Sunday, July 5, 2009

Snow on the Malutis

A crisp, clear winter morning simply begged us to ride out into the mountains

Last Saturday morning my husband and I set off on our motorbike. We hadn't had a ride this holiday so we decided to do a quick run to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. You can read about one of our previous trips here.

All bikers will know that when you ride out, you choose a road with "twisties" (turns and winding corners) and long sweeping mountain passes. All South African bikers will know that, in this country, you opt for the road with the least pot-holes! The route we took here, fitted all our requirements.

34 kms/ 22 miles from home we turned east and within minutes the air was even colder than before. In the distance to the right of us, lay the Maluti Mountains. They were white with snow.

The Maluti Mountains form the border between Lesotho and South Africa.

My husband, who is used to North African heat, claps his hands together for warmth

Even though we always expect the cold in winter, it still comes as a shock when we experience it. The temperatures in general had been below zero (well, -1°C ; give a warmblooded South African a break!) but on this day, I'm sure it had dipped to minus ten! Although we're always dressed for biking (i.e. safety first and warmth a close second), we still felt the extreme cold. When my husband stopped for me to take photos and for us to thaw (his words!) I had to warm my thrice-gloved hands on the exhaust before I could risk taking my camera out of its bag.

By Northern Hemisphere standards, this doesn't seem like extreme weather. But for warm-blooded Africans, this is C - O - L - D!

The Maluti Mountains in the distance covered with snow for the first time this winter

For more Scenic Scenes around the world, click here


  1. You did this for fun?

    I must tell you about comfy sofas, good books and log fires,


  2. LOL GG! I know, I know! We are blessed that we do this for fun and not out of necessity. For instance, today in South Africa is a dull, grey and freezing day. If dh was here, we'd definitely not be riding out on the bike. We'd be doing what I'm doing: lolling on a comfy chair, (when I've finished at the computer) cat on lap, reading (well, I'll be knitting) and enjoying the warmth of our home. Thanks for popping in. (((Hugs))) Jo

  3. The scenery is beautiful but for fun??? I love your sense of adventure. I never realized you got snow, except for Kilimanjaro. Then again a lot of people are surprised that it snows in Australia.

  4. Hi Diane;) yes, people are surprised we have snow, mainly on the mountains. The area where we live, does experience a [light] snowfall every couple of years. By that I mean, you wake up and it's snowed during the night. The whole world is white. By midday or within 24 hours the snow has melted and you're left with mud and slush! Thanks for popping in.

  5. A really beautiful landscape!! My daughter was in Africa, in Namibia last autumn!

  6. Wow, great scenery. What a wonderful post.
    Thanks Jo for sharing.

  7. My hubby has always thought it would be fun to get a bike and go off on adventures. I don't think we'd do it in winter, though! Fun post - thanks for sharing.

  8. Beautiful pictures Jo. I'm with some of the others, biking in cold weather, not my idea of fun. ;o)

  9. You two must have had a gorgeous ride. All I can say is WOW....

    We have a twisty-curvy road not far from us which motorcycles LOVE. It is called the Tail of the Dragon.. Very popular place as you can imagine.


  10. THese are beautiful photos Jo - I really envy you the bike trip through the bush and you seem to have a great sense of adventure. I always enjoy the posts from Africa and it is partly a nostalgia trip for me, taking me back to our years in Tanzania. The upside down seasons there were great, I loved the fires in our Southern Highlands home in Iringa in June, July and August, we had an abandoned kid housed on the hearth for a few months there back in the early 90s. Happy days! I guess S. Africa gets more snowy mountain ranges than Tz. which only has the equatorial snow on Kilimanjaro. Thanks for your comments on my post on BBQs - I replied over there if you want to see it.

  11. Hi Marju;) thanks for your kind comments. Yes, Namibia is beautiful - very different to Southg Africa, stark and vast but awesome.

    Hi Regina, thanks for visiting. Bless you.

    Hi Nan;) fortunately our winters are mild, although we South Africans complain about the temperatures. We always do long trips on the bike, winter and summer (4000 kms/w500 mile trips) but this time could only do a day sortie! I'll be posting on these soon. Thanks for popping in. (((Hugs)))

    Hi Jackleen; yes we do have fun and are blessed to be able to still do this. Trust you are enjoying your visit in the US.

    Hi Betsy;) THANKS! your Tail of the Dragon sounds awesome. We have a mountain range in one province stretches a huge distance into another, called the Drakensberg. Translated this is the Dragons Back but it's not motorcycling country, rather hiking/mountaineering country. We have been to these mountains by bike and camped in the valleys. Thanks for popping in. (((Hugs)))

    Hi Catherine;, thanks for popping in and your interesting comments on Tz. I'd LOVE to visit that beautiful country. Believe it or not, my hubby and I are planning a motorbike trip up to Tanzania to visit Lynda. It's going to be challenging but worth it all round. (((Hugs))) Jo

    PS Off to see all your blogs.

  12. I'm late getting here Jo but so glad I made it! What fabulous scenery, I'd love to have been there on the bike. Mind you, not so sure about the cold weather, I'm definitely a fair weather pillion! We had great weather for our holiday, almost too hot one day - even on the move! Your summer biking probably feels like that all the time.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo