A business trip to Juneau. My first business trip. And it couldn’t have gone better. Well, that’s not true. It could have gone better. My client could have shown up, or even simply returned my phone calls. But it went … Continue reading →
The new job started. And the night before my first day, I drove the hour from Anchorage to Palmer. Being sure to stop at the bulk warehouse for provisions.
The cabin in the woods is perfect. It’s secluded and beautiful. There are two goats and one old sheep dog. And actually four cabins. The main cabin, the writer’s cabin, the gear cabin, and the loner cabin that is high above. Oh, and the outhouse.
And there are friends staying here too. BH is cabin sitting until October and dating a friend of mine who lives in Anchorage. I first met BH months ago when he moved up here to do environmental work. BH is awesome.
Then there is RP who arrived at the cabins the week before me. He previously had been studying kung fu in Minneapolis and baking artisan bread in Vermont before that. And I can vouch for the bread. It’s amazing.
I am here until I find something more permanent. Not a bad transition.
Why Alaska? It’s the most common question I’ve heard this past year. And while I try not to repeat myself too much, mountains usually figure somewhere in my answer. And this past Saturday was a great time in the mountains. … Continue reading →
My body is horribly sensitive to suggestion. So much so that when someone told me they got into work at 4am on Tuesday, I woke up at 4am the next day. And then the next. And the next.
Usually I think of this as a curse. This morning, however, I put being awake at 4am to good use. Topo and I went to the coastal trail and slid down the dirt path onto the small sandy beach. I took pictures (only this one came out). Topo sniffed around for food and got really muddy in the mud flats. The sun stayed below the mountains but just barely.
This last layover was in Frankfurt am Main, the same city I stayed in on my very first trip to South Africa. Life has a very strange way of coming full circle sometimes. It was an early morning arrival, I … Continue reading →
My last day in Cape Town, I went with friends wine tasting in and around Stellenbosch. The day was a scorcher and Marieke and I both were badly sunburned from our weekend escapades. We jumped from shady spot to … Continue reading →
Summer is in full swing in South Africa and you can’t miss this in Cape Town. There is a beautiful blue sky everyday and hot sun that absolutely bakes the city. Fortunately, there are beaches in just about every direction. … Continue reading →
My return to Cape Town was accompanied by my first use of Couchsurfing, a service that I’d heard a great deal from traveling in South America earlier this year as well as from friends. My gracious hosts were Alex and … Continue reading →
Cape Town was the first thing I thought of when I learned I would be returning to SA (MS, you were a close second). Over a year later, it is now the last moments I have here. I have maintained … Continue reading →
I left Malealea early on Monday, leaving my friend behind with his own plans to sleep in and then continue on to Swaziland. It’s bittersweet to spend such a short amount of time in such a grand landscape and I … Continue reading →
Lesotho is 90% Christian and so even though Malealea is a small community, it still manages to have three churches plus a mission project. We followed some local girls to what we thought was the Roman Catholic church but ended up at a graduation for Bible School students.
The message very mission oriented complete with an interpreter and the singing was everything you’d expect from an African service. So we stayed for the music but that was cut short by lunch which gave way to a local soccer match (with more singing). Complete with Puma uniforms.
This night, my last, was also my favorite. We went a bit out of the village to the top of a hill as the sunset and then took some photos of the stars.
An Afrikaner South African giving the message in English.
Psalm 23 in the local language, Sesotho.
Kids queue for lunch.
The girls were not impressed with the soccer match and much more excited to play hand games.
On the next day, we headed back down into the valley and followed the river downstream. The locals who had pointed us toward the waterfalls before were now confused why we would be heading the other way. The walk was … Continue reading →
Our first day’s hike took us down into the valley, upstream along the river and finally to some waterfalls, we then headed up to return on higher ground. The day was hot and dry. I wrapped my kikoy around me … Continue reading →
Last week I had yet another visitor, my good friend JRG, who flew into Jozi on Tuesday. This is a strange overlap for us as he is beginning two months travel in southern Africa and these are my last weeks in South Africa but it is always a treat to have someone from home to host.
We headed out Thursday morning to Lesotho to make a long weekend of it, having checked out transport options the day before. You can take a taxi (they call them taxis, I would call it a minibus) from Park Station, Johannesburg to Maseru Bridge border crossing for R180 (US$20). We got to Park at about 8:30am and didn’t head out until 11:45am; traveling by taxis is probably one of the cheapest ways to get around but it also requires a lot of patience and good humour.
Joburg to Malealea = 510km in about 11hrs.
Starting out in Park Station.
We were the only white people. Amazing.
The open road from Joburg to Maseru looked a lot like Nebraska.
A bit cramped in the minibus.
Heading over a pass right as a storm is approaching, we made it before dark and before the rain hit.
The only lodge in Malealea.
Super fancy digs.
Crossing into Lesotho was super easy. No complicated questions, no hassle, and no visa required. It’s also simple since Lesotho’s currency is pegged to South Africa’s and Lesotho uses the two currencies interchangeably.
We arrived into Maseru sometime after 3pm and the tourist office wasn’t super supportive of our plan to continue on to Melealea that afternoon. But we were plenty sure that we didn’t want to spend a night in the capital, so off we went to yet another taxi rank. This one was a little bit more difficult to navigate, less English speakers and truly unhelpful directions. However with a little determination and the help of a local, we found it–a tiny taxi jammed full of people about to head out to Malealea and got the last two seats (R50/US$6).
Maseru was by no means a teeming capital city. But still, as we made into the country, the quietness was remarkable. The smells and sounds of downtown Jozi and Maseru faded quickly into memory, then we had only pastures and mountains before us.
As we climbed a pass, a storm crept our way; staring directly at it and I could have sworn it was ready to eat us. But it was not to be so. We made it to the Lodge’s gates both before dark and before the storm hit. By the time it started raining, we already arranged a room and were pouring over maps for the next day’s hike.
The hearing from 28th was rescheduled to today and I don’t know why anything would happen other than another reschedule.
We handed over our ‘written submission’–a summary of our arguments as argued before the judge on the 25th–but the submission only prompted the judge to give another week to the government to prepare. So it’s another week until the hearing on bail continues.