Photo Credit: Screengrab / YouTube

Paul Geddes shared a heartwarming story about how he and friends went on a quick adventure in Lesotho where they got lost and helped by locals.


Lesotho, Africa (18 March 2020) – Paul and his friends went off-roading into Lesotho as a quick day-in-day-out adventure. It was a route that Paul’s friend Alex knows very well. The guys were really excited and enjoyed the day out.

As the day went on, the guys realised they needed to get to a petrol station before they ran out, but Google GPS was taking them via Rome to get there. Eventually, the guys found themselves without much petrol, in total darkness, following the GPS along a dangerous route.

Thankfully, they came across a local Lesotho girl who explained the road gets much worse ahead, and their only option was to turn around. As it was dark, her family opened their home to three total strangers, even giving their own beds.

This is how a little girl warmed the hearts of three burly guys on one scary night! And then a bunch of Good Samaritans along the way!

“To try cut a long story short. Three of us went off for a ride down the Ribaneng Valley in Lesotho on Friday at 11:30. Nothing too hectic, flowing easy ride. No GPS needed as our friend Alex Vowles knows this route very well. After all, he has ridden in Lesotho for over 30 years.

After about 3 hours of riding the beautiful valleys started looking all too similar and we were running out of fuel and daylight. Our plan was always to get ourselves to Malealea Lodge for fuel and a coke. Well, we only just made it there at 17:30. We quickly bought all the fuel we could for R300. 6l each and 4l for Alex that we could carry back to him as he didn’t make it all the way to the lodge. He ran out of fuel 12kms back. We knew we were in trouble and needed to move quickly as the sun was setting. With no GPS, we checked a road on google maps that could take us to the tar road and down to Ramabanta where we started from. Shouldn’t be too hard in the dark on a road. Ha Ha Ha. Don’t trust Google. We should have checked out the street view. That so-called road would have made a 4×4 puzzle in the daylight.

The only light we had was on Alex’s bike. Yes, we always pack torches and lights but not this one time for the “quick” ride down the valley. Alex rode behind us, and myself and Dennis tried riding side by side where we could without falling in holes. If you know Lesotho it is literally pitch black. As in the video. No light anywhere. We didn’t manage too well, but we kept moving forward, staying positive and not giving up. Even when we lost Dennis in a massive erosion gully, we kept it together.

At about 20:30 we were puzzling around in circles next to a river and saw a small light on one of the hills. It went off and on and slowly came closer. It turned out to be a young girl, Angelina, from the village on that hill.

She told us there was no road here and we must stay there for the night or go back the way we came. She said the rocks were too big the way we were going. Not something that scares us in the daylight but we only had 13% battery on the phone, little fuel again and the lady on Google was telling us we had 38kms to go.

We then made the call to take the locals up on their generous offer and stay the night with them. We were expecting just a rondavel room or a Shepherd hut as we were in the middle of nowhere in the Maluti’s.

We were more than pleasantly surprised. Angelina and her Mom treated us like Royalty. They took us into their house. Gave us blankets and water. We chatted for a while to the three people that could speak English and the other 40 faces that were in complete disbelief of what they were seeing. They loved every moment, as did we. Then out of nowhere, we were served the most amazing plate of Pap, Morogo (Spinach) and scrambled eggs.

We assumed we would be making use of the couches to sleep on, but we were shown into another room with a double bed and single mattress on the floor. Amazing. We tried to decline thinking we were taking their beds, but they insisted we use them. As we were getting into bed, the heavens opened. Lightning, hail and heavy rain. All while we were cosy in our room. We got very lucky.

After a great nights sleep, in the morning, we were served Mabele Porridge (Sorghum) even with sugar. And then as the sun rose while we got dressed into our wet stinky riding kit again one of the males in the village sang us a few songs while he played his traditional guitar made out of a 5l oil can and some wire — what an amazing experience. The smile on that man’s face I will never forget. So so happy and content.

And then as we were we leaving, we were even offered some Colgate. Wow.

We only had R7 on us as the rest was used for fuel, but we took Angelina’s phone number and will be sending the family a good sum of money via Shoprite to say a big thank you for what they did for us.

We then left in the direction we came in to try to find another road. Alex ran out of fuel again. Dennis and myself carried on a bit but then thought it would be better to put all our fuel together to at least get one of us home. So we emptied his fuel into mine, and then I carried on only to also run out of fuel on the dirt road. I managed to get the help of 3 locals so that they could push and I could walk. If you have ever tried walking a distance in full kit, you’ll know it ain’t easy especially Lesotho roads and hills. Not far to the tar road, they said. Only about 1km……Waaaaahaaaaa ya right. More like a 6km walk. I had no other choice. I was humbled again chatting to locals on the road. One lady was walking the same distance just to buy her 6month old formula while the baby was on her back. She wasn’t complaining, just laughing at me.

When we got to the tar road and the Spaza shops I thought we were sorted. Nope. Nobody had fuel. Sold Out. Now I was snookered. Ramabanta (Home) was still about 15kms of tar road. I then bribed a local Runner, that I found training, to run down the road and try find me fuel. While I was waiting for him to come back, I hear a bike coming up the road. No ways, It’s Dennis? How did he come right now?

While he was pushing his bike through the valley, a local came out and asked what was wrong? When he told him he had no fuel, he said: “Hold on, I might have some.” 10 mins later he arrives with a 2l of Petrol. Dennis says I can’t give you money now, but I’m coming back to fetch my friend, and I’ll sort you out then. The local says “No problem. If we meet again, so be it. Take the fuel.”

We all got home at about 12 pm and then went back to repay all the helpers that saved us.

Where in the world in this day and age would you find a family that takes complete strangers in for the night? No questions asked and expecting nothing in return. They have so little, yet they have so much to give.

This was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Good kind, genuine people do exist.

5 Star accommodation is my rating on trip advisor that’s for sure.

Source: Paul Geddes
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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