Monday, 14 January 2008

Bahir-Dar – Addis Abeba (11.704 km)

A long days ride, we had 550km to cover. I was praying to make it to Addis with my rear tyre. The road was good for most of the way. We were going from varying altitudes, 1400m – 3600m. you could feel the bikes taking strain in the thing air. I had fantastic economy with the gas. Doing over 400 km on a single tank. We had a lot of run ins with kids and teenagers throwing stones at us. It got so bad at one point that we would actually stop the bikes and complain to the elders of the village. Some kids tried to stick a pole through matteos wheel as he was passing by. Not a funny joke ad there could have been serious consequences. From there we went down into a gorge (1400m above sea level) and passed the blue nile with a bridge that was under construction. We stopped to gawk and moved across to meet 6 armed military guys with ak47’s shouting ‘Wheres the camera? what are you doing? Who are you? Where is the camera!!!’ we kept saying that we didn’t have one (you try getting your camera away from a guy holding an ak47) and they continued to get madder. Eventually we steered their attention away with our gps device (it really amazes people over here) and drove off. Phew, it was a scary incident and one I wouldn’t like to repeat. We then drove up to a whopping 3600m on this terrible road with huge rocks and trucks and dust. Really tough riding and I was praying that my rear wheel wouldn’t die on me. Anyhow we arrived later that evening at 8 much to my moaning and muttering. I dont like riding at night. Especially in Africa! I just feel that my risks increase ten fold. Its dangerous enough out here. So we arrive at our hotel Taytu to find, yet again, our biker family awaiting us with good food and cold beer. 3 canadian bikers, and two germans as well! Our two friends that we traveled with from Syria and Jordan. Michael andWerner. What a lovely surprise to see them again! Addis Ababa is a fantastic city. It is very African but has a nice balance of chaos and order and is just a great place in general. People are very friendly and one can even get a decent cappuccino and club sandwich out here! I never thought I would be picking up weight in Ethiopia! Ih ih ih, don’t worry Ani I will be losing it very quickly again on our trip through Lake Turkana. life is getting very cheap now. were paying 3.5USD for a room a night and eating out can cost you about 2-3USD for a big meal. im now spending on average about 20USD a day now. a big change from 50 euros a day in eastern europe.

Mercoledi 09/01/2008 siamo partiti dal Ghion Hotel insieme ad Audrie ed Eke che pero’ si sono dovuti fermare subito a causa di un problema alla moto. Noi abbiamo proseguito verso Addis Abeba. La strada e’ quasi interamente asfaltata ad eccezione di 80 km di sterrato piuttosto impegnativo in corrispondenza del Nilo Azzurro. Le moto hanno patito leggermente l’altitudine perdendo un po’ di potenza oltre i 3.000 mt. Fortunatamente le gomme non ci hanno dato problemi anche se ormai hanno davvero superato il loro limite e dovremo obbligatoriamente sostituirle.
In Etiopia si incontrano sempre molte persone lungo la strada, specialmente bambini. La maggiorparte di loro generalmente ti corre incontro salutandoti festosamente, ma non e’ difficile per i motocilisti stranieri ritrovarsi a fare da bersaglio dello sport preferito da alcune piccole canaglie etiopiche: il lancio delle pietre.
Il piu’ indemoniato di questi bambini ha addirittura lanciato un bastone di circa 1 metro di lunghezza con la precisa intenzione di infilarlo tra i raggi della mia ruota. Fortunatamente la sua mira non e’ stata perfetta ed il bastone e’ passato tra la ruota anteriore e quella posteriore.Verso sera, miracolosamente incolumi, siamo arrivati al Taitu Hotel di Addis Abeba (N 09 01,815’ E 38 45,232’) dove abbiamo ritrovato Tom ed inaspettatamente anche Michael e Werner.
Colonna Sonora: "Sunny Afternoon" The Kinks

1 comment:

Huw said...

Hello lunatics,

this is Huw again (VW in Istanbul). Good to see the trips progressing well. I'm jealous, I want to see Addis - if you fall for the food there's a great Ethiopan restaurant in Tanzania called Addis in Dar. Take care in Kenya.