Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Great weekend in Semongkong!
Hellooo! I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but haven’t had a chance!
My friends and I took a trip to Semongkong in Lesotho and had a great time. We got in a little late on Friday night and played pool, ate a good dinner and relaxed. We got up Friday morning to learn how to abseil on a 100 foot cliff. Abseiling is repelling down something on a rope. So we went down this cliff three times and learned different ways to get down each time. It should have been pretty scary lowering yourself down a 100 foot drop on a rope, but it wasn’t too bad. One of my favorite parts of that morning was when my friend Kelly went down. She started a little late and was still trying to learn some of the things we were taught earlier in the morning. When she neared the bottom, we told her that she had to lie flat on her back. Without thinking about it she spread out her arms and lied as flat as she could. We all started laughing as the guy helping us tried to untie her ropes as she lay on the ground like a starfish.
After that, we went on a donkey pub crawl! We each got a donkey to ride around on as we went to about 5 different bars. It was a ton of fun. My donkey was named Maria! The people living in the village have seen people do these bar tours before, but they still shook their heads as a group of Americans rode by on their donkeys. Some of the donkeys had their own plans and would go left instead of right and were pretty stubborn. It made for a lot of laughs.
Sunday morning we got up early to abseil the worlds longest single drop (or something like that). It was 204 meters AND made the Guinness Book of World Records! It was probably one of the most amazing and scary things I’ve ever done. There were 9 people in our group and I went around 7. It took us on average 15 minutes to get down, so we had a lot of waiting time at the top. I started sweating even more when it was my turn. I got all strapped in by one of the guys organizing the abseil and then he hooked me to my rope. I was amazed by how heavy the rope was! It took a lot of effort to back myself to the ledge. I had to pull the rope through the little metal thing attached to me. The next thing I know I’m over the edge and made the mistake of looking down. Something about the look on my face made the guys start laughing. After about 5 feet of “walking” down the wall, the wall disappeared! I was just floating 200 meters above rocks. I did something to my rope and started slowly spinning, which forced me to look down and all around me. I’m pretty pleased with myself for not achieving the world’s highest projectile vomit. I got instantly light headed as I dangled in the air and looked to my right at a huge waterfall and then just openness. It was beautiful. Once I got my act together, I started to lower myself down. I got a little more comfortable as I got closer to the bottom. It was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.
Once we got to the bottom we had to wait for everyone else. It was really cool to see my other friends repel down the fall. After the last person got to the bottom we had to walk back. This was definitely more nerve wrecking than going down the fall. We had to keep our helmets on and walk along a path made by goats. Because we were so close to the falls, the path was soaked and slippery. Just to our left was a decent drop, which would not have felt good. We continued along the terrifying path for about 20 minutes and then had a 45 minute hike in front of us. Half way up my arm and legs started burning. I had brushed against some crazy plant and got itchy, burning hives on exposed skin. It went away after about 10 minutes, but it was intense!
Then we skip ahead a little…So on our way home we get on a pretty big bus…probably seats about 75? Then we crammed as many people as we could in the isle. They stood for the whole 5 hour drive up and down mountains on a dirt road. I should mention that my friends and I were stuck in the isle on the way up. It’s awful. We stood chest to back with the person in front of us on a rollercoaster ride for 5 hours!! On the way home, we got lucky and got seats. I was pretty excited about my window seat. We waited for the bus to leave for a good 1-2 hours. Right before we left, some men loaded 10 sheep on the top of the bus with people’s luggage. They tied their legs together and got them on the roof. One must have been right above my window because every time it went to the bathroom it ran right down my window and onto my right shoulder. The bus was so full that there was nothing I could do about it. Right when I started to really get miserable, it started raining, which meant the pee mixed with rain water and just flooded the right side of my body! Definitely an experience I won’t forget!
Hope everyone is doing well!! I’ll post again soon!