Thanks guys for joining me on my first official episode of Adventure Calls we're here in South Africa about three hours outside Johannesburg and I am heading to the country of Lesotho.
Lesotho is a tiny country within South Africa known for its beautiful sceneries, lots of mountains and Lesotho ponies.
So one of the difficulties about being in South Africa is they drive on the opposite side of the road than in the States, Also I'm driving a standard and it's on the wrong side of the road as well and I just learned how to drive a standard a few months ago.
So it should be interesting, let's see how it goes.
Off to Lesotho we go! The spectacular mountainous country of Lesotho is completely landlocked within South Africa and about five hours drive from Johannesburg.
The capital of Maseru is a sprawling modern city with everything that entails.
We would however stick to the rural areas and explore the back country roads and the unbelievable scenery the country has to offer.
We just crossed the border into Lesotho about an hour ago.
One of the easier border crossings I've ever experiencedwhich was quite a treat seeing as we are in Africa and we have a car.
Never crossed a border with a car before so that went very smoothly.
Now we're heading to a lodge called Malealea in a very remote corner of southern Lesotho.
It's known for pony trekking and hiking, a lot of outdoor activities it's also really known to support the local community with orphanages and schools, also very conservational so it's all in all a really good place to support.
If you check it out, the scenery around here, is absolutely stunning we're heading into a valley on this incredibly bumpy dirt road, lots of potholes.
I'm super stoked to have this truck, so we don't end up on the side of the road.
But check out the scenery, it's absolutely amazing.
Malealea Lodge is about a two-hour ride from the capital.
The lodge has a great variety of affordable accommodation options.
We would stay in the camping area in our sweet rooftop tent which would be our home for the next few weeks.
So one of the main reasons that I came to Lesotho was because there is a huge equine population.
And when I was researching, I found out about you because you're a local legend in Lesotho I've heard because you were sponsored to make a bid at the Beijing Olympics for showjumping.
And I've been riding since I was about four years old.
So tell me a little bit abouthow you got started showjumping.
My father had so many donkeys.
Donkeys? Donkeys not horses.
They decided to come to Lesotho to find a few riders to go to Germany and train.
They set up a camp in Maseru in the police station.
I think almost all of them they were from Maseru and then the rest were police.
And then most of the police they only know horses from the training and then my experience with horses started when I was really young.
So in terms of comparing the riding in Lesotho and in Germany.
it's so different Even the horses were just so big.
So how long were you in Germany and how long did you train for? We were in Germany altogether nine months.
So you were bid to go to the Olympics and then what happened? Unfortunately they couldn't get big fishes in with enough money to sponsor us all the way through.
Really an honor to meet you.
I think your story is so inspiring and amazing and I hope that you can inspire young kids all around the world.
That is really what I want to do.
So one of the major draw cards for Lesotho is pony trekking which we're about to go on about a 5 hour per day pony ride overnight to a really remote village somewhere out in the mountains.
We ride Basuto Ponies, which are local ponies in Lesotho.
They're known for being super sturdy and really sure-footed because we're gonna be going on some serious mountain passes.
After about six hours of horse trekking, my ass is pretty sore we arrived in our overnight village which is super remote in the middle of this amazing scenery in Lesotho.
We trekked up and down some of the craziest terrain you can ever imagine on horseback.
I can't believe the horses stayed sound and didn't trip or fall.
Up and down mountains, through gorges, crossing rivers, up riverbeds with huge boulders, it's pretty amazing.
So we're staying the night in this village here and it should be pretty interesting.
We don't have any power, we're staying in local huts and we brought all our own food, so it should be pretty cool.
Who's your friend? Oh and I've got this tiny little puppy that's my new best friend.
Our next stop would be near the town of Semonkong where you can find one of the world's highest waterfalls.
It is an easy and very picturesque drive not to be missed if you are headed to Lesotho.
I'm here at Maletsunyane, which is one of Lesotho's most famous sites.
There's not a lot of tourists around, so we're super lucky.
I'm like the only one here.
It's one of the highest waterfalls in southern Africa.
These cliffs are super steep and I'm not really that cool with heights at all.
So I'm not personally the hugest fan of HDR, but in this circumstance it's perfect.
HDR you take several different shots of high exposure, low exposure and everything in between and combine them for post.
And as you can see with this waterfall, it's totally dark and then we've got blown out places over here and the sky is extremely blown out.
So when you do HDR, you create the perfect exposure.
So this is kind of the perfect scenario for HDR photography.
I just finished driving over a Matebeng pass, which was pretty insane.
Definitely the most gnarly four-wheel driving I've ever done.
Up and down mountains, over boulders, through these crazy switchbacks.
Super, super steep.
It's a pretty incredible drive but I'm definitely glad to be over hopefully the worst part.
Took about three, three and a half hours and now I'm heading to one of the smaller towns.
Hopefully we can find some civilization, in the next couple of hours.
One of the things when coming to Lesotho, I really wanted to make sure I did was give back to the local community.
I feel like I travel a lot and it's really important to give back.
And in my case I raised money with a GoFundMe, to give school supplies for kids.
So I raised money for pencil cases, pencils, crayons, sharpeners, erasers and calculators.
And I'm about to go give them to a local school in the area.
All the schools in the area have signs.
It's about the only thing in Lesotho that has signs but it always mentions the schools in the area.
So hopefully the more remote the better.
I'm really excited to make some kids day, should be fun! The educational system in Lesotho is really quite remarkable and the adult literacy rate is above most of Africa's as well as many countries in the world.
Primary education in Lesotho is free and we're very happy to learn that Lesotho to some extent has managed to bridge the gender gap with women holding many of the important jobs in both the government and the private sector.
We truly hope that this trend will continue for the future generations of empowered women.
We would like to take this chance to say thank you to those of you who helped us provide a few materials for these awesome children.
A few school supplies is not going to change the world but I can guarantee you that it did make a few children's day.
as well as ours.
This is my last stop in Lesotho.
I'm incredibly sad to leave this country.
I feel like I've haven't had enough time even though I've spent almost nine days here.
The country has been absolutely breathtaking from its genuine people, to its rich culture, mountain scenery, incredible views.
I'm heading over Sani Pass, which is the pass you see in front of me.
And it's heading into South Africa.
So one more bumpy dirt road and I'm in South Africa.
Sani Pass is pretty infamous, people have actually died on this pass.
There's a lot of switchbacks and gravel roads so I'm pretty curious to see what kind of off-roading we get into.
Join me on my next episode, which will be in Kruger National Park.
Thanks for watching.
We really hope you enjoyed this episode, just as we enjoyed living it.
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Thank you for watching and stay tuned for the next time Adventure Calls!.