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Offline g1_

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #280 on: June 18, 2010, 03:12:15 pm »
I'm still keen to shoot some questions your way regarding videoing your trip if you're willing to answer.
If so shall I stick them here or start a new thread.
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #281 on: June 18, 2010, 04:29:30 pm »
I'm still keen to shoot some questions your way regarding videoing your trip if you're willing to answer.
If so shall I stick them here or start a new thread.

Sorry about not responding to your earlier question about the DVD but this is a bit of a difficult one.
I need to have Dustdevil in on the venture if we're going to spread the video commercially.
At the moment Dustdevil is, well, ummm, lets call it busy.  :bueller: More on this later.

For now though I think it would be in order to just fire away with whatever questions you have. Post
them here in this thread because:
1 - Others reading this thread might also have similar questions and would like to see me answer yours.
2 - Dustdevil is going to the EC Bash this weekend so we will have to wait for him to get back before we
can continue the story anyway.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 04:30:30 pm by Michiel »
 

Offline g1_

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #282 on: June 19, 2010, 01:42:07 pm »
I'm doing a 3 week trip with a friend in October and am planning to film the trip. Hence:

- How much footage did you shoot in total? per day?
- What recording kit did you take / use?
- How did you store all the footage? Laptop/harddrive?
- How much of the footage is on the road footage and how much is from stops? (I suppose after editing)
- Did you do any interviewing or video diary stuff?
- How did you do the drive by shots without slowing progress to much? Leap frog?
- Did you do less mileage each day as a result of shooting?
- Have you added narration for on the road scenes? Music?
- Now that you're editing is there anything that you wish you had recorded or had done differently?
- Do you find you have an abundances of any particular kind of shot or lack of another?

Perhaps I'm making this too cerebral.
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #283 on: June 19, 2010, 05:45:13 pm »
Right. I'm going to answer best I can. You obviously thought this through already. Good start. Good questions.

First I would advise that you decide what you want to have, where do you want to go with the video? Personal?
Family? Wider audience? Bikers? Other viewers? Pull up a simple storyboard with ideas and shot angles. Think about
how are you going to tell the story. What sort of footage will you need to capture? When you know before hand what
to look out for it makes it much easier.


- How much footage did you shoot in total? per day?


Some days we shot more than others. The more interesting the landscape the more we stopped. We also made a HUGE effort to
stop by people and villages to get footage of the Basotho and their surroundings. We wanted the video to be more than just bikes
roaring past. In total Dustdevil probably had 6 hours of video (+-1hour/day), I had 5 Hours of video (+- 50min/day). Don't be fooled
though. To get 1 hour of various interesting usable footage one probably spend at least 4 hours stopping, getting the cameras out,
setting up and planning a shot.

On days where we struggled a lot, like the day that is to follow in this report, we subsequently moved slower and this gave the
opportunity for getting the cameras out more frequently. Always be on the look out for interesting moments and things to capture.
Rather spend some extra time with your subject and lure out that relaxed natural moment.

We tried to shoot selectively, in other words, thought it trough before hand where we had time. This makes for much more usable
footage. It does mean though that one has to stop what you're doing, pushing a bike for example, and move the camera for a
different angle and continue pushing again.

- What recording kit did you take / use?


We actually used low quality kit. The sound recording was poor most of the time. The sort of cameras a family would have
for their holiday movies. Money is unfortunately a scarce commodity for us and we had to do with what we got.
I used a Canon MVX100i miniDV camera and a Sony point&shoot stills camera video function. (mounted the latter on my helmet)



Dustdevil has a Canon G11. This is also a point&shoot but at the high end of the market. It shoots amazing stills and good 480x640 video.
The interesting thing is that for viewing on a TV this 480x640 resolution is actually not too shabby. I've got a friend with one of these big
flat screen TV's and the video looks fair on it.

- How did you store all the footage? Laptop/harddrive?

Dustdevil carried his Mac Laptop. Also had a 160GB rugged hard drive with. Downloaded our footage as often as he could to free up the
memory cards. I had enough miniDV tapes to film the whole trip and only download/import back at home.

