The Highest Country in the World – Heading to Roma

We were there first time in the winter, as the temperature differences we were experience might have hinted at.  Spring was in the air though, and I saw trees with a delicate pink blossom in so many back gardens and fringing fields.  I was told they were the peach blossom, a delicacy in Lesotho.  They decorated what was otherwise a dull brown landscape, the bare fields had no crops in, the rocks were clear of any moss, and the dirt roads were the same colour as the soil.  We were grateful for any colour we could see.

That is not to say how gorgeous the scenery looked on this bright sunny cold morning, with the blue sky as a backdrop to contrast against the land…. it was just a little monotone. Roma itself nestles at the foot of the first serious step up of altitude, so the backdrop to the city is a stunning set of escarpments and the odd stand alone mountain.  Immediately striking of these were how similar they were to the Basotho hat building and headgear that were a symbol of the country.  A plug of hard square rock atop, a uniform scree all round that formed the cone.

Southern Africa is the place in Africa where you see the locals all covered in clothes – wrapped up in balaclavas, scarves, sheepskin coats, moon boots, and the cold of a Lesotho winter made everyone put on everything they owned and head for the nearest fire.  At this elevation, it took people much longer to warm up than in Maseru.  I wondered how they coped up in the true highlands.  Even when we reached the university we found the lecturer we had come to meet huddled around a three bar electric fire.

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