(Day26) Addis Ababa to Debra Markos – 25 April 2011
Distance for the day – 326 km Odometer – 9 066 km
Hours on the Bike – 05:18
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 77 327.00
This morning we punched in our destination, Dejen into the GPS and followed the instructions as the Garmin directed us out of Addis Ababa.
It was a good but windy tar road that was hopping over the hills of the very scenic Ethiopia. The intensity of the stocking rate is clearly visible everywhere as we progress along. The meaning “sheep short” gets a whole new meaning in this part of the world.
Everywhere along the route we saw farmers ploughing their lands with single furrow ploughs, pulled by two oxen. The patches of cultivated lands are at some places on very rocky, shallow soil slopes that are so steep that a baboon would need a walking stick to get along. Every little inch of this country seems to have a human footprint on it.
We passed many villages and in the rural areas there are neat clusters of houses, with a perimeter fence around them, all made out of wood, mud and grass. They have hay stock piled in stacks and manure mixed with grass and then rolled out in to flat pancake like objects to dry in the sun. All these “pancakes” are then stacked in neat piles and are used for fuelling fire for cooking and warmth at night and especially winter time. Very few trees were around and it probably is because of the altitude and cold winters.
The last 40 km’s from Goha Tsion to Dejen takes you through the magnificent Blue Nile River Gorge. The roads twist and turns down the side of the gorge and the elevation drops with 2 000 metres from 3 120m to 1 072m at the bottom, before you start with the climb on the other side. There is also a sudden temperature change from 19°C at the top to a scorching 44°C at the bottom. We passed many trucks, which are crawling along in their lowest gear with a strong smell of breaks in the air. It must be any truck driver’s last wish to drive this route with a heavy load. We stopped on a newly constructed bridge to take some pictures of the Blue Nile River. It had dark brown, muddy water like most other rivers in Ethiopia we have seen so far.
We reached the small town of Dejen before 12:30 and decided to push on a little further, because there was no fuel available. This problem we had with a couple other filling stations as we kept going till we struck luck at Debre Markos. The pump meter however did not work and we had to fill containers to measure the “Benzeen”, as they call it.
We then decided to look for lodging and an internet cafe to update the blog.