- How much of the footage is on the road footage and how much is from stops? (I suppose after editing)

From the start we wanted to show what Lesotho and it's people was like. We also wanted to let each of our own characters grow as the
movie progressed. Subsequently "my edit" consists of about 30% of bikes riding, 30% of Lesotho and it's people and 40% of us, the riders.
In other words - 70% stop footage and 30% riding footage. I already had some good feedback on what people thought of my edit and
funny enough the audience, which consisted of girl bikers, were bored with the Basotho people bits and liked the parts where we were
on the move i.e. riding.

- Did you do any interviewing or video diary stuff?


Not interviewing as such but we did film people as we had a conversation. Video diary is very important. Dustdevil did amazing work here.
I also tried to convey my thoughts and emotions as we went along. It might feel weird but turn the camera on yourself and say how you feel.
Tell the viewer what is going on. Making a video diary while in the middle of the trip and in that landscape beats voice-overs afterward.

This is also where you have to decide how you want to make your film. You might want to rely on interviews if it is what you need to tell your
story. Decide what it is that you want to tell. A film of you riding through a country or more about the people? What is it that you will want to
know from them? What is it that you want to tell your viewer?

- How did you do the drive by shots without slowing progress to much? Leap frog?

Leap frog always work great. This way one doesn't lose riding time. We have many shots like this. It does mean though that the "cameraman"
won't be in the shot. We chose three of four places during the trip that we took time and set the camera up for a shot of all the riders passing by.
This will typically be a place where there is something interesting in the shot. A nice winding road, a water crossing or bad section of road. This
does take up a lot of time and sometimes we would do more than one pass to be sure we got the shot.

I did lots of riding shots with my camera mounted on the helmet. We then rode in close procsimity to fill the frame with the bikes.

- Did you do less mileage each day as a result of shooting?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Making video takes up a hell of a lot of effort and time. You have to decide before hand that you will devote time to the capturing of
your footage you need. Please, hear me, take the time because you will not regret it. Beautiful footage is worth so much more than saying you rode
so many km's in such little time. Guys that race through places really don't know what they're missing out on. When you stop you also enrich your
experience of a place. Stop and get that camera out!

Plan ahead so that you won't have to cover too much distance in one day. Regarding Lesotho and the difficult roads: This is also where a heavier DS
bike shines. It can be compared to a gentleman and a passionate lover while a light plastic bike is a rapist. The bigger bikes force you to take it slower
and stop more often. It commands respect. It will make your trip more memorable. I want to advocate that this is and should be the essence of
Adventure Riding.

It is important though to make sure that everybody in your riding group is on the same level. Warn your buddies before hand and explain to them
what videoing the trip will involve. Sack was absolutely great in accommodating us although he didn't make much effort with the videoing himself.
He did though get fed up with us taking up so much time and this resulted in some tension but nothing serious. I say again, Sack was a star. He didn't
mind us putting the cameras in his face every time he had a bad off and when he got hurt and when we were so tired and worn-out. Most guys won't
play along like this so choose your buddies very carefully. As specially if you're going into difficult places.

I obviously gave Sack his copy of "my edit" and it would be interesting to hear what he thinks. Now that you have something tangible to remember the
trip by and share with your family and friends, was it worth all the stopping and putting up with us putting the camera in your face so many times?

To be continued.....

- Have you added narration for on the road scenes? Music?
- Now that you're editing is there anything that you wish you had recorded or had done differently?
- Do you find you have an abundances of any particular kind of shot or lack of another?
« Last Edit: June 23, 2010, 08:47:02 am by Michiel »
 

Offline g1_

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #284 on: June 19, 2010, 10:09:33 pm »
Thanks! This is really useful info. It looks like you Dustdevil really put a lot of care into your filming.

Now I'm especially keen to check out your DVD. But I understand that you need to finalise the scope of the venture and it's implications.

 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #285 on: June 22, 2010, 02:48:31 pm »
- Have you added narration for on the road scenes? Music?

