Fourteen directors, associates and spouses recently met at the Shell garage at the Athlone Circle on a particularly cold Saturday morning. We were headed for the Himeville Arms – for a hearty breakfast – and then on to the border between South Africa and Lesotho to attempt to ‘summit’ Sani Pass on foot. With considerable differences in age, size and fitness level the journey promised to be an interesting one …
Adventures along the way included encounters with a herd of goats, suicidal taxis hurtling down the gravel pass, a frozen waterfall and a bulldozer which got stuck on the Pass years ago. The aptly named “VNH Ambulance” support vehicle only had to pick up one victim, crippled by cramp within sight of our goal.
We were in awe of the beauty, tranquility and starkness of Sani Pass. The cold wind rustled the grass and bushes. The sheep eyed us out. The mist rolled in. And – that being more than enough nature for most of us – we headed straight for the highest pub in Africa.
After a night refueling, with temperatures plunging to 5 degrees below zero, the team made its way back down the pass again – to the sound of collective groans and the cracking knee joints.
Following the sun, we left the Old World.
– inscription on one of Christopher Columbus’ ships