And despite almost dying on the first day and afterwards Tim coming down with Spotted Fever, Lesotho deeply impressed us, and has become one of our favorite countries.
Plus, if you watch the movie again, you'll see plenty of characters dressed in the traditional blankets that everyone in Lesotho wears. They're beautiful, practical, but I also think anyone wearing them looks like a superhero.
And for off-road adventurers, Lesotho can also provide some of the toughest tracks out there (as they say here, only a monkey with a stick can get through them).
All of Lesotho is mountainous, and over 80% of it is above 5,000 ft. in elevation (1,500 meters). They even have ski resorts, and hitting ice and snow is not infrequent. Luckily, the entirety of our time there was blessed with perfectly warm days with blue skies.
The picture turned out great (below), but the problem was that the steeply sloping ground leading to the sheer cliff was made of loose rocks and shale. Not the best material for the tires to grip onto. Tim asked me to turn on his helmet cam while he maneuvered his bike around to get back up the hill because he knew that it would either capture his success or his death... what it ended up capturing was right in-between. Because as the back tire kept kicking out rocks, it lost its grip, and eventually Tim and the motorcycle toppled over and tumbled down toward the cliff's edge!
Once we were back up the hill, we took a breather at the top to drink water with shaky hands, and I said good riddance to the waterfall where Tim nearly died. This was pure stupidity on our part (Tim admits it was mostly his part). And to think that he almost became one of those people that died at the Grand Canyon from taking a selfie! Horrible.
The next day we wove our way north past the grimy capital city of Maseru, and into a canyon-filled area that reminded me of New Mexico. We hadn't done any difficult roads, in fact, the day had been easy, but Tim kept complaining of feeling overwhelming exhaustion.
And that night, his fevers started.
A fever in Africa could be a sign of any number of awful things, from the Sleeping Sickness, to Dengue Fever, to malaria. Tim continued to feel chills and was foggy-headed on the third day, but he said he was well enough to move on.
So we headed to Katse Dam, which is an impressive dam, but more importantly for us, the road there is stunning.
I thought about mosquito bites and the diseases they carry, but then I started thinking about a particularly nasty bite on Tim's leg. I noticed how red and swollen it had gotten. Wasn't that where I had pulled a tiny tick off him just five days prior?
Either way, I smothered his bites in disinfectant, and then started Tim immediately on a round of antibiotics that we carry for emergencies like these.
The next morning he felt a bit better, but still had a headache. We had a difficult dirt road ahead of us as we made our way east from one major highway to another, but Tim tackled the challenge with flying colors. I was now feeling confident that he was suffering from an infection caused by the tick bites, and that the medicine was helping.
It turned out that he had ATBF, African Tick Bite Fever, which is a form of Spotted Fever caused by a bacteria transmitted through a specific type of South African tick. So we had a diagnosis, but best of all, it's easily treatable with the antibiotics Tim was already taking. Thank goodness!
The first part was full of tight, steep switchbacks with loose rocks and gravel. Where the rocks were too loose for traction, I would hop off and walk portions of the switchbacks. It was convenient for me to take pictures as well. Even so, Tim fell three times. I even fell while walking! I slipped on the loose rocks walking downhill and landed hard on my side like I had been skating on ice. Sani Pass is no joke!
And thanks to all of you out there who keep up with our adventures! Stay tuned, and we'll keep you updated!
Next up: Dragon Country (Drakensberg)...