Day 45 after 3 days in Addis Ababa

We had a wonderful time in our three days in Addis. The city has a buzz, the people are friendly. On one of our days we took a taxi out 150kms along the Bahir Dar road that the ride had come along. It gave me a chance to see some of the Ethiopian countryside, and Andy a chance to look at it from something other than the saddle of a bike. Trucks, taxis, potholes, corners and bridges, pedestrians and goats…I don’t want to think how it must have been to cycle.

typical farm plot near Addis Ababa
typical farm plot near Addis Ababa

Overall there was a feeling of business and order in Ethiopia. Streets were being swept, there was almost no litter. Hundreds and hundreds of small shops, no street hawkers. In the early morning, commuters bustling to work.

We didn’t see any mechanized agricultural machinery on the whole drive.

digging a pipeline
digging a pipeline

Donkeys work very hard.

beasts of burden
beasts of burden

We ate Ethiopian food, listened to Ethiopian music and found some wonderful Ethiopian coffee.There’s a coffee ceremony somewhat like the Japanese tea ceremony.

coffee ceremony
coffee ceremony

In Addis the Tomoca coffee shop is the place to go so next time you’re up that way, don’t miss it.

The camp site was at the Addis golf club. Some people camped, others had rooms. So everyone got to shower. And bikes got mended, adjusted and fussed over.

Addis Golf Club camp site
Addis Golf Club camp site

It was great to catch up with the riders I had met in Cairo. I have to say that they all looked leaner than when I last saw them. The heat, the mountains and a host of the tummy upsets that Ethiopia is known for have taken their toll. Andy got off quite lightly. One young Australian had been too sick to ride for over two weeks.

the bike workshop
the bike workshop with Alex who keeps the ride spinning

But everyone seemed to be in good spirits. It’s a wonderful group of interesting people from every continent, having the experience of a lifetime. What’s not to be high spirited about!

5 riders from 5 continents
5 riders from 5 continents in Tomoca

At 06.00 on Friday I caught the shuttle to the airport and Andy got a taxi to the camp site to get back on his bike. The rides on Friday and Saturday were 97 and 110 kms respectively, not too hot, no scary hills…but just when I at least started to think things were getting easier…this evening he said that today’s ride was another tough one. There seem to be mountains in every direction in Ethiopia.

Arusha on 10 March marks the half way point in miles and in days, 61. It’s a 4 night stop and will give everyone a chance to see some of East Africa. Many of the riders have never set foot in Africa before so there are plans afoot for trips to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. And it’s only 16 sleeps away.

For Andy it’s 1856 kms.



9 thoughts on “Day 45 after 3 days in Addis Ababa

  1. Hi Andy,
    Well done on reaching the half way point-better still that you are still in one piece
    be it a much smaller piece than that which set off on 9th Jan!!
    Gordon and I have been discussing your progress with much interest- while we don’t quite think it is ‘cricket’ that you spend the odd night it a hotel- we agreed to let you off as the Ethiopian’s have not played the game for 200 years!!
    Good Luck for the Second Half!!


  2. Hi Andy,

    Keep it up. It sounds like a fantastic experience. You seem to have been at it for a long time. I flew up to Lake Albert last year so I know how far it is.

    Sounds as if Bernie has also been having a tough time – in Paris and on the Alps. Probably away on the Dusi this last weekend. Anyway not a bad time for you both to be out of communication with the Proteas and the Lions performing badly. So over to you Andy – go boy go!


  3. Andy, the two of you are having a great time, it seems, and you’re getting hairier than ever. Great stuff. When in Arusha try to look up my laat-lammetjie Julie who works for Asilia Lodges & Camps, Farm No. 175, OLASITI, ARUSHA, tel 00255 736 500 515 (contact “Esther”). Julie is on the staff at their luxury Sayari Lodge, North Serengeti, Tanzania, tel 00255 757182789. She’s a lovely kid and, if you can, please giver her hugs from her dad. Best wishes Ivor.


  4. Hey Andy keep on trucking.Had a lekker email exchange with Hollings as discussed on phone. Must do “Brokeback Mountain” again when he’s in SA end of May and you’re back. Jim was right I was at Dusi and chalked up medal number 16 but that hardly seems worthy of mention compared to your monumental undertaking. I for one am immensely proud of you and will keep on saying it on this blog until I can say it to you in person on your return! Go Booitjie go!


  5. I do know one or two “yellow machine” smouse up in Africa should you need any Andy. Otherwise, i can help with my petrol card!!
    Well done, nice to follow you.
    Vas byt!!


  6. Hi Andy

    Great to hear that you have got to Addis and all is good. The photos show a happy and lean man. Saw Denny and Caroline in Joburg on Sunday. Will be sending more comments now that I am back here after visiting my kids, scattered around the globe. Good luck for the next stages and, as the other guys have commented, I am in awe of your progress thus far, and await with huge interest news of your travels through east Africa. Vasbyt ou maat


  7. Maureen, thank you for all the effort you put into the blog. Entertaining, informative and giving us some small sense of Andy’s experience.

    Andy, starting to look like my younger brother is the most inspiring thing anybody has ever done for me. Thanks, mate’.


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