(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.

Yabello Motel

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.

Rural Ethiopian Village

Cows showing signs of malnutrition.

Termite teamwork.

Beautiful nature.

Fine grass hay sold to use in the mix for building houses.

Big trees next to the road.

A giant tree, with good shade.

Big variation in Landscape.

Interesting countryside.

Near Lake Awassa.

Only mature trees standing - how did it look before?

It is not an easy life for animals throughout Africa.

A dryer area that we traveled through for the day.

Higher productive area near Awassa with water to irrigate.

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.

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8 responses

  1. by the way, are you sure thats a termite hill. …. Are you guys missing your wives?

    April 25, 2011 at 18:51

  2. Rich I hope you got a good shot in, in the scuffle. Little sh…ts

    April 25, 2011 at 18:50

  3. montyme

    Rich, Mom was thrilled to get your phone call and said you sounded really well and happy. Thanks for calling her – you lifted her spirits. She has been well lately, although a little stuttery and confused. Lots of love. Mont and family xxx

    April 25, 2011 at 03:06

  4. They say life is a journey – some just ‘explore’ that journey more and accept the challenges that come their way. You guys are showing us how this can be done! Well done. Your journey is about to get tougher I am sure but the tougher it becomes the more your fighting spirit will prevail. We are very proud of what you guys have achieved so far and are with you all the way.

    April 24, 2011 at 20:31

  5. Rufus, Richard, Stelios, Norman,
    When things go wrong it is when when the steel and character shows. I am so proud of you guys. I just know that there is nothing that will stop you. I really enjoy the blog messages so much and am impressed by the extent of the reports and the photo’s despite your rather busy and demanding days.
    Well done and vasbyt. The worst roads are now history.
    Constantly thinking of you in our prayers.
    Oom Jan

    April 24, 2011 at 16:16

  6. rossbennett1993

    Hi Dad. Mom says; “Godbless you all this Easter. We miss you, lots of love Ross, Laul, mom and Greg

    April 24, 2011 at 16:08

  7. gloriagracie

    I salute you all !!! Well done. Those roads must be difficult enough to walk on let alone ride on. Hope the bike problems are sorted out. Great to get updates again. Enjoy your rest day — I’m sure you realy need it after the last few days. Travel safe. Praying for you.

    April 24, 2011 at 15:15

  8. montyme

    You are doing brilliantly, well done. Take it your bike is okay again, Rich. Norman’s bike seems to be doing well after your welding repairs. We are all in awe of you. Hope Stelio’s tummy bug all cleared up and Rufus you are doing a brilliant job with the updates. Trust today was a good and restful day for you all. Take care, stay safe , and on the right! Not long to go now, but possibly more risky in more ways than one. Hats off to ‘THE AWESOME FOURSOME’.

    April 24, 2011 at 12:25

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