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.
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.
Donkeys work very hard.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.