Because we cannot find the Inn we book a room in the Grand National Hotel in the city center. This is a big mistake. A bad hotel: no shower or toilet on the room and a grumpy manager who is trying to cheat us with the drinks (white wine only available by the bottle). Fortunately we dine in a nice restaurant just around the corner.
The swimming pool of the house of Llew and Nelly
The nice hall with view of the garden and dining room
Llew shows us around: a beautiful house with a small garden and adjoining pool gated community. We stay in a luxury room with private shower and toilet. From six o’ clock onwards more guests arrive, from a sympathetic artist called Patrick and a very wealthy businessman to a Danish couple who own a farm in Ladybrand (South Africa) and the Ambassador of Ireland. The home help, together with Nelly, has cooked a delicious meal which we eat inside and on the terrace. Approx. 22 o’ clock the electricity goes down, something we will encounter more often in Maseru. An emergency generator helps out.
Maseru with on the left Pope’s field
Back home the water is out. Since this morning, just after we have put our laundry in the washing machine. We us water from the pool to flush the toilet. After a relaxed afternoon we have a meal in the Chinese restaurant in the nearby shopping mall.
Marlies as hostess
The wet veranda
The lovely garden
Next we go to buy some souvenirs from Lesotho and do some shopping in the mall for dinner. With Nelly we play a game of Scrabble (english version). Nelly (who is French!) wins! After a delicious meal of Albertien, Frits and Llew are watching a Western on DVD with half-liters of beer and chips at hand.
The breathtaking view
Nelly and Albertien enjoying the sun
In the information center they serve coffee with lots of cookies and we enjoy in the sun the breathtaking view on the central mountains of Lesotho. At half past one we arive at the lodge in Katse Village. Because a group of South Africans has just arrived, we cannot stay in the lodge. They offer us a house that was formerly used by the workers on the Katsedam.
The reservoir with water inlet
View on the reservoir
Frits and Albertien in the botanical garden
The botanical garden
It’s all very basic but good enough for an overnight stay. We visit the botanical garden, a rough version of normally well kept garden. At night we enjoy the buffet in the restaurant of the lodge. On the terrace the South Africans indulge in their own braai.
Notice board in the information center of Katse Dam
Lesotho gets no water from the dam, only some electricity from the Muella power plant. All with money on loan from South Africa and a grant from the EC (according to Llew). With three cars we drive to and over the dam and visit the dam on the inside (forbidden to take photo’s!). It is an enormous complex with 12 floors and contol capabilities of the water level.
The Katse Dam
Entrance to the interiour of the Katse Dam
View on the information center (to the left)
Albertien looks at the reservoir
The river beyond the dam
Sign in honour of the commissioning
Nelly is taking notes
On the way back to Maseru again we stop at the Information Center of the Bokong Nature Reserve to make a short walk at the summit.
Walking trail at height
Because of the many climbs we are pretty tight in gasoline. By driving economically we manage to reach a small vilage with a petrol station with unleaded gasoline. Twenty kilometers before Maseru we end up in a police trap. Because Albertien follows a car without having been authorised herself, we are accused of committing a crime. It appears to be a canny way of police bribery. The policeman wants 20 ZAR to buy a drink.As a farewell dinner Llew invites us to the Ocean Basket, a good seafoodrestaurant in the mall.