Monday, 10 December 2007


As the tourist brochure said, the Blue Nile Gorge is an impressive sight indeed. However, it was a bit daunting knowing that one had to coax a heavy bicycle on a rough road down 20 k's and up another 20 on the opposite side. The rest of the road from Addis to Gondar is a fairly good tarred road, although hilly at times. The section of road from Gondar down to the Sudanese border was, however, dusty and sometimes rather rough. The Ethiopian Highlands is very scenic and the many villages revolve around agriculture (mostly primitive subsistence farming with crops and animals). Besides the usual requests (often demands) for money, bicycle, clothing, camera, etc., everyone along the way shouts "WHAAR-AH-E-GOO?" (Where are you going?). In reply we usually give the name of the next town, which seems satisfactory. We'd spent a week in Addis Ababa exploring the city and visiting places of interest (we even saw the fossilized "Lucy" in the National Museum). We also organised visa's for Sudan and Egypt, for which we'll need extentions once there (people don't realise that a bicycle takes a while longer than most of the popular modes of travel). We rested at Bahir Dar on the shores of Lake Tana (source of the Blue Nile), and also spent a day in Gondar exploring the town and historic castles in the Fasilidades complex. Distances since Addis were: Muka 80 k; Fiche 38 k; Gohatsion 76 k; Dejen 43 k; Debre Markos 70 k; Finote Selam 85 k; Dangla 99 k; Bahir Dar 80 k; Addis Zemen 88 k; Gondar 93 k; Aykel 63 k; Shehedi 105 k; and Matema 37 k.

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