By Christelle du Plessis – BLOSS magazine ambassador
When last did you wake up at 01h00am on a Saturday morning for a reason other than getting water after a long night at the local pub because your throat feels like a dessert? Well, this past Saturday, I did. Friday afternoon, Trudi Stander sends me a message to find out if I have a passport and if I would like to cover media for BLOSS Magazine at Afriski and it all started there. Less than 10 hours later and after sorting all my admin within 1 hour, we were on our way to Lesotho 🙂
I have never travelled in my life let alone ever used my South African Passport. I have never driven a car further than 200km from home (that would be Pretoria) and I have also never felt so nervous and excited at the same time but this all changed when we hit the road at 02h00 am on Saturday 25th August 2018 to go to the one and the only, Afriski Winter Music Festival in Lesotho J The drive there was something else I tell you. Apart from the very funny and sometimes awkward car conversations between Natania Tesnar and I, the scenery was absolutely breath-taking. We are so privileged to live in such a nature rich country. The border process was a very painless one and we did not have to pack out any camping chairs while waiting to be accepted. We also did not have to feel threatened because no one was planning on approaching 2 young woman in pajamas.
It was quick, efficient and soon we were off, heading to what we heard was one of the most beautiful places in the Southern Hemisphere and let me tell you, it is no lie. If you think driving the Cable Cars up the Hartbeespoort Mountain is exciting, try driving through the Maloti Mountains. Known as the highest peak of Southern Africa at a scary but so beautiful 3482m high. Cherry Blossom trees all around, lush trees and such a peaceful drive. And then, we saw it, over the last mountain stretch sat the beautiful Afriski Mountain Resort. . .
The first thing you see is the ski slope and boy oh boy, it is then when I knew, this was going to be an experience. Upon checking in, we were awestruck at the beauty of the resort. It was so clean and so well maintained, we felt at home in seconds. We checked in (after 1000 photos were taken) and went straight to our rooms which were in the Whistler Camp. They were so quaint and cute. Equipped with two heaters and electric blankets, we had everything we needed. And so it was time to eat and we went to the Sky Restaurant. After a filling and freshly prepared breakfast, we started to get ready for the Festival and the fun to begin.
So we get to the stage by the Gondola bar and immediately started capturing every moment we possibly could. The alcohol was well priced, the service at all the bars was really good and the staff extremely friendly and funny. The day consisted of Old Brown Sherry, snow balls, laughter and some great entertainment. The artists knew exactly how to captivate the crowd. From GOODLUCK singing their top hits to the random coolest real life Rasta entertaining us with “Big Bamboo”, we had a blast! We made so many friends, got to hear so many stories from the locals and lets not even talk about the view of the snow covered ski slope while sipping away at our drinks 🙂
Overall, it was an experience that I wish everyone could have at least once in their life because before this weekend, I had no idea what clean fresh air, friendly faces and good music could do for the soul.
Here are a few pointers to ensure that your trip is as memorable as possible:
1) Layers, layers, layers – it gets pretty cold
2) Fill up on fuel before entering Lesotho and when leaving Lesotho too but fill up in one of the Lesotho towns. The fuel prices are very good
3) Don’t bother to activate your cell phones roaming. They sell sim cards at the resort and 3Gig data only costs like R80 (what a bargain)
4) Make sure to fill the tummies during lunch time before going to the bar area – you will thank me the next day
5) Old Brown Sherry is KING in the cold
6) DO NOT overthink anything – let your hair down and embrace everything for what it is
Thank you Afriski, thank you Lesotho, you were a real treat!
Christelle du Plessis
Photos of our time at Afriski Mountain Resort at the 2018 Winter Music Fetsival