The stunning beauty of Lesotho, and why when so many CHAI colleagues ask me if I like being based here I always say yes! The pictures say it all. If your a motorbike enthusiast and want to know the logistics, please refer to the map. A demonstration video of how NOT to ride very rocky terrain is attached below for your viewing pleasure.
The Lesotho team spent a few days in January developing a new strategy and better understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
With a combination of challenges, including rope swings, and bridges, and spaghetti bridge building, Heather got our creative juices flowing. The two days culminated with some intense brainstorming sessions which generated in excess of 100 ideas for the team to investigate back at the office.
These type of events always bring surprises and help us reset some of our basic expectations. People that you wouldn’t expect to be scared of a dog or a rope climb struggle, people you think might give up often persevere. These events help us recognise that people are dynamic, intricate and often have complex motivations for why they do what they do.
Summer is beer season, and this summer past I was able to celebrate the season by attending three boutique beer festivals! Happy days of sunshine, crisp brews, camping, brisk morning swims to clear the cobwebs, and delicious festival food. A lot of reminders of another day, and other times at the Australian Boutique Beer Festival with the boys. Speaking of which, I hear that the 10th Annual Australian Beer Festival to be held in Octob er this year will also celebrate the Australian Hotels 100th Birthday!
Of the beer festivals attended this season, the first was the Komo Caves Glamping and Beer Festival in Lesotho, the second the Sands Boutique Beer Festival in Johannesburg and the third was the very popular Clarens Boutique Beer Festival. All were good in their own way, The Komo Caves setting was stunning, facilities impressive and the partying the most passionate of the lot, with revelers dancing through until at least 2am. The Sands was convenient, being in Sandton and their was a pool, which earns bonus points all ways. Clarens was the classiest, with the most and best beers, good food, and a easy, laid back setting with great organisation. Real shame about the rain this year.
At the end of February I was lucky enough to shown one of my colleagues favorite places in Lesotho, Qulalane Falls. The only condition was that I take her on the back of the bike over the two mountain passes that had to be crossed to get to the hike starting point . We set out early from Maseru on a sunny Saturday, with two other friends joining in a car to make a convoy of it.
The pictures below show the hike in, and the falls. What they do not show is the thunderstorm that rolled in while we hiked back after lunch. They don’t show the hail, flash flooded roads, lightning and thunder. Most spectacular and scary of all was the fountains created as rain water poured down the gutters and hit piles of rocks in its path, spraying water 2 meters in the air and all over the road.
The bad weather created an interesting moral dilemma. It placed me in a position where I felt that it was an unnecessarily high risk for my colleague to ride on the back of the bike. Especially given there was room in the dry, warm, comparatively safer car, and my colleague did not have a proper jacket. My colleague disagreed, passionately, so I drove off without her, removing her freedom of choice. Was this right or wrong?
Thanks also to Max for the group shot and a few of these photos
The peach harvest has come quite late in Lesotho, in my mind, but it is here now, and I’m leaving again! Never mind, there was time in the weekend to harvest, wash, pickle and eat!
Reminded me of Peaches & Cream festival back home in cobram, which according to Wikipedia is Australias oldest festival! Shame that the only other decent reference to it dates back to 1997 on Silverchairs website!