Day One

We woke up with massive anticipation after a great night’s sleep.  Josh couldn’t stop raving about the benefits of double bagging, which is to say, sleeping inside two sleeping bags.

After a quick breakfast, the chain ladders awaited.  They were as gusty as I’ve ever known them to be, and with full packs this is always a bit of fun.  Mont Aux Sources was the first checkpoint on the GT, and is really as easy as pie.  On the way up we found a cairn and plaque marking the place where two young people succumbed to the elements.  We took a moment to reflect on what could have gone wrong.  It’s always a combination of two or more of these elements:

Inexperience

Inadequate equipment

Weather

We crossed the first two off in our minds, and carried on with the saunter knowing that the third is beyond our control.

After bagging the peak and slapping high-fives we headed downhill on the South facing slope.  There is lots of snow, thigh deep and we are both grateful for good waterproof pants.  Very much worth the investment.  My boots on the other hand, are thoroughly wet.  Due to an underestimated repair time, my first choice waterproof boots were still in a factory somewhere, and my second choice boots were only 16km old and not quite waterproof.  Rookie? It was to become the bane of my existence.

Through the day we saw seven or so abandoned kraals with accompanying huts, it seems that this late in the season the herdsmen take their livestock further down into Lesotho.  The walking was beautiful and we did not expect this much water in the rivers of Lesotho.  In fact, we had good water readily available almost the whole hike.  We arrived at Rat Hole cave at 4:30 without too much strain.  This cave lives up to its name, and is a long tube about 1m in diameter.  Very comfortable, warm and sheltered.  Just weird sleeping head to toe.  If you are keen on caves, this is definitely one to visit.  We listened to some Monty Python on my iPod and dozed off after a great day.

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