The idea was to add narration or music everywhere the sound quality was too poor to use. Obviously the
wind noise while riding is just horrendous. By adding interesting information about what you're busy doing
or on the country/people one makes the footage more interesting/pleasurable to watch. In "my edit" I only
added music to the riding scenes. I tried to choose music that enhanced the atmosphere.

- Now that you're editing is there anything that you wish you had recorded or had done differently?


We and as specially I should have shot more footage. One can always decide not to use it but if you don't have
it, you don't have it. Decide before hand what you want out of your trip. Do you want to dedicate it to making
video or do you want to just have a nice ride with minimal effort and subsequently minimal footage. We tried to
strike a balance, leaning towards getting more footage. The draw back is that the final video comes out to be a
compromise.

After every trip I find that we lack footage of the places and moments where we were really so stressed and tired
that we didn't have the energy or time to get the cameras out. Most of the time we are also running late/out of
daylight and need to hurry up to get to a safe overnight location. Unfortunately these are the moments you need
to be able to build the tension to a climax in the video. A good example would be when we rode the section from
Mantsonyane to Motsoanakaba. I knew we were running late and hurried everyone along. Today I regret this as
we passed so many interesting places without stopping. In future I would rather plan the distances between
destinations to be smaller and rather spend time in and around the countryside and people. Or better even, make
no plans for overnight destinations and just put up camp wherever we get by late afternoon.

When one travel your brain subconsciously gathers a collage of images and moments that you see throughout the
day. This then becomes your experience. Afterwards you might not be able to tell or separate all the information
but you have a collective experience. If you're going to make a video of your trip and you want to let the viewer
experience the same delights and horrors you will have to start thinking what individual things and in what
quantities will make up this collage of an experience. Small things like cattle grazing, a house with smoke from a
wood fire, flowers in front of a hut, pigs in an enclosure, a woman hanging out washing and some kids playing
might be the individual moments that make up the whole of a scene when showing your viewer a Basotho village
for example. Don't miss the smaller things... the dog that was lying by the feet of the woman hanging out washing
or the bees gathering nectar off the flowers in front of the hut. Don't be scared to go in close. Shoot different angles
and at different distances. Dustdevil done great work here. In hindsight I wish I made the same effort as well.

At times Dustdevil and I shot the same moment/action at the same time but from different angles. This was great
for afterwards as it gave another dimension to the video. I was able to choose to show something from this angle
and then from that and back again. You might find that the sound from one camera is better and choose to use it
throughout the scene. We should have done more of this.

Another very important thing I didn't always do was to use a tripod. Use a tripod! Dustdevil was pretty good at
getting his out but I just wanted to shoot on the fly. By cutting out on shaky and bouncy footage you will push
your video up at least two notches towards perfection. Make sure you got those horizons straight as specially if
your shooting landscapes.

- Do you find you have an abundances of any particular kind of shot or lack of another?


Not really. By knowing in advance what we wanted to do we could focus on getting a balance. Both Dustdevil
and I have studied photography and know the importance of editing out bad or unusable images thus we could
put this concept in use even before the camera started rolling. We try to plan a shot so that we get it right the
first time thus we don't have a unbalanced bundle of footage. Think before you shoot. I wrote down what I
wanted to capture and reviewed my list at the end of each day. Having said that, this was basically Dustdevil's
first and my second attempt at making a video like this and it is also a video with easy margins. We didn't have
to adhere to any restrictions, guidelines or deadlines. I am very much an amateur.

We tried to touch on issues like sustainable living and Communism vs. Capitalism/Consumerism but I don't
really know what I'm talking about so all the footage we shot on this is a loss for me. I didn't put anything in
"my edit".

