Monday, 15 October 2007


As I write this report I'm looking out the window of an Etiopian Airlines flight on my way back to South Africa. I'll be in Cape Town for a few weeks, courtesy of my sister Olga. It's a strange experience flying back over the ground I'd covered during the past six and a half months, almost like a quick rewind of a very long movie. I'm using the opportunity to take my bike back with me for the necessary attention (hopefully Old Saartjie is indeed in the hold of the plane). Since Nairobi I've only had the one off day in Marsabit, and I feel that I need a good rest. I've also had to push on through the scenic but hilly Southern Ethiopia in order to make my flight date in Addis Ababa. With the heavily loaded bike on the many big slow hills, an aggravation along the rural roads is the hordes of youngsters making a nuisance of themselves (chanting "you-you", "ferange", and "give me .... whatever"). They also attempt to pull luggage off the bike, throw stones, and there was even the odd effort to get a stick in the spokes. In Addis I found the people to be more welcoming, and I've really enjoyed the 2 days there. Most of my belongings remain in Addis for when I return to continue my journey. Other good things about Ethiopia are that the food is very good, and things are very cheap (just avoid the tourist traps). Things I've found odd about the country are that their clock is 6 hours different, they're about half a month behind, they have their own alphabet, they drive on the "wrong" side of the road, and they are currently celebrating the millenium. Distances since Moyale were:- Mega 113 km; Yavello 103 km; Agra Maryam 100 km; Dilha 95 km; Shashemene 113 km; Meki 122 km; Debre Zeit 92 km; and Addis Ababa 54 km.

1 comment:

David Gassner said...

Ernest, you look like a suicide bomber but don't clean up, you know beards show respect and may save you later. Enjoy your rest back home. Think back a year, you were about to tackle the Amatola trail run, easy compared to what you are up to now. Chel and I did a section of the Freedom Challenge and really enjoyed it but we will stick to shorter and much easier routes. looking forward to more. regards, Dave and Chel.