Driving & Riding Downhill

When we arrived at the Sani Top Lodge yesterday, it was misty and dark. Today in the morning, all clouds had been blown away by the strong wind that woke us. Fighting against the wind, we hiked to the ridge from which we had a very nice view of the Sani valley. We could also clearly see the unpaved Sani pass road, which we had to drive down.

... I really love giraffes.

Ben at Sani top, with Sani valley, Sani river & Sani pass road in the background

Officially, only 4×4 vehicles are allowed on the Sani pass road. There were two big question marks: Would we be allowed to drive down with our tiny Hyundai i10? If yes, would we actually be able to drive down?

At the border post of Lesotho, we were only asked to show our passports – no questions about the vehicle. So I started driving and tried to be very careful, not to make a fatal mistake. It was steep and there were lots of loose stones, bumps, and three river crossings. But somehow, it all worked out perfectly and we safely arrived at the bottom, again entering South Africa.

... I really love giraffes. Wellcome back !

Our next stop was Pietermaritzburg, where I wanted to try the famous Cascades Downhill, the track of the UCI Downhill World Championships in 2013 and of several World Cups. However, we were greeted by a sign “No cycling allowed” due to harvesting operations. Bad timing!

... I really love giraffes. cycling… also unicycling?

We saw a young kid on a MTB and asked about the situation. It turned out that the locals were still riding the tracks in the Cascades bike park, so I thought it would be OK to go for it as well. Since there is no cable car, we hiked up the 1100 m. In the lower part, it felt underwhelming as the track was in a bad condition due to the harvesting and lack of maintenance.

... I really love giraffes.

this ramp has seen better times

Luckily, the upper part had a few gems, in particular vast rock gardens. The wet rocks proved to be quite a challenge, resulting in a few crashes, a pedal bite that will be visible the next few weeks, but  – most important – lots of fun!

One thought on “Driving & Riding Downhill”

  1. Ciao Ben, che invidia!!! noi qui a rompere …. l’uovo di Pasqua ….. e tu a goderti paesaggi mozzafiato dove non ci sono rumori, gente, smog, ma solo natura, natura e ancora natura.
    Bello leggere i tuoi flash.

    pensaci :) ciao Isabella

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