I would like to warn against using too much footage from a "helmet cam" or bike mounted camera. Because
shooting this type of video doesn't take up riding time people tend to have too much of this. I think it is important
to have something interesting going on in the frame for most of the time. When you ride along it might feel really
interesting and intense but remember, the viewer at home doesn't get to feel the wind in their face, the movement
of the bike and the excitement of riding down the road. All they see is some shaky, blurry and skew images of a
road with things on the side flashing by. Video also flattens everything so that really scary slope or incline you
skidded down/battled up will look flat and not scary at all. Let the camera roll but use the footage very selectively.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 02:53:15 pm by Michiel »
 

Offline g1_

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #286 on: June 28, 2010, 04:48:35 pm »
Thanks again for the answers Michiel!
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #287 on: June 28, 2010, 05:25:46 pm »
Thanks again for the answers Michiel!

Pleasure. These things are subjective. Take it and make it your own.

As for the rest of this ride report I'm almost over it. It's a shame this is taking so long.
Dustdevil indicated last week that he has more time on hand to get back into it but how
long we still have to wait I have no idea.

If nobody here has any objections to it??? I think I will just steam ahead and let Dustdevil
come in whenever he see fit.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 05:29:47 pm by Michiel »
 

Offline fat b

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #288 on: June 29, 2010, 08:44:18 am »
No objections bru , steam ahead !

 THE CHALLENGE MAY NOT BE EASY , BUT IT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
SO MANY PLACES, SO LITTLE TIME !

MOSSEL BAY
 

Offline Hitman

Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #289 on: June 29, 2010, 10:19:53 am »
No objections bru , steam ahead !

 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: more, more, more!!!
Honda MBX 50 "sold"
Yamaha XT 250 "sold"
Bajaj XCD 125
BMW 1200 GS
 

Offline letsgofishing

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #290 on: June 29, 2010, 11:44:58 am »
Michiel, this is absolutely amazing!  :thumleft:
My respect to all of you!
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

www.mikekaplandesign.com
 

Offline J-mo

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #291 on: June 29, 2010, 01:40:06 pm »
Nice Pics.
Getting lost during an adventure is a relative term. It all depends if you're enjoying it.
 

Offline madmike999

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #292 on: June 29, 2010, 03:40:50 pm »
No objections bru , steam ahead !

 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: more, more, more!!!


what they said
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Offline Michiel

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #293 on: June 29, 2010, 05:30:59 pm »
The sun has now dropped to a position right on top and touching the big mountain on the other side of
the valley. I can feel it's fading warmth on my face. We are so tired but I think Dustdevil is having it the
hardest. Despite the HPN's capabilities it is still the heaviest bike here and then Dustdevil also carries the
most equipment, tools and there must remain about 40 liters of petrol in the tank.

We are making such slow progress some children from the village up on the top has gathered and is now
following us down. They are helpful as well, rolling away some of the biggest stones. I wonder what they
make of us? I wonder if they think we are mad and if they think we are intruding onto their land? There,
after all, is no reason why we should be here apart from the fact that we want to travel through this valley.
I wish I could understand their language.

By now the other two must realize that I've cocked it up. The river is within sight, it has been for the last
30min, but we are not going to make it. The sun has now officially set and "we are basically stranded in the
middle of this mountain pass on a narrow little rocky road" Dustdevil announced. He also made clear his
intentions by parking the HPN on a little flat spot and refusing to ride any further till the next morning.
"We will just have to roll out our mattresses there next to our bikes" he instructs.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/fxdK_YxXFag" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/fxdK_YxXFag</a>

Sack decided to walk a bit further round a bend in the road to see if we can maybe just carry our luggage
to a spot suitable for pitching a tent. A 100m further there is indeed such a little spot, even with a patch of
grass.

Priority is now to get the tents up before it's pitch black dark. We haven't even asked permission yet. We
intended to visit the village across the Senquyane and ask the villagers if we may spend the night in their
territory. This will have to be done 1st thing in the morning.

