(Day 24) Yabello to Addis Ababa – 23 April 2011
Distance for the day – 567 km Odometer – 8 740 km
Hours on the Bike – 08:12
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 77 327.00
We had internet coverage problems the last two days and this morning got the good news about Coca Cola that pledged to donate R100 000. This was a big surprise and we would like to thank Coca Cola for this and also to Alan Lamb that helped in making it happen.
We left Yabello this morning and had GPS programmed to take us to Addis Ababa, The Capital City of Ethiopia. The route went past Awassa, where we initially planned to stay. Lake Awassa falls in the Great Rift Valley and the locals rely on fishing as a major industry.
The road to Awassa is tar, but does not allow you to travel fast, because of lots of turns, village on village that you have to slow down and many hills and valleys that it snakes through. The ride is strenuous, because of all that happens on the road. There are people everywhere and you have to be on the lookout all the time. Ethiopia is the second most populated country in Africa with the count in 2010 on just over 85 mill people. This is nearly double the population of South Africa on nearly the same size area.
We saw a big contrast in vegetation that varied from typical African Savana landscape to higher rainfall high altitude mountainous areas, to flat land with high potential irrigation and then beautiful areas with big trees, but very little grass undergrowth.
It was a little intimidating, having to now drive on the right hand side of the road, but it’s something we just have to get used to. Storming Norman took off after a break and was on the wrong side of the road, playing chicken with an oncoming taxi. It took a well executed swerve from Norman at the last moment to miss the oncoming flashing car. We are not quite sure if the smell that was hanging like a cloud over him was only from a long hard day in the saddle. Stelios at last has his wits back after battling the last few days with an upset tummy.
At Awassa we luckily got fuel with our last attempt, after stopping at five filling stations with no fuel. Is this now also going to be a problem in Ethiopia like Malawi? We are also using an octane booster that we mix with the fuel, because of the low quality fuel of Ethiopia. This we were informed of in Nairobi at Jungle Junction.
The last 50 km’s into Addis Abiba was the worst with a one lane road and 10 – 15 trucks following each other. It made overtaking very difficult with oncoming traffic. We decided to splash out a bit and booked in to the Jupiter Hotel, with a days rest on Sunday. The Blog needed some urgent attention, with a good wireless connection.