We had an amazing visit to the African mountain kingdom of Lesotho. After crossing the border into this small country in the center of South Africa, we made our way to Malealea Lodge where Dan spent a few idylic weeks on his backpacking tour over 20 years ago. It has grown in size but the ethos has remained the same. The lodge has a storied history of supporting the local community and running pony treks across the far mountains. It is entirely off the grid using solar power and running water from nearby streams. We stayed in a traditional rondavel (round stone house) and took part in the local projects. On one day we visited a local school program where Maggie made a guitar from recycled materials and Jane made a doll from scraps of yarn and cardboard. Later Maggie played in the local band - all members playing recycled instruments. Although Lesotho is poor, the people are rich in culture and tradition. Music and dancing are everywhere. On our drive across the country we saw at least four schools filled with children practicing dances. We were sung to at every turn it seemed.
Later we took an epic pony ride across the hills and into a deep valley. After leaving the horses, we hiked below to visit two caves with ancient drawings of the San bushmen. We sketched them for the morning and then returned to the lodge. The staff are all locals, proud of their heritage and friendly with visitors. We highly recommend Lesotho to other adventurers.