A couple weeks before we were booked to go, we started throwing around the idea of asking our neighbors to join us. We had gathered that they also wanted to take a vacation during the school break and thought we could enjoy some time away together. Because of the school schedule, we had to adjust our dates and plans a bit but we were able to settle on four nights in side-by-side cottages. Each cottage came with a row boat and we decided to grill out every night for dinner. We were all so excited!
And we're off!
I was most disappointed for Kyle and Joy (our neighbors' daughter). Kyle kept saying, "I am so sad we can't go to our boat vacation." Joy, who had chattered excitedly the whole way to the pass, barely said a word all the way back to Mokhotlong. From the looks of it, we were sure it would take at least a few days, if not longer, to fix the road. As we drove back, I started pondering our options for going towards the west using the other road out of Mokhotlong. We already knew of a few places we might be able to stay, if they had availability, about four/five hours from here. After running the idea by our friends, we inquired about a place I found online and booked for that night!
....Are we there yet?"
"See, Mom, I got out of the tree all by myself!"
Studying under the willow tree
Ellee is completely smitten with Ntate and Mme Mosoang.
We ended up on a quiet farm in the lowlands, each family with our own cottage. We grilled our dinners every night and had fun playing some football (soccer) in the yard around the farm. There were two ponies and a donkey for the kids to visit just outside our front door! The kids enjoyed splashing in the pool and we did a little shopping and sightseeing in the small towns nearby. Our days were spent relaxing mostly, napping and just playing with the kids. Although it wasn't exactly the lakeside holiday we had been looking forward to, it was still delightful. And because this place was cheaper, we stayed five nights instead of four.
Beautiful patio overlooking the South African countryside.
This child was almost to the top of the ladder before we realized she had gone anywhere. A monkey!
One morning we went to a tourist site only about ten minutes from where we were staying. It is the end of a gigantic underground tunnel which stretches 90 km from high in the Lesotho mountains down to the lowlands in Orange Free State. The tunnel was drilled for the purpose of exporting water from Lesotho to South Africa. Dams are being built within Lesotho to further direct water sources to export tunnels. I was completely fascinated by the size of the tunnel and the amount of water rushing out!
A piece of the tunnel to give you an idea of the size. There was a plaque that said three people had died during the drilling and placement of it.