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There's a hole in the map of South Africa. That hole is a separate little country, Lesotho, which is where I was riding a horse when it started to hail. As I lowered my head, the horse I was riding lowered his, and he continued stomping through the cornfields.

Lesotho is a country high in the mountains, and up there a thunderstorm strikes nearly every day in the summer. It is a poorer and more traditional place than its neighbor, but within reach of South Africa's cities. It can be an escape from the World Cup hubbub this June and July. But as the only place in Africa where people live in the snow, it can be cold that time of year, too.

The hail beat against my face and lasted long enough that I began shivering uncontrollably, but just as I was about to break, the clouds did and the sun burst through. I had seen waterfalls and bushmen paintings in caves during my day-long trek. I arrived at Malealea Lodge wet but drying now, chilled but smiling.

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