

There were women dressed in jeans and modern shoes; others wore more traditional long dresses. Then there were all the people in various uniforms: security guards and school children.

Off Kingsway, in Moshoeshoe Avenue, named after the king who was the founder of the Basutho nation, informal traders were removing the plastic covering they had put over their stalls the night before.

Some were stoking fires on which they would cook mealies and meat that they would sell to passers-by.

A couple of children started running alongside me, trying to chat while I was having to concentrate on keeping on the very left of the road for fear of all the traffic.

Just as I felt comfortable enough on the road to give some attention to these children on my left and start a brief conversation, a minibus taxi appeared from nowhere and, to my right, a grown-up man started chatting to me through a window.

Well, at least everyone's friendly, I thought.

As I turned into a bigger, busier road I realised more and more that simply for my safety I owed it to myself to keep my eyes on the road.

The traffic sped by so fast.

A brief nod of the head would have to be enough to return people's greetings.

People stood waiting for lifts in taxis, which would come to sudden halts in front of me.
They chatted on their cell phones, waved at friends in cars passing by. Occasionally I would pass another cyclist but these folks were few in Lesotho compared with other countries.

Not surprisingly so. Lesotho is horse country and it's famous for its special breed of horse, known as the Basutho Pony, which is well suited to galloping about in high, steep mountain country.

Some years ago, horses would have been a fairly common sight in Maseru. But that was no longer. I never even saw one. In fact, I was to see my first horse about four hours' cycling out of the capital city. Maseru and much of Lesotho had become very modern.

It was perfect cycling weather. The rain was threatening but it never actually fell, except for a few drops here and there.

Image: Duncan Guy, CC-BY-SA

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Tell us how life has changed in your home area. Have things rapidly become more modern compared with only a few years ago?

Comments

Post your comment »

  1. 30 Nov. 2012
    110. Ms+Dlaminih. says

    kind of boring

    Report this comment
  2. 25 Oct. 2012
    109. (c)(H)Mr+Smith(H)(c) says

    Government promising 2 tak care of us,aftr votin they 4get us.our road make dasert,n wen is rain u liv car at road.help plz

    Report this comment
  3. 14 Oct. 2012
    108. Shegzeez says

    Nice one........

    Report this comment
  4. 3 Oct. 2012
    107. Hero says

    Lyf n da way ppl live in my town has changed a lot over da years,ppl r more morden than those years ago...

    Report this comment
  5. 13 Aug. 2012
    106. Ms+Ronaldo says

    Well in ma area things hve changed a lot n this is a great story it teachs us not to independent to taxi n dat u can even take a ride with a biycle

    Report this comment
  6. 9 Aug. 2012
    105. ;)+QUEEN+FOX+;) says

    This story is amazing nd the change in the area is improving. there a women dressed in jeans and in modern shoes nd their where less horses around thn before nd people had cell phones coz thy whr those who chatted nd there whr taxis some of the things have not improve coz same mean wore thr trandtional cloths ...

    Report this comment
1| 2| 3| 4| ... 16| 17| 18| 19 >