Although this is only our 2nd night of camping we are sorted and have the tents up in no time. Now that we
at least have shelter for the night a temporary feeling of calm descends upon us. It's a relatively warm and
quiet evening. Not a cloud in the sky, a few stars has already appeared. In retrospect I'm thinking we are lucky
to have made it this far without serious incident. Sack has come off hard once or twice but luckily he's still ok.
And the bike seems to be in good order. The only casualty it seems is the little gas stove. From the repeated
impacts it got bent out of shape. The gas cylinder has also taken a knock. Feeling a little guilty I try to bend it
back but quickly realize it might rupture. Sack, having already handed out his two mirrors to the Basotho children
that followed us down the pass, indicates that he's going to leave the stove as well and I shouldn't bother.

For dinner we have the bread we bought at Mantsonyane. I also still have a big stash of nuts and dried fruit left.
Out of the now complete darkness suddenly appears three Basotho men. For a moment I feel afraid but then
I realize we are camped right in the middle of the road and they're most probably just passing by. These people
are kind and friendly. They do come to a stop right between our tents. After greeting us they ask if we have
anything to eat for them. I offered up my bread and Dustdevil also gave something. Off they went back into the
pitch black night.

I now decide to see if I can take a picture of the stars that has come out in their millions. The lights from
our torches must be visible from the furthest mountain tops. We really must be conspicuous indeed. As I
fiddle around with my camera and tripod about 20m away from the tents someone from across the valley
suddenly starts shouting. The person sounds extremely upset although I don't understand a word. The
shouting continues and it seems like he is moving towards us at speed. Echoing against the mountains
there are other people answering him in short scentinces. This shoots a shiver down my spine and sends
me running for my tent! Oh shit, now we've done it. The lights must have attracted bad attention.
We haven't asked permission to camp here and now somebody must have decided to come and remove us.

"What now?", I whisper to Dustdevil. "I don't know", he replies. Sack doesn't say anything. Fark, what the hell
are we going to do? The shouting is still continuing and is now so close I am shitting myself. I'm trying to look
down the road in the direction of the noise still closing in but I can't see a thing.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 08:26:20 am by Michiel »
 

Offline madmike999

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #294 on: June 30, 2010, 08:11:45 am »
nice nice nice

this is the highlight to my mornings!!!

keep it up M


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Offline letsgofishing

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #295 on: June 30, 2010, 08:40:21 am »
That's a great pic Michiel!  :thumleft:
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

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Offline Michiel

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #296 on: June 30, 2010, 09:36:22 am »
That's a great pic Michiel!  :thumleft:

Thanks. The guys and girls seem to like the night, long exposure, stuff. I'll try to do more during future trips.
Nice to get feedback.
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #297 on: June 30, 2010, 09:39:01 am »
There is a small stream running alongside the road we're on. It's spitting distance from the spot where we are
camped, a couple of meters down into the ravine though. With this absolute silent night one can clearly hear
the sound of water falling from two places further up and down the stream. For now though the silence is disturbed
by the loud and clear voice of a very upset Basotho man. These people must have perfected their method of
making their voices be heard loud and clear over distances. We don't know what to expect. I admit that we are
trespassing. It sounds like the man is standing right in front of me but in reality he must be passing by down at
the stream level for we never saw him.

With the speed he approached he also went without even taking notice of us. Up, up and over the ridge he climbed
still in loud conversation with presumably himself. Mad man? I don't know. Phew, what a relief. Dustdevil, having
been his usual calm and collected, paid better attention to what the man was shouting about. Ever so often he could
make out the word "pere". Pere must mean perd, in Afrikaans, or horse. These people rely very heavily on horses
and donkeys for transport and surely it must also be a status symbol. Dustdevil figured that someone must have
done something to his horse, maybe set it free or made it run away into the night. He was then upset about that
and was on his way to find his horse. In the pitch black of night. Hopefully it's a white horse... I have no idea how
he saw where he was going in this rugged terrain. One wrong step could send him falling to injury or even death.

There were more people passing by soon afterwards, presumably to help in finding the horse. Nobody showed any
bad intention nor did anything happen to the bikes parked further up and out of our sight. I've heard stories of bikes
being pushed over cliffs but this certainly wasn't the case here.

