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Offline Lestutu

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Be sad, be very sad ...
« on: June 16, 2013, 07:04:54 pm »
One of southern Africa's most iconic gravel travel tracks - Sani Pass via Kotisiphola to Mokhotlong - is being transformed at a rapid pace, courtesy of a Chinese road building team. Encamped near Mokhotlong, the team started from the point where the tar gives way to the gravel road heading east towards Sani Pass.
They're not wasting time and the forward digging party is already on Kotisiphola (Black Mountain Pass). The transformation is mind-blowing- the beautiful, narrow winding track is being cut, drilled and bulldozed into a highway!!
[/img]

Judging by the infrastructure over rivers and smaller water course, the surface is being prepped for a hard top. This road will link up with Sani Pass that probably means the pass is also heading for a hard surface.

[/img]

The Chinese are tough task masters. This chap wanted to know if I couldn't offer him a job, saying he works 6.30 am to 6.30 pm, and claiming he's paid ZAR2 000 per month. A demonstration of Chinese colonialism in action - all the earthmoving plant operators, foremen and supervisors are Chinese, living in the road camp near the Katse Dam turn-off from the Sani-Mokhotlong road.

[/img]

A South African contractor is blasting the switch backs wider on Sani Pass and will also cut drains before his contract ends in August. Complaining bitterly about the cold, saying the diesel often doesn't unfreeze till late morning.
    [/img]
Note that access up and down Sani Pass is limited to before 11 am and after 3 pm when they're blasting. Also, expect to be delayed on the Lesotho side, especially now that progress is moving up Kotisiphola.
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Offline subie

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Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2013, 08:49:51 pm »
Leer ook elke dag iets. Diesel vries hier rond :eek7:
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 08:50:33 pm by subie »
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Offline edgy

Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2013, 09:23:34 pm »
That is sad news indeed!!
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Offline Brandt

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Re: Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2013, 09:38:41 pm »
Well seems the Chinese roads only last for about a year or so. Maybe in 5 years it is a gravel road again ;D

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Offline Jondu

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Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2013, 11:00:48 pm »
Daar is min paaie so sleg soos ń teerpad wat nie onderhou word nie. Ek hoop maar daar is geld vir nasorg?
 

Offline Bill p

Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2013, 07:58:54 am »
Is this the start of the Chinese taking over the southern tip of Africa? Just asking
 

Offline JonW

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Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2013, 08:22:30 am »
Lestutu I agree with you, this is a very sad thing, that stretch of road between sani and Mokhotlong was an awesome ride  :(
How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?
 

Offline katana

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Re: Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2013, 08:28:17 am »
Well seems the Chinese roads only last for about a year or so. Maybe in 5 years it is a gravel road again ;D

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Ja, look at Zambia.  5km behind the road builders the potholes begin  ???
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Offline Lestutu

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Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2013, 08:58:20 am »
The sad thing is that decision-makers are driven by avarice and self-interest. They simply ignored precedent, as in the case of the potholed tar road from Mokhotlong to Oxbow that is breaking up due to an inappropriate surface, extreme climatic conditions and poor quality ... so, ja, brace yerselves for a bumpy ride as time goes on.
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Offline Dirty Boy

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Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 03:56:16 pm »
Is this the start of the Chinese taking over the southern tip of Africa? Just asking

No, come to Durban and check out the Chinamall.   :-\
Also, havnt you noticed the influx of chinese vehicles on our roads
aaaaaaggggggghhhhhhh dont get me started.
 

Offline cloudgazer

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Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2013, 04:01:58 pm »
Ouch.

I'm sure glad i got to ride that road at least once.

Would love to do it one more time before the pass is surfaced, doubt I'll be able to get there in time though.
 

Offline iamgigglz

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Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2013, 04:16:05 pm »
Nooo! Couldn't get my shit together fast enough to take a ride up there.
Last time I went up was as a child in the back of my dad's Ford Courier in July 1996. Solid memory that.
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Offline Charlie-xl650v

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Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2013, 05:51:46 pm »
Sad day to hear this. Went down Sani Pass on my first bike trip in Jan this year. What an awesome experience!!!!!!! I wouldn't trade it for anything in the word. Wanted to make a revisit some day!!!!! Well I don't hope the Chinese is tarring all of Lesotho.
 

Offline Sharingroads

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Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2013, 05:55:19 pm »
Daar is min paaie so sleg soos ń teerpad wat nie onderhou word nie. Ek hoop maar daar is geld vir nasorg?

Maybe Etol will be implimented
 

Offline spoedvark

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Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2013, 06:28:49 pm »
 :( :( :( >:( >:( >:( :'( :'( :'(
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Offline FireBoy

Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2013, 08:12:56 am »
I also wanted to do this trip before it was covered in the black stuff. Sorry I did not go sooner.
I want to do a trip to Rhodes later this year. Travel through the mountain pases along the south border of Lesotho and back to rhodes. But only in the summer. I cant take the cold.
Mike. 082 825 7965
 

Offline DRAZIL

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Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2013, 08:34:52 am »
I forsee lots of accidents after it's tarred mostly taxis going off the edge.
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Offline Mooch

Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2013, 08:41:11 am »
Shucks i missed the last trip there....
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Offline onderbroek

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Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2013, 08:43:43 am »
aggenee
hak vrystaat
 

Offline bud500

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Re: Be sad, be very sad ...
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2013, 08:51:12 am »
Is this the start of the Chinese taking over the southern tip of Africa? Just asking

Eish dude... Have you not seen all the small useless Chinese toy stores going up in all our small towns? These Chinese families get Chinese Government subsidies to come and live in foreign countries that have natural resources left.
I have also spoken to some farmers in the Karoo who claim that when someone sells a farm in the area it is the Chinese that buy it.
Big dangerous virus if you ask me. What are the options? Probably have to learn Mandarin to prep for future travel in Africa...
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