Jules goes to Sani Pass

IMG_9032What better day to celebrate this Canadian’s birthday than on American Independence Day? Did I dress in red, white, and blue for the obnoxious affair? You betcha.

Gargi and I had been secretly plotting Jules’ birthday surprise for a few weeks – birthdays can get lonely in remote places without the comforts of familiar friends and family to make the day special. We did our best, and I’d like to think we pulled it off splendidly.

Pizza dinner, mini apple pies (because #America) with sad little birthday candles, gifts of scarves and a picture frame, and a giddy announcement that we’d be leaving the following morning for Sani Pass – my favourite 🙂

Jules cried. I caught it on video and will be sending it to her family.

IMG_8897The next morning the crew plus ‘M’e Nthabeleng left for the beautiful pass, where we were met by gale-force winds, brown landscape, and, despite it all, the usual breathtaking scenery. I die every time.

IMG_8942Julie made good use of her new scarves, while I ended up looking like a colourful Arab trader of sorts. All for the cause, I say.

IMG_8987IMG_9008We finished the afternoon in style with lunch and drinks by the fire at the Highest Pub in Africa, because honestly, how can one resist? My recommendation: soup of the day and glühwein or hot chocolate to warm the bones and fingers.

IMG_9012

Gargi left our cryptic mark [LUCI – Lesotho/USA/Canada/India] above the door. I think at this point, my signature of sorts can be found in half a dozen places. (I can’t wait to return someday and hunt them all down again.)

Finally, we returned to sleepy Mokhotlong for a quiet night of reading and red wine.

Mission Birthday: Complete

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