by Sarah Sawers

Mountain Biking - Blog Entry 3

Spine of the Dragon - Blog Entry 3

Spine of the Dragon - Blog Entry 3
Spine of the Dragon - Blog Entry 3
Day 20: Phut’s to Libono
Start: Phuthaditjhaba
Finish: Libono
Distance: 34.5km
Climb: 1060m

Today we knew we couldn’t ride very far as there was a mountain barrier to be climbed in order to get into the heart of Lesotho. From here we will navigate south and this part of the trail needs to be tackled with a full day ahead, so we had just 35 km to ride to Libono, a small Lesotho village where we stay with the local community.  
 
We took an early morning amble through the sprawling suburbs of Phuthaditjhaba to the start of the long climb up Monantsa Pass. It took a little under two hours to reach the border post, check out of South Africa and meet the chilling Lesotho wind!
 
After a quick descent of the pass into the Caledon Valley, the feel of Lesotho hit the riders. “Wow, nothing like home was the response! And it really is very different.
 
The roads along the Caledon are great for mountain biking as they are not very well maintained and give a great first-look as to what can be expected in the next week or so.
 
After a few hours of ambling leisurely and many stops for photos we arrived at Libono to start the traditional ‘making of arrangements’ with Chief Napo for our stay. We were made to feel very welcome.
 
The mood in the group was of subdued excitement as we had all seen the snow covered barrier we would climb the next day!

For more photographs and info: www.detourtrails.co.za
 
 
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