We were past exhaustion and fell asleep quickly despite all the action we saw today. I can't remember if I dreamt
anything that night. Must have. As a kid I used to get some sort of epileptic disturbance during sleep which sent
me walking around and talking. All very confusing and distressing as you can imagine a small kid having no control.
It used to be worst when I went to bed in a foreign place like the first couple of nights in boarding school. Would wake
up with no bedding and had to scout the cold and dark hostel to find it. Would wake up in places other than my own
room. I once walked right off my bed and came crashing to the floor hurting my wrist really badly. This was during the
1st week in a new boarding school when I moved on to Standard 6.

Nightmare or no nightmares I woke up at about 1AM that night to the loud noise of thunder, lightning and rain...
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 09:46:54 am by Michiel »
 

Offline fat b

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #298 on: June 30, 2010, 10:09:12 am »
nice nice nice

this is the highlight to my mornings!!!

keep it up M



snap !  :thumleft:

 THE CHALLENGE MAY NOT BE EASY , BUT IT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
SO MANY PLACES, SO LITTLE TIME !

MOSSEL BAY
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #299 on: June 30, 2010, 12:43:13 pm »
For a moment I'm taken back to those confusing days of my childhood. Where am I? What's going on?
I feel disorientated. Slowly I come round. The raindrops are coming down hitting the tent hard but luckily
they are widely dispersed. We pitched tent right in the flow of a small kloof going up from the road.
My first instinct is to feel around the tent and establish if we're not in a stream of runoff water. Pulling
my rain suit over the upper half of my body I quickly have a look outside. We are still safe. No runoff yet.
Back into the tent. I'm cold. My tent cost R150 when I bought it more than ten years ago. It's not very
good at keeping rain out. This is going to be interesting. Rustling around in my tent the other two must
also be awake and aware of my movements. I wonder what they're thinking? For the first time during
this trip I feel horrified. The weather is heavy with deep loud thunder every so often. I feel exposed, vulnerable.
For the first time I wish I wasn't here, only for a moment though. This is where the adventure start, we should
be cherishing this moment although the other two might not share my sentiments.

We blundered down this mountain into a valley which won't be easy to get out of. This place feels really
remote although we are fairly close to Semonkong now. It's raining and there is no telling how long it will
continue. We might not be able to ride tomorrow, we might not be able to get the bikes out of here. My
fears are running away with me...

Rustling in his tent I become aware of Dustdevil also being awake. I didn't want to scare the other two by
making an entry into my video diary and voicing my concerns. Between thunder and raindrops I can hear
Dustdevil making an entry into his diary. Sack doesn't stir. Within 4 hours it will become light again so we
will just have to wait this out...

By 5h30 it's light enough to have a look around. It's still drizzling lightly. Being the first one up I decide to
visit the village across the valley. I need to ask for the Morena, chief, and explain what we are doing camping
on his land. This will also give me the opportunity to scout the road ahead and establish if we will be able to
cross the river. Fear and horror put aside we are finding ourselves in the most beautiful valley. This place
seems untouched. According to the 4x4 families I met last year there is a foot bridge over the river. One can
also see it on Google Earth. On closer inspection I establish that we will be able to ride across it. From the rain
the slope leading to the river has become muddy and extremely slippery.



The village on the other side is a model of a Basotho settlement. Round huts, stone walled buildings and a kraal
for the cattle. There is no rubbish, plastics, bottles or cans to be seen anywhere.





Looking back I could see the spot where we camped.



The Morena turned out to be a lady and I took the liberty of asking for water as well. I spent some time with the
Morena but conversation was down to what little Sotho I had written in my book and the English she could speak.
She was a real delight to be around. The water came in a beer mug from the cabinet in her house. It's the biggest
rondawel in the village. Best kept as well. On the left after entering stands a small table with chairs and on the
right is her bed. Right in front is the cabinet/cupboard. The walls are painted a turquoise colour. The Basotho
seem to like turquoise.



I'll let the video do the talking.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/RWhWIqsF0rY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/RWhWIqsF0rY</a>
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 01:26:44 pm by